Flow Rate Monitoring for High Efficiency Heat Exchangers

Flow Rate Monitoring for High Efficiency Heat Exchangers
September 20, 2013
Flow Rate Monitoring for
High Efficiency Heat Exchangers
A digital flow meter is a cheap and effective tool that can be used to
diagnose a wide variety of problems when applied to high efficiency heat
exchangers. At approximately three hundred dollars, the cost of a digital
flow rate meter is well justified even if it diagnoses a single potential
catastrophic failure on a heat exchanger that has a cost exceeding six
thousand dollars. For this reason, Certol International recommends that all
pools using a high efficiency heat exchanger buy a digital flow rate meter
and monitor it at least once daily verifying the conditions below are being
met. Certol International recommends the use of the Blue-White
Industries, Ltd. F-1000 Series Digital Paddlewheel Flowmeter, or a digital
model with equivalent accuracy, precision and resolution.
Flow Rate Monitoring: The flow rate of the water moving through the heat
exchanger should be monitored and recorded. If the flow rate of the water
through the heat exchanger changes, it is indicative of one of two
problems. One, the pump moving the water through the heat exchanger is
no longer functioning at the original specification. Two, there is scale build
up within the heat exchanger impeding the flow of water through the heat
exchanger. If the pump is verified to be working within its specification, the
heat exchanger should be inspected for scale build up. If scale build up is
confirmed, logs of the pool chemistry should be reviewed to ensure that
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the “ACID Magic can be safely used in High Efficiency Water Heaters”
recommendations were met. The scale should be removed using an antiscaling agent that meets the heat exchangers manufacture specifications.
Flow Rate: The flow rate of water through the heat exchanger should be
maintained near the manufacturer’s maximum recommended flow rate.
The increase in flow rate has two effects on potential scale formation. One,
a faster flow rate increases the turbulence of the water flowing through the
heat exchanger. This decreases the probability that scale formation will
occur in the heat exchanger and adhere to the walls. Two, the increased
flow rate will decrease the temperature differential between the inlet and
outlet of the heat exchanger. The smaller temperature differential will
increase the solubility of any calcium phosphate complexes.
Visual Inspection: It is recommended that the heat exchanger is visually
inspected at least bi-annually. If scale build up is confirmed, logs of the
pool chemistry should be reviewed to ensure that the “ACID Magic can be
safely used in High Efficiency Water Heaters” recommendations were met.
The scale should be removed using an anti-scaling agent that meets the
heat exchangers manufacture specifications.
[Flow Rate Monitoring for High Efficiency Heat Exchangers/v01]
[09.20.2013]
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