FloCon commissioning valve modules, pioneered by SAV since 2003, support faster and more accurate commissioning of hydronic heating and cooling systems.
Flexible valve modules essentially comprise a pre-insulated box within which all of the valves required for control, commissioning and pre-commission cleaning of terminal branches are located. Key benefits are derived from the centralisation of these components within a flexible modular layout.
The benefits of valve modules derive from the simplified pipework arrangements they enable. The diagrams below show the differences in layout between:
Rigid pipework layout serving terminals
Flexible modular layout
The relative benefits of the flexible modular layout compared to the rigid approach can be categorised as follows:
- All selections based on terminal flows and pressure losses. Hence:
- Fewer pipes to size
- No need to calculate individual valve pressure losses
- No need to size control valves
- Reduced on-site installation time compared to rigid systems
- No soldered joints and hence no hot work above ceilings
- Easier to vent
- Easier to insulate
- Ensured compliance with BSRIA Pre-Commission Cleaning Guide
- Flushing drains and isolating valves as required in BSRIA Guide BG29/2012
- Localised large bore strainer to prevent valve blockages
- Fewer flushing locations to access
- No need for traditional proportional balancing
- Fewer valve locations to access
- Less chance of air/dirt blockages
On-going commissioning (Soft Landings):
- Automatic monitoring and targeting of energy consumption (and energy billing)
- Delta T monitoring
- Fine tuning of set-point values
Maintainability and flexibility:
- Fewer maintenance points
- Maintenance points can be remote from occupied areas
- Change and churn – flexibility to add/move terminals later
- Lower pipe resistances and hence lower pressure losses
- Improved pump energy savings
- Better performance of central heating and cooling sources
- Less uncontrolled heat losses/gains (due to pre-insulated pipes and valve boxes)
The very flexible valve modules and the flexible modular layout they enable also facilitate the “Change and Churn” culture of modern buildings. The term “change and churn” is a key phrase of the soft landing approach to modern buildings. It is a recognition of the fact that modern buildings seldom retain a fixed usage pattern throughout their lives. In most cases buildings will experience change as different occupants move in with different requirements and expectations. Hence, building services systems require a flexible modular layout to facilitate these changes.
Modular heating and cooling systems using flexible valve modules provide far more flexibility than rigid layouts. For example, the diagram below shows a typical office plan incorporating two adjacent rooms with two valve modules in each. If the occupiers wish to move the partition between the rooms, and have the energy billing re-allocated accordingly, then flexible valve modules greatly simplify this process.
Individual terminals can be disconnected from their valve modules and re-piped to other nearby modules. Alternatively, valve modules can be provided with spare ports so that additional terminal devices can be easily connected. This flexible modular layout represents a sigificant benefit compared to rigid systems where system draining and disruptive pipework alterations would be required to achieve the same result.