Hydronic HVAC systems for heating and cooling operate at peak performance only after achieving hydronic balance and temperature control. The best way to ensure this is through hydronic balancing – a process of optimizing the distribution of water in a building’s HVAC system by equalizing the system pressure using hydronic balancing valves.
RED-WHITE VALVE CORP. has served the commercial, industrial, plumbing, and HVAC industries for over half a century with an extensive range of top-quality valves. Our business philosophy is rooted in integrity, quality, and reliability, allowing us to further our reputation as an industry-leading valve producer.
Balancing a Hydronic System
Hydronic HVAC systems utilize heated or cooled water to heat or cool a facility. The conditioned water circulates through a closed system to achieve the desired temperature in specific areas of the facility. For optimal performance, it is essential to implement balancing measures to prevent underflow or overflow conditions. The aim is to provide the right amount of water at the right place and at the right time. A balancing valve ensures that all zones get proper flow under design conditions, ensuring optimal efficiency, comfort, and energy savings.
Unbalanced systems can lead to insufficient or excessive heating or cooling. Unbalanced systems will also be plagued by noisy operations, high energy use, and reduced valve and pump life.
There are two types of balancing valves:
- Manual balancing (Static): Also called pressure-dependent balancing valves, static valves offer a fixed resistance to water flow. Since they don’t adjust to changing system pressure, the valve settings are calculated and adjusted before installation.
- Pressure independent balancing (Automatic): This hydronic valve throttles to produce the pressure drop required to reduce the flow rate down to the design flow rate. Unlike static balancing valves, they have internal elements which move to adjust and compensate for differential pressure changes, allowing them to maintain a constant flow and operate more efficiently under variable load conditions.
Hydronic Valve Features & Benefits
Both types of hydronic balancing valves offer unique advantages that make them suitable for different applications.
Manual Balancing Valves
Manual hydronic balancing valves are manually adjusted throttling valves that serve as a permanent resistance built into the system. They are pressure-dependent and maintain a balanced system at full-load conditions (designed load). Manual valves have several benefits:
- Sensitive – can read low rates accurately.
- Environmentally friendly – manual balancing valves use much less energy than automatic hydronic valves.
- Cost-effective – they are energy efficient, which will translate to reduced energy costs.
- Intuitive – easier to troubleshoot if there’s a problem.
Automatic Balancing Valves
These balancing valves function independently of pressure and can maintain the designed flow rate within the PSID range specified by the manufacturer. They can also maintain an overall system balance, even when other branches fluctuate. Benefits of automatic balancing valves include:
- Ease of use – unlike manual balancing valves, automatic valves can automatically adjust with changing water flow rates, so there is no need for adjustments.
- Efficient – automatic balancing valves ensure more accurate balance in the water flow distribution throughout the system.
- Durable and quiet – automatic balance valves are long-lasting and help eliminate noise and vibration in HVAC systems.
- Time-saving – automatic valves require less time and cost for maintenance.
Hydronic Valve Applications
Hydronic valves have several applications, including:
- HVAC: Hydronic balancing valves are used in HVAC systems to ensure the system delivers proper flow to all terminals.
- Heat exchangers: Balancing valves are used in heat exchangers to deliver the desired flows in low temperature, chilled, or hot water applications and provide the desired flow rate to maintain comfort and energy.
- Power generation systems: Hydronic flow control valves are used in power generation systems to control conditions such as flow, pressure, temperature, and liquid.
- Refrigeration systems: Hydronic valves control the flow of liquid refrigerant between the low side and high side of a refrigeration system.
- Server cooling systems: Hydronic zone valves are used to regulate water flow in hydronic server cooling systems.
- Water return lines: Hydronic check valve keeps water flowing in one direction only and prevents reverse flow.
Hydronic Balancing Valves from RED-WHITE VALVE CORP.
At RED-WHITE VALVE CORP. (RWV), we manufacture and distribute a broad selection of balancing valves. Our valves feature brass (DZR) construction for superior corrosion resistance and a fixed venturi design for easier setting requirements. We also offer accessories for all types of connections. Contact us today to request a quote.