Valves can be fusion welded into district-heating network
Flexenergy, one of the UK’s leading providers of pipe networks for district-heating schemes, has developed a pre-insulated valve system for polybutene (PB-1) pipe applications. V-flex is described as transforming the ability of operators to control and service PB networks by delivering zonal control via pre-insulated valve technology that can be fusion welded direct to the main network.
The unit includes a key-operated steel ball valve inside a polyethylene casing insulated by PUR foam and incorporating PB tails for a fully welded connection to a polybutene pipe network.
Sandy Fairley, sales director, explains, ‘The V-Flex valve system means it is now possible to create an all-plastic fusion weld to the main network, thereby avoiding a secondary joint with its inherent weakness.’
The valves can be specified for single- or twin-pipe applications and come in a number of chamber sizes (to accommodate depth variation) to provide flexibility in network or zonal control. In practice, V-Flex technology means that in the case of a burst, the affected area of the network can be isolated, rather than the entire system being shut down. Each chamber provides easy access to the valve and includes a lockable lid as an option.