Circulating hot water in a plumbing system to maintain the design temperature is standard practice in most residential and commercial multi-level buildings.
In these buildings, hot water is generally circulated vertically from the hot water plant down or up the building. If hot water needs to be delivered to fixtures far from the central riser, the delivery time can be extended. Cold water is also wasted.
The current most common solutions are to use electric heat trace to maintain the temperature in these dead legs, or to increase the number of risers in the building. Both options have many disadvantages with regard to cost, performance, and implementation. All Valve Industries see opportunities for improvements in these areas.
All Valve Industries is Australia’s leading specialist innovative developer and provider of pressure, flow, temperature, environmental control, measurement, and monitoring systems. In conjunction with their globally recognized manufacturing partners they service a diverse range of industries including plumbing and water supply.
All Valve Industries’ innovative solution is their H-Box. The device is installed after the water meters on each level to circulate hot water to the apartments on that floor. The pre-assembled unit comprises a heat exchanger, pump, digital timer, expansion tank, new specially designed auto-stop valves, and all other components needed to ensure the system operates correctly.
SWEP is a world-leading supplier of brazed plate heat exchangers for HVAC and industrial applications. SWEP BPHEs have well proven reliable performance in residential applications to ensure a comfortable living environment. SWEP BPHEs play a central part in the system by transferring heat from the primary central vertical riser to a secondary circulating system for each floor. This system serves multiple apartments. In this application, the SWEP B12MT×14 installed in the H-Box multi-zone solution and the B80×54 in the H-Box single-zone solution fully meet All Valve Industries’ expectations.
“The heat exchanger is a critical part of the setup that makes the system possible. Without it, we could not efficiently create the secondary zone required to circulate hot water, because both the pressure control valves, and water meters create obstacles in a circulatory system,” says Daniel Dillenbeck, Marketing Manager at All Valve Industries. When asked why All Valve Industries chose SWEP as their partner, he credited the efficiency and reliability delivered by SWEP BPHEs.
With the new solution, each H-box maintains the hot water temperature to up to ten apartments and can save thousands of liters of water per apartment annually. In a recent case study of a project with retrofitted H-boxes, it was found that each apartment saved on average up to 16,000 liters of water annually. This is in line with SWPE’s mindset of creating more from less. Furthermore, the hot water delivery time is reduced to just a few seconds, making life more comfortable and convenient for residents.
The concept of improved efficiency that underlies the H-box solution is something both SWEP and All Valve Industries strive towards. The two companies will continue to meet the challenge by working together to open up new possibilities.