What a Load of Hydronics !

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Hydronics – aka The Primary Water Systems in your Building.

What’s the big deal? After all we take the Hot and Chilled Water systems for granted, don’t we? Well actually there are some interesting developments happening to these systems which can dramatically improve the efficiencies and system performance of a Buildings Chilled and Hot Water systems.

In many cases these developments have gone largely unnoticed, mainly because the focus has always been on the Big-Ticket Consumers. i.e. Chillers and Boilers. For example, there are Pumps that learn a system’s needs completely by themselves. Boilers that carry out system pumping to beat the lag. Water heaters designed for high efficiency. Self-monitoring, predictive Boiler combustion controls.

These are just some of the many parts that combine to illustrate developing trends in the Hydronics industry. For those of you who are watching these trends, you will see advances like these frequently are at the forefront of an ever-changing landscape.

Technology is setting the pace of change

Smart pumping is one of those fast-evolving trends. A great example is the latest range of new commercial self-sensing pumps that work out systems integration, something which engineers have worked toward for years.

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One of those products that has appeared “Under the Radar” is the development and use of Smart sensorless pumps. With sensorless pump systems, there are no holes in pipework for sensors connecting remote differential pressure sensors to the pumps. Also, self-sensing pump-system design provides greater accuracy for variable flow, higher energy efficiency, and improved system stability.

Technical Info

To make the primary equipment more efficient, there is a need to control the delta-T and to match it to the capacity of the system with the load. That’s where variable-speed pump systems make their biggest impact.

When there is a balance between a system’s capacity the load and the delta-T, then the maximum system efficiency can be reached.

One of the main reasons for this change is the growing use of variable-speed pumps. There are substantial benefits:

  • If load varies, then there’s a corresponding reduction in pump speed. Then with a drop in the pump speed, there is a significant reduction in pump power consumption. i.e. (at half speed, only 12.5% of the full Kw of the motor is required; at 1/3 speed, only 3.7% of the full KW is required).
  • With variable speed drives, the power is increased gradually, which subsequently means soft starting which is beneficial to the motor, pump, and the other system components.
  • By dropping the pump speed to match the load, energy is saved, and equipment life is greatly improved.

The advantages of retrofitting constant-speed pumps with VFDs include:

  • Increased energy efficiency.
  • Precision flow control.
  • Soft start/stop of Pump motors.
  • The integration of (BMS) communication.
  • Better balancing with speed control, as opposed to imparting “false” head.
  • The ability to adjust flow easily to rerate energy plants when system flow gets out of balance or experiences reduced delta-T.

Variable-speed technology also allows M&E maintenance technicians to identify dangerous conditions with motors or problems with pumps and can send signals to a BMS if there are issues, it can then trigger standby equipment to start for redundancy and backup.

Smart Chillers and Boilers

There are now several Commercial products that incorporate some of these Smart Pump technologies. Recently launched is a 95-percent efficient modulating condensing boiler with an advanced pump control that seamlessly matches boiler firing rate to the pump flow.

Smart BoilersCombining the boiler and pump controls within the box allows them to offer a Heating/Hot Water system capable of being independent, while reducing boiler pumping costs by up to 70 percent.

Substantial savings can be achieved by incorporating a variable-speed boiler pump that is matched to the load in a modulating boiler’s combustion system

Furthermore, the systems controls protects the heat exchanger by ensuring that the variable-speed boiler pump remains in sync with the boiler’s combustion modulation.

Many Chillers have also have this in-built pump technology incorporated into the equipment too, which are designed to match the chiller output to the load, and DPAC can offer this as part of our offering.

New & Retrofit/Applications

Smart Pumping systems can easily be retrofitted to many systems, however with the advances being made with Chilled Water and Heating equipment with Smart Pumping technology being incorporated, it may be more beneficial to replace the particular equipment depending on the age and type.


DPAC – Dynamic Packaged Applied Cooling www.dpac.co.uk specialise in assisting both Consultants, Contractors, Occupiers and other specifiers with the design and selection of Specialist Cooling equipment and are specialist suppliers of Absorption Chillers, and Hydrocarbon/Propane/R290 units with capacities of up to 1,000Kw into the UK and Europe.

Established over 20 years ago, they have an enviable reputation for the selection of a range of specialist A/C and Cooling equipment. The web site explains more in greater detail www.dpac.co.uk

This article is written by Simon Lamberton-Pine of DPAC UK Ltd

DPAC UK operate nationally through their network of agents and specifier’s, technicians and our clients include every well-known and established FM and Main HVAC/M&E Contractors, as well as direct for Building occupiers and Managing Agents.

This article is written by Simon Lamberton-Pine of DPAC UK Ltd

DPAC UK operate nationally through their network of agents and specifier’s,.

Why not get in touch to see if our technology can fit into your scheme. 

Intelligent Pumps
Intelligent Pumps