Water filtration for heat pump protection in collective buildings: Hectron solutions

When a collective building has a heat pump, it is important that it is protected effectively. It is an expensive piece of equipment and essential to the daily life of a building. Any intervention or repair is a source of expense and discomfort because the heat pump has to be shut down. This is why a good filtration solution is necessary to protect the essential elements of a heat pump: the exchangers. Find out which automatic filters from the Hectron range meet this need perfectly and ensure peace of mind for your heat pump.
Water filtration for heat pump protection in collective buildings

The heat pump: operating principle

The water-to-water heat pump is based on aquathermy: the temperature of water drawn from underground. Groundwater has the great advantage of having a constant temperature regardless of the season. This temperature is around 10°C. The principle consists in drawing these calories from underground, to heat a building or the domestic hot water of this one. To do this, it is necessary to pump the water from the underground, bring it into the building and then return it to the ground. In the meantime, it is led through a system of heat exchangers to transfer the calories to the building water. In fact, these waters do not mix, but are subject to a transfer of calories by the exchangers. These devices are thin elements (spiral or not) that allow the two fluids to meet over a large surface and thus the hotter liquid to heat the cooler liquid. The water-to-water heat pump is able to supply various types of systems such as underfloor heating, a water heater or also radiators connected to a central heating system. The interest of such a system is twofold since it can be reversible and bring coolness in summer when the groundwater is cooler than the ambient temperature. Finally, as far as energy is concerned, electricity is certainly needed to operate the compressor that runs the water-to-water heat pump, but this heating principle has the great advantage of using an energy source that is both free and renewable.

Why protect the heat pump upstream with water filtration?

As we have just seen, water-to-water geothermal heat pumps have heat exchangers. These parts, made up of thin tubes, are very sensitive to fouling. This can happen if the borehole water contains suspended matter. Over time, the suspended matter settles in the heat exchangers and clogs them, making it more difficult for fluids to circulate. The exchangers then lose their efficiency and your heat pump may not work at all or may have a greatly reduced performance. In this case, disassembly and cleaning are inevitable. These operations can be costly and of course they paralyze the functioning of your installation. A less expensive and more preventive solution is to ensure a good upstream filtration to drastically reduce this maintenance. In general, a filtration with a threshold of 80 to 200 microns can be sufficient. But this depends on the nature of the pumped water and the type of soil. Some boreholes may contain very fine clays, and it is sometimes useful to have much lower filtration thresholds: 3 or 6 microns may be necessary to ensure that the water is free of particles that could clog the heat pump's exchangers.

Which Hectron equipment for automatic filtering of your heat pump in a collective building?

The Hectron brand offers 3 types of automatic filters that are well suited to the protection needs of heat pumps in collective buildings.

HN hydrocyclones

This is certainly the most economical and simplest type of filtration when sand is present. The advantage of this system is that it does not require any moving parts and is therefore very reliable and long-lasting. The HN stainless steel hydrocyclone models offer a really long life, and do not encounter the oxidation problems of steel hydrocyclones. Even if they require manual intervention to purge the tank, the vertical tank is equipped with a large section valve that allows particularly effective purging. In terms of performance, a type HN hydrocyclone can retain a little more than 80% of suspended matter larger than 100 µm and can achieve a flow rate of 18 m3/h and a maximum pressure of 10 bar. There are two sizes available with 1" or 2" threaded inlets and outlets respectively.

AS automatic filters

AS automatic filters are mainly used for the protection of plate heat exchangers, they are therefore particularly recommended for the protection of heat pumps. They offer the possibility to operate with very low pressure since only 0.5 bar of pressure is required upstream. The permissible flow rates are up to 340 m3/h. The cleaning system of this type of automatic filter is based on the pressure difference between upstream and downstream. The cleaning is therefore only triggered when necessary. It should be noted that the filtration threshold of this type of filter can be between 6 and 400 microns. Finally, depending on the size, Hectron automatic filters type AS are equipped with inlets and outlets with 3 '' thread, or flanges of DN100, 150, 200 and 250.

Automatic filters AG

Hectron AG filters are certainly the most versatile and efficient filters you can use to protect a heat pump. Indeed, their filtration threshold range is very wide and goes from 0.5-1 microns to 500 microns. They also have the advantage of consuming little water, because they have a cleaning system by suction ramp. As in the previous range, this system is triggered by the pressure differential between upstream and downstream. The frequency of cleaning is therefore perfectly adapted to the particle load of the water, as it is triggered only when necessary. Finally, the models in this range are all supplied ready to use. In addition, they are equipped with a cycle counter and control lights. For optimal protection of heat pump exchangers, this range of Hectron units offers the best guarantees and performance. The filtration is automatic and requires absolutely no human intervention. The filtration threshold of 0.5 microns available on these filters is the lowest possible to ensure that your heat pump's exchangers do not clog up over time, reducing the efficiency of your installation.