Closed-Loop Water Systems
Closed Loop Water Systems are designed to supply either hot or chilled water to a heat exchanger, and then return the water to the point of origin to repeat the process. Simply put, they are large loops of water.
In HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition) applications, this hot or chilled loop water would likely be sent to an air handler to either cool or heat the incoming air. In some cases, these heat exchangers are designed to first expose the incoming air to a chilled loop, thus lowering the relative humidity of the outside air, and then to expose it to a hot water loop to bring the temperature of the incoming air up to an acceptable level.
Regardless of how the system is designed, from a water treatment perspective, it has the following characteristics:
- Because it is a Closed Loop, no or only minimal losses are expected. Unlike cooling water, and steam generation, a buildup of solid material in these systems generally does not occur as there is virtually no evaporation taking place.
- While scaling can be a problem in very high temperature water, the more common problem to either heating or cooling closed loops is corrosion. To the degree the water is heated, the effects of corrosion will be more pronounced; hence greater chemical levels are required in hot water closed loop systems.
- Because no build up of solids is occurring, normally these systems are not subject to blowdown. The exception would be mud or drip legs that are designed to collect particles from the water.
- All of these systems have some sort of expansion tank to allow the warmer waters to expand when in use, but not loose them due to overflow when this water expands. In non-pressurized systems, the expansion tank can usually be found at the high point of the loop, and also is equipped with a make-up line. In some cases, due to logistics, the system may contain a pressurized expansion tank (the system is maintained under pressure) that allows it to be placed virtually anywhere convenient.
Due to a lack of understanding of the likelihood of corrosion taking place in these systems, smaller systems are often left untreated. In these cases, whatever corrosion damage has been done is not repairable with the application of proper water treatment. Water treatment programs utilizing EnduroSolv® products will not repair damage already done, they will slow (but no problem will ever stop) the corrosion process.
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