Cyclone separator restores heating-system operation to maximum efficiency

When the installation of new boilers released debris into a large heating system, a Cobra cyclone separator from Waterwise Technology was installed to help remove it.
When replacement boilers in County Hall of West Sussex County Council disturbed the system so much that filters had to be cleaned twice a day, the council sought the advice of a local M&E contractor. The previous boilers had been operating for 20 years and were replaced with condensing boilers. The disturbance to the system resulted in heavy solid material being released into the circulating water, seriously impairing the efficiency of the system. The contractor recommended installing a Cobra cyclone separator from Waterwise Technology to reduce the level of suspended solids in the circulating water. Within the space of three months, there was a marked improvement in the efficiency of the boilers and reduced blockage of the filters. Within 12 months, the filter bags required changing only once a week. To restore the system to maximum efficiency, it was chemically cleaned and flushed — a process that would not have been effective without the cyclone separator first removing the debris accumulated from 20 years of services. Ian Roylance, general manager of Waterwise Technology, explains, ‘Dirt, debris, swarf, welding splatter and mill scale are all incorporated into closed-circuit water systems during construction. Due to the complexity of pipework design in modern buildings, it is often impossible to remove all this contamination by pre-commission cleaning and flushing alone. ‘Suspended solids and sludge also continue to accumulate in systems during their working life due to corrosion, hard water and system modification. Corrosion of mill steel typically produces sediment volumes 10 to 100 times the volume of the original metal removed. ‘Heating systems typically make up 1.5 to 2% of the system volume per week. For a 10 000 litre system in a hard-water area, this will lead to more than 23 kg of solids accumulating in the system per year.’ Cyclones use centrifugal action to remove suspended solids of dirt. A Cobra separator will remove particle down to 0.02 mm.
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