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Information - About heating systems

Protected heat pump - durability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness

Author: Akvedukts

The demand for geothermal heat pumps and air-to-water heat pumps is increasing rapidly as the energy situation changes. Consumers are looking for alternative sources of heating and water heating as electricity and gas prices rise and the environmental situation deteriorates. Geothermal and air-to-water heat pumps are an effective, but at the same time quite expensive solution. Therefore, it is extremely important to protect the equipment from breakdowns and reduced energy efficiency. Heat systems protected with an XStream dirt separator operate significantly more efficiently, last longer and reduce heating costs.

Dirt and magnetite, what are they and why are they dangerous?

gruži apkures sistēmā

Sludge is the smallest particles of technical contaminants in the heat transfer medium, such as rust, lime deposits, scale, sand, as well as particles of rubber, plastic, copper, brass. Rust comes in two forms. Magnetic - iron oxide (Fe3O4), which is present in the form of mushy black dirt. And non-magnetic - hematite (Fe2O3), brown in color. Magnetite or iron oxide is a finely dispersed slurry, in the form of inclusions of heavy iron-containing particles, less than 10 μm (0.01 mm) in size. Air entering the heating/cooling system leads to corrosion of internal elements as a result of a chemical reaction of oxygen and any ferrous metal (e.g., metal piping, expansion tanks, accumulation tanks, steel radiators). Magnetite has magnetic properties and, along with other sludge, has a serious negative impact:

  • interferes with heat transfer in heat pumps, boilers, heat exchangers and radiators, significantly reducing energy efficiency and equipment service life
  • it increases wear and tear of rotating components of circulating pumps by depositing in different parts of the pump
  • the required energy consumption increases
  • pump can break down completely if the shaft is blocked (wet pumps) or if the mechanical seal is damaged (dry pumps)
  • it puts isolation valves, thermostatic valves, solenoid valves and other equipment out of service
  • reduces, and in some cases completely blocks the flow of circuits
  • causes pitting corrosion.

According to a report by Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, it causes the majority of problems in existing heating and cooling systems.

Frequently used solutions

Heat pumps often have conventional dirt filters designed to keep dirt out. However, these filters can only filter out coarse sludge. The mesh size of the filters is about 0.5 mm (500 μm), which means that all smaller particles pass through unimpeded. The use of a finer mesh creates significant resistance to the circulation pump. Also, strainers clog quickly, reducing the flow rate and require constant cleaning.

In order to protect expensive system components from sludge and magnetite, manufacturers of heat pumps strongly recommend installing an additional dirt separator (separator) with a magnet. A separator is often an integral part of the warranty. Well-known manufacturers of heat pumps like Atlantic, De Dietrich, Robert Bosch and other manufacturers successfully use air and sludge separators with magnet of Flamco Smart and xStream series. Flamco is continuously developing its products to meet market trends and demands. And the XStream separator is a successful development in recent years. 

Flamco XStream izstrādājumi

The XStream air and dirt separator effectively removes air and prevents corrosion. It captures all sludge and magnetite as small as 4 μm that leaks through the mud filters. The heat carrier containing air and dirt particles is guided along the webs into the separator's separation chamber, where the flow rate is considerably reduced. As a result, air bubbles rise to the top and are removed by the automatic air cleaner, while non-magnetic particles are deposited and collect at the bottom. Magnetite particles present in the coolant are attracted by a powerful 13,200 Gauss neodymium magnet located inside the separator. The neodymium magnet is highly heat resistant and its magnetic field never loses its strength. The magnet is inside the sleeve and is not in contact with water. To remove dirt and magnetite, simply pull out the magnet, open the stopcock and flush the separator.

The XStream has a MAX/ECO toggle function. When starting for the first time or after a long period of inactivity it is recommended to use the MAX mode. Afterwards switch to ECO mode. The XStream's 20mm thick polyethylene foam (EPP) insulation prevents heat loss through the separator body. Depending on the model, the separator is installed in the supply (air removal) or return line (sludge removal, heat pump protection).

Compared to other counterparts, XStream is characterized by negligible hydraulic resistance, which leads to low energy consumption of circulation pumps. The flow speed through the separator can be up to 3 m/s, the working pressure up to 10 bar, and the coolant temperature from -10 °C to +120 °C. This means that XStream fits 99% of heating and cooling systems and is installed according to pipe diameter without any additional calculations. Using XStream reduces the energy consumption of systems by 15% (Hysopt calculation in a heating system using a gas boiler and manual radiator valves).

XStream protects your system!

Installing a heat pump costs several thousand euros. The cost of the sludge and magnetite separator is about 1% of the cost of the entire system. Saving money by not installing a separator is a mistake that leads to unnecessary repairs, reduced efficiency of the entire system and more expensive system operation.

Flamco XStream montāža

The experience of various heat pump manufacturers shows that the XStream separator is successful in protecting systems from breakdowns and a drop in energy efficiency. Even after the warranty on the heat pump installation ends, you can be sure that your investment in the equipment is reliably protected. That's why heat pump manufacturers, installers and end users choose the XStream separator.

Find out more about the features and specifications of the Flamco XStream on the manufacturer's website.

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