All you need to know about creating hydronic balance in two pipe heating systems.
Let's have a look at how heating systems work .
Unbalanced systems cause noise and thermal discomfort due to under and overheating
which in turn leads to higher energy consumption.
To improve this it is very important to understand the dynamics of the heating system and how imbalances occur.
To simplify the water flow in an unbalanced heating system can be compared to how water
is distributed from a water hose. Ideally all flows should be similar to the design flow.
However this will not happen in unbalanced systems. In such systems radiators close to the pump will have
pressures that are too high and in turn have too high flows through the radiators.
Radiators further away from the pump will experience the opposite, resulting in too low flows through these radiators
Too high flows often cause noise and are an indication of inefficient use of energy.
Too low flows create complaints about lack of heat and comfort.
In an attempt to solve the issues, often the water temperature is increased or a larger pump with a higher pump head
capacity is installed, such attempts increase further overheating especially by radiators
closer to the pump, resulting in significantly higher energy consumption.
This is not a valid solution.
Another attempt to gain control of the problems is to install manual balancing valves.
These will ensure correct water flow through the radiators no matter how close to or far away from the pump they are.
However outdoor temperatures and indoor heating demands change constantly
causing residents to open or close their radiator valves.
To cope with this load change thermostatic radiator valves are installed, this turns the heating system into variable flow system.
A heating system becomes a variable flow system, when also partial load conditions occur.
The supposedly balanced system will again have a poor balance and water distribution.
Manual balancing valves are also not the correct choice to gain control.
To really solve the hydraulic challenges an automatic balancing solution with differential pressure control is required.
Essential to know is that when the conditions in the system change a differential pressure controller
keeps the differential pressure stable - both in partial load as well as in full load conditions.
In other words if the load changes in parts of the building the automatic balancing valves will
ensure correct flow for each riser and maintain the required heat and comfort for all residents
Installing automatic balancing valves ensures stable pressure conditions.
If the pressure difference is too big in the flow and return pipe the pressure control valve will adjust this
and guarantee ideal working conditions for the heating system.
Automatic hydronic balancing results in:
fewer complaints, lower maintenance costs, increased indoor comfort and lower energy bills.