Keraflo advances the art of water storage
For a good many years the company Keraflo has been associated with the Aylesbury range of float valves for controlling the filling of cold-water storage tanks. The key benefit of these valves is that they allow the water level in a tank to fall by a controlled amount before it is refilled, which brings a range of benefits compared with equilibrium valves.
One benefit is that introducing a large volume of water in one hit improves the rate of water turnover, helping to avoid stagnation.
Another is that float valves are either fully open or fully closed, avoiding undesirable effects such as water hammer or valve bounce.
Another benefit of valves being fully open or fully closed is that more water can be stored in a given tank than if an equilibrium valve were used. An equilibrium valve with a 2000 l tank permits just over 1000 l to be stored, which increases to just over 1600 l with a Keraflo valve.
The concept has stood the test of time, the last major addition to be range being the KAX valve six years ago. These valves are suitable for raised valve chambers and are especially suitable for AA and AB air gaps.
Now Keraflo has advanced the art of water storage with its Tanktronic system, which enables the volume of water stored in a tank to be controlled from a panel on the tank and also for the temperature of the water in the tank to be monitored. The information can be supplied to a BMS.
Managing director Geoffrey Gestenter is full of enthusiasm for the new product, explaining, ‘Tanktronic takes Keraflo from being a float-valve manufacturer to a supplier of complete tank-management systems. Tanktronic is an electronic system that installers don’t need to be afraid of.’
Two water levels can be set, so a lower volume of stored water can be set for periods of low use, such as holiday periods in schools or when a sports stadium is not in use.
The key to the concept is to submerge a pressure and temperature sensor at or near the bottom of a tank. The pressure sensor indicates the depth of water in the tank to within a couple of millimetres, and the temperature sensor does the obvious. Two pressure-and-temperature sensors can be controlled by one Tanktronic unit. Finally, a control valve is needed to control tank filling. If more than two tanks are to be controlled, subsidiary units can be added. Alarms can be provided if water volume or temperature are outside specifications.
If the temperature of the stored water gets too high, it can be dumped automatically to avoid health risks.
There are several ways in which the Tanktronic concept can be applied for both new and refurbishment applications.
• With a standard Keraflo delayed-action float valve as a retro-fit or part of a new installation.
• To manage the level of water in a tank using an electro-mechanical solenoid valve.
• With a standard equilibrium to offer monitoring functionality and alarms.
Tanktronic is now generally available following successful trials at three commercial sites in the UK.