Managing maintenance

ADEY Commercial Filter fitted to pipework

Reductions in the amount of money available to local governments have made for some hard hitting headlines in recent years. Having already delivered savings of £10 billion since 2011/2012, local authorities are being asked to find the same savings again over the next two years to meet central government’s overall target of a 40% reduction

Although cuts to spending on frontline services have unfortunately been inevitable, those who hold the purse strings are understandably keen to try and reduce spending in other areas. Mike Green, our Northern Commercial Area Sales Manager, explains how magnetic filtration technology has helped Norwich City Council slash its heating maintenance and breakdown costs.

Protect against the problem
The Devonshire Street social housing development was built in 1996 and is thought to be one of the first district heating schemes to be adopted by a local authority in the UK. Twenty years later, the scheme still provides the site’s 260 mixed type dwellings with heating and hot water.

However, the large system is maintained by local heating contractors Gasway and they had noticed that magnetite within the system was causing significant damage to various components. The decision was made to replace the three large gas boilers that, after 15 years, were beginning to become problematic and costly.

Three new Hoval ST-plus 950 boilers were installed in the development’s plant room and NPS Norwich Ltd, the joint venture partner responsible for managing the site for Norwich City Council, authorised the installation of a MagnaClean Commercial filter to protect the brand new boilers.

Improved service
NPS worked with Gasway to replace the Y strainer, which was difficult for the maintenance team to service and clean, with an 8” MagnaClean Commercial filter, the largest magnetic filter available on the HVAC market.

In the first three weeks, the filter collected and removed 4kg of magnetite and debris from the system. If magnetite is left in circulation it can do a huge amount of damage to all key components, not just the boiler.

Some of the problems encountered before the filter was installed included propellers of heat pumps becoming ‘scalloped’ around the edges because they’re being eroded by the small metal particles hitting them constantly at high speed – they look like they’ve been sandblasted. It also quickly wears away the neoprene ball valves that enable hot water to flow to each dwelling and collects in radiators, reducing their efficiency and heat output.

Following the refurbishment, there have been no reports of any breakdowns or system downtime and the temperature of the heating and hot water in the Devonshire Street properties is at an all-time high.

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