Smart Controls improve the efficiency of heating systems

24 August

The start of the heating season is almost upon us again and building owners may well be looking at their building heating systems and considering upgrade or refurbishment, not only to improve heating delivery but also occupant comfort and wellbeing.

With energy efficiency high on the agenda, building owners as well as M&E Consultants and M&E Contractors will be evaluating “smart kit” solutions with built in controls to optimise the indoor climate and reduce the use of energy.

So which areas in heating and indoor climate control offer the greatest potential for improvement and savings?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 76% of the world’s energy is consumed in buildings, 20% of the world’s electricity is used pumping fluids around and high-performance HVAC systems account for over 40% of the energy used in commercial buildings 1. Considering that 90% of the whole life cost of a pump is energy related, reducing pump activity remains an important strategy to achieve significant energy savings 2.

Pressure Independent Control Valves (PICV’s) have been widely credited for providing pump savings of up to 35% by delivering system stability. On top of that, further cost saving can be realised through a simplified system design using PICV’s for optimal pump control, resulting in energy, emissions and cost savings of up to 40%.

Research into further optimisation options has led to the development of Pressure Dependent Control Valves, aimed at generating further savings by continuously measuring the temperature drop between inlet and outlet temperature (DeltaT) in the system to modulate the water flow. These valves help maximise the temperature differential, which in return saves energy however, with the constant adjustments based on the Delta T, the actuator in a pressure dependent solution will still have to work hard to modulate the water flow.

The new FlowCon Energy FIT System takes energy savings to the next level. The System measures energy usage whilst monitoring coil performance, adjusting the PICV to achieve the design DeltaT to optimise coil performance. The PICV mechanically maintains the correct flow, despite pressure changes in the system, guaranteeing that flow will only change when demand requirements change or when the DeltaT is outside of specification, resulting in less actuator movements and ultimately, a longer actuator life time.

By optimising the temperature differential, flow rate requirements may be reduced whilst achieving the same outputs, delivering energy savings and releasing more flow capacity, whilst the pressure and temperature independency optimise occupant comfort.

Salt Lake City, Sinclair Oil Headquarter, showing the first FlowCon Energy FIT System field installation early 2018.

Torben Ibsen, President of FlowCon International, explains that if the system DeltaT is improved from, for example, 4°C actual temperature differential to the design temperature differential of 6°C by installing the FlowCon Energy FIT system, the pump energy consumption will be reduced by c. 25%”.

Every year billions are wasted due to the weaknesses in HVAC heating and cooling systems. If heating and cooling systems do not consistently operate at their designed temperature differential, energy waste occurs. The introduction of the new Energy FIT System will help to further minimise energy waste and unnecessary expense.

Contact FloControl today to have your system savings and payback period calculated from upgrading to the Energy FIT System.

Contact at FloControl: Andy Pender   E   T 01282 564 425   M 07432682338



1 U.S. Energy Information Administration
2 FlowCon International Statistics