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Overcoming turbulences

Pointing out that turbulent water flow disrupts an accurate reading of the volume of water used, Dan Mizesko alerts us to the fragmentation technology, which he says can help reduce end-users’ water bills.

| | Jan 3, 2016 | 4:03 pm
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Dan Mizesko is the Managing Partner at Al Shirawi Chiller Services

Dan Mizesko is the Managing Partner at Al Shirawi US Chiller Services

As most readers are aware, we at U.S. Chiller Services are constantly conducting research and testing new technologies that will save power, water and fuel for chilled water plants, either District Cooling-based, central plant-based or building-based. When we find a technology that we know would benefit the Gulf region, we introduce it to our customers and make it part of our service offering.

At the annual ICE (International Contractors Exchange) meeting, held in Austin, Texas, in October 2015, we were sharing information with one of the group company members regarding successful technologies we have installed and retrofitted in the Gulf region. During the course of this exchange, we were informed of a technology that we found interesting and promising for the region.

First, let me explain what the ICE Group is. It is an organisation made up of 50 of the United States’ largest and most technically capable and competent centrifugal and liquid chiller service companies, U.S. Chiller Services being one of the 50 member companies. The ICE Group shares technical information and training on all OEM centrifugal chillers, negotiates group parts pricing and access to all the latest factory as well as energy technologies, puts together internal Group training sessions as well as OEM factory training for all Group employees and shares human resources within the Group, so that all members are 100% assured that there is no circumstance or situation within the liquid chiller industry that cannot be handled within the ICE Group member companies.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

What we were introduced to and subsequently researched and tested over the past three months is a technology that does not save water; however, it does reduce your water bill and, in most cases, by a substantial amount. Please allow me to explain.

Your building or plant supply water, whether it be potable or TSE (Treated Sewage Effluent), travels through a maze of pipes and fixtures from your water provider’s (utility company’s) distribution system to your facility. Through this maze, your water will flow through many pipes of different sizes and piping fixtures (elbows, Ts, bypasses, shut off valves, etc.), generating friction, or for want of a better term, impedance to the water flow. This impedance (friction) generates a minuscule amount of air, visually in the form of a bubble. As the water flows through this system, it experiences such various extreme conditions, which also create turbulence. Turbulent water flow disrupts accurate reading of the volume of water used, as, unfortunately, commercial utility water meters cannot effectively measure turbulent water. They, therefore, end up measuring too much, and, as a result, the utility company charges end-users for more water than they have actually used. This is totally unintended by the utility company. But the fact is that the end-user pays for more water than they actually use.

Field technicians or engineers can gather all the required data necessary to customise the product for any building, plant or facility

This is where a fragmentation valve comes into play and brings efficiency to water meters that are designed to measure volume. The technology converts the turbulent flow to laminar flow and increases the efficiency of the meter reading. The fragmentation water valve controls the volume of air measured by single jet, multi-jet and turbine category positive displacement water meters, and reduces the water consumption cost by suppressing the meter measurement of air.

Field technicians or engineers can gather all the required data necessary to customise the product for any building, plant or facility.

If your building is connected to a water supply from a utility company, you will save on your water bills. The valve will be located downstream of the utility meter on the property side of the supply water line. By placing it just downstream of your water meter, it uses this minuscule amount of air in conjunction with its oscillation process to reduce the turbulence by breaking the air into smaller particles. The fragmentation process reduces the turbulence, allowing the water meter reading to be more accurate, thus correcting your billable consumption, resulting in lower water utility charges.

Facilities that have this technology installed have reported 12-26% reduction on water billing subsequent to the implementation of the technology. The technology can also be incorporated on residential standalone villas. However, our interest is to make the HVAC chilled water plants with water-cooled equipment, either in the District Cooling industry or buildings, aware of the opportunity to reduce their water cost.

Dan Mizesko is the Managing Partner of Al Shirawi US Chiller Services. He can be contacted at dan@uschillerservices.com


CPI Industry accepts no liability for the views or opinions expressed in this column, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided here.

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