Closed-loop Applications – OVERVIEW
Closed-loops are essentially large heat exchangers designed for heat transfer. The “loops” are plumbing systems that carry hot water, steam, or cold water through buildings or equipment for heating or cooling purposes. Many hot and cold loops are used for heating and/or cooling of interior spaces, such as hotel rooms, casinos, or exhibition halls. Other applications are for heating/cooling that is required as part of a process, such as for a chiller. The term “Closed-loop” refers to the fact that water is not regularily removed from, or added to the system, and the water should circulate continuously in a loop through the system. Water should only be removed from a Closed-loop when performing a “blow-down” to remove contamination and refresh the water in the loop.
Maintenance of Closed-loops
Closed-loops are susceptible to corrosion and microbial contamination. Chemicals are typically the most cost effective alternative for maintaining “clean” water in Closed-loop systems. Anti-corrosion and Anti-microbial chemicals are used to ensure that the plumbing and equipment in contact with the process water are able to operate at peak performance with minimum down-time. In addition to ongoing chemical treatment, it is important to monitor the water quality on a regular basis to verify that the treatment program is working effectively. Filters are also recommended to remove any sediment that may develop in the loop.
If a Closed-loop becomes contaminated it is extremely important to decontaminate the lines before the contamination creates more severe problems with equipment in the loop. Contaminated lines will shorten the life of equipment and increase costs by reducing efficiencies and increasing the maintenance requirements.
Leaks in Closed-loops
Leaks are an ongoing concern with Closed-loop systems. Leaks are often difficult to find, but it is extremely important to identify and correct any leaks in the loop. Over time leaks are very expensive.
Various Costs Associated with Leaks in Closed-loops:
- The Cost of Water to replace the water that is lost as a result of a leak.
- Chemical Costs will increase because as water is lost through a leak, the fresh water that is added must be treated. A leak-free system requires only small amounts of additional chemical.
- Property Damage is likely to occur in areas around any leaks. Damage can range from something small, such as water marks on drywall, to something major, such as buckled flooring and mold infestation.
- Corrosion and Equipment Damage may occur because the water in the loop will not have the proper amount of chemicals required to prevent corrosion.
Water should be treated with a measured dose of the appropriate chemicals and the water quality should be monitored to ensure that the chemicals are working effectively. Filters should be used in chemical by-pass feeders to remove particulates and keep the water clean. These filters should be changed on a regular basis and the filters should be carefully checked to see if contamination levels are increasing in the line.
Aqua Clear offers bundled water treatment and equipment maintenance services for Closed-loops, Boilers and Cooling Towers. Our custom-tailored programs are designed to meet the specific needs of each individual customer. Every month (or more often if needed), we will perform on-site tests to determine the quality of the water and evaluate the situation. If additional services and/or chemicals are required, we will provide them. We will also inspect, clean, and repair filters, chemical pumps, controllers, and resistivity monitors to ensure that the water is being properly treated day-in and day-out
Since 1994, Aqua Clear has been providing customized water treatment services for Cooling Towers, Boilers, and Closed-loops. This is a core component of our business and our customer list includes a large number of premium hotels and manufacturers in and around San Diego, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Palm Springs.
Customers include Hotels and Casinos, Manufacturing Firms, Pharmaceutical and Biotech Companies, etc.