A new research programme undertaken by global water conditioning and system protection specialists, Spirotech, identifies that the introduction of effective dirt separation measures are an imperative in order to protect heating systems featuring new generation, energy- saving ECM technology* pumps.

The Spirotech laboratory research: ‘The Effect of Magnetite on the Consumed Power of Glandless Circulation Pumps’ identifies how new pumps (introduced in line with the requirements of the recent Eco Design Directive 2009/125/EC) are sensitive to the magnetite present in system water, but continue to retain their theoretical efficiency as long as water cleanliness standards are protected by the installation of a high performance dirt separator with magnetic properties.

Magnetic iron particles are regularly present in system water. Whereas older style pumps are magnetic only when the pump is running, in the case of the new style pumps they are particularly sensitive to the presence of magnetite because their rotors are permanently magnetic and therefore magnetic particles become permanently stuck to the rotor. If this is left untreated, the theoretical efficiency of the energy saving eco pumps decreases radically due to the magnetite pollution.

Magnetite is the common enemy of the entire system, because the particles attach wherever there is a magnetic field. For example in pumps, and also in valves, heat exchangers, pipes, radiators and calorimeters. Therefore it can result in decreasing efficiency, increased energy consumption and potentially cause operational problems to the system further down the line.

Research Programme

Spirotech’s research clearly demonstrates the effect of the magnetite build up on pump efficiency. Test conditions compared conventional, asynchronous pumps with similar, new generation pumps equipped with permanent magnetic motors. In the case of the modern pumps, magnetite had a clear and substantial negative effect on efficiency. The situation can be directly compared with what happens in practice in an ordinary system.

In Spirotech’s lab tests, new generation pump efficiency was reduced by between 10-15% and the tests indicated that over time, the pump’s efficiency could even be halved.

 Creating Optimal Conditions

Revolutionary eco pump technology means that significant reductions in power consumption (up to 75%) can be realised in optimal conditions.

New style pumps are undoubtedly economically and ecologically essential, and their use is highly recommended, but heating professionals and specifiers need to ensure these  pumps operate in the best possible conditions.

The pump’s energy consumption will inevitably increase (if appropriate action is not taken) due to the additional work that needs to be performed by the pump to achieve the desired flow rate despite the build up of dirt on the rotor.

Spirotech’s Magnetic Dirt Separators

Spirotech’s range of magnetic dirt separators ensures pump efficiency levels are maintained as the damaging presence of magnetic and non- magnetic dirt particles is efficiently removed and therefore the system continues to benefit from the modern pumps’ advanced technology and energy-saving properties.

The robust SpiroTrap Magnet and SpiroCombi Magnet dirt separators (designed for use in commercial sector applications), provide effective dirt separation, ensuring fewer system malfunctions, faster commissioning times and easier maintenance, whilst cutting life cycle costs.

Spirotech’s powerful commercial dirt separators are equipped with  built in magnet technology, and they are designed to effectively remove both magnetic and non-magnetite dirt from large-scale cooling, ventilation and heating systems.

Combining the features of an outstanding de-aerator and dirt separator in a single product, the SpiroCombi Magnet tackles circulating system dirt and also offers an effective solution to the build-up of air pockets and micro bubbles.

Incorporating innovative dry pocket construction which houses the maintenance- free magnet, Spirotech’s new D125 and 150 magnetic variants contain one dry pocket, with the larger Spirotech D200 and 250 magnetic units containing two dry pocket features, ensuring any magnetic dirt trapped in the unit will adhere to the construction’s exterior.

Another key benefit of these units is the ease of draining the unit without insulation valves or shutting down the system.

Total Solutions: An Holistic Approach

In addition to the advantages  presented by a magnetic dirt separator, the system also benefits from exacting water treatment protocols, including the introduction of a high performance de-aerator and the introduction of chemicals and inhibitors.

Good ‘Hydronic Stability’ is the foundation for optimal performance and system longevity. It makes a significant contribution to operational efficiencies, cost savings, energy usage and ongoing repairs and maintenance.

In order to achieve the best possible hydronic stability, it’s important to view water treatment as a priority and enlist the services of a specialised company such as Spirotech, who have proven, problem-solving expertise.

This approach means that the ECM technology pumps can operate in favourable conditions and the magnetite build up, together with other system dirt and excess air, are removed, thus creating improved water quality standards. 

For further information visit www.spirotech.co.uk or call 0208 451 3344