Distribution systems

How to get best value from your existing system – and lock in the savings when you upgrade. 

3 steps to save energy and fuel costs

  1. 1

    Remove throttling valves, and use VSDs on all pumping systems

    Throttling valves are an energy inefficient way to regulate flows because water pumps use electricity needlessly at lower flow rates. VSD (variable speed drives) or frequency converters reduce the rpm of a pump to adjust the flowrate. Note that halving the rpm doesn’t mean halving the energy cost: it divides it eightfold.

  2. 2

    Repair leaks

    Big or small, any leak is a money leak. Stay on top of these maintenance jobs even if they don’t seem urgent – change valves and cocks, and renew seals, or the costs will start piling up. The repair is always cheaper.
  3. 3

    Insulate the distribution system

    As well as pipes, insulate valves with removable insulation. Be sure insulation remains dry and is replaced in case of a leak – wet insulation can dissipate more energy than no insulation at all.

New systems and upgrades

As part of your investment, take these steps to lock in energy and carbon savings.

  • Make sure your distribution system is rationalised and all dead legs are removed. Unused sections act as heat exchangers and dissipate energy for no propose.
  • Make sure distribution system pipes are an appropriate size for the demand. Pipes that are too small will drastically increase pumping system electricity consumption.
  • Re-route any hot piping that may be passing through chilled or air-conditioned spaces.