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TECHNICAL BRIEFS

Impacts of Balancing Valves on Pump Energy and Control Performance in Variable Water Flow Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Zheng, M. Liu

Energy Systems Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE 68182

J. Sol. Energy Eng 128(3), 414-417 (Jul 30, 2005) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2189862 History: Received April 28, 2004; Revised July 30, 2005

There is no common agreement on the use of balance valves in the most popular variable water flow systems. A comprehensive theoretical analysis has been conducted to investigate the impacts of balance valves on initial cost, pump operation power, and system control performance. The investigation finds that eliminating balance valves can (i) reduce by 20–40% pump energy consumption in a typical variable flow water system, (ii) reduce the maximum pressure drop across control valves, and (iii) improve pump efficiency at most partial load conditions. The reduced pressure drops across control valves improve system control performance and may allow selecting some control valves at lower close-off pressures. Consequently, eliminating balancing valves can also potentially reduce system initial cost.

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Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of VFD Hydraulic system

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Figure 2

Schematic diagram of the water loops: (a) option 1 and (b) option 2

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Figure 3

Simulated optimal pump head and design system curve (branch 2 water flow: 40%)

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Figure 4

Simulated potential pump power savings as the ratio of option 1 (branch 2 water flow: 40%)

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Figure 5

Simulated system maximum differential pressure of control valves (branch 2 water flow: 40%)

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Figure 6

Control valve maximum pressure drop cumulative distribution

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