Hydraulic separation used to have rare applications in the hydronics market in Australia. Most operators relied on only the primary/secondary piping systems. And then, the hydraulic separator made its way to several European and Australian markets and showed up in an ever-rising number of hydronic heating and cooling systems.
Role of Hydraulic Separators
Hydraulic separators enable fast and efficient separation of primary and secondary circuits for various heaters or boilers. The unit produces a zone with low head loss, allowing the circuits connected to it to become hydraulically independent of each other. Some of the best hydraulic separators provide the benefit of facilitating the continuous removal of air and dirt particles to ensure optimum performance of the equipment at all times.
Further Design for Efficiency
Hydraulic separation units have the capacity of more than one circulator and tee within a typical piping system to simultaneously function without altering one another. These closely spaced tees prevent the rate of flow in these circuits from modifying the flow rates in other channels, which borrows the design and installation requirements from primary/secondary piping to achieve hydraulic separation in each circulator. However, that is not the only means you can attain efficient hydraulic separation, especially if you need a simpler system to minimise the cost of installation.
Ensure the headers in your separation system are as short as possible and utilise a tube size that maintains a low flow velocity. With a short/fat header that has a greater diameter, you can split up this flow into branches with the least head loss. Short/fat headers offer hydraulic separation between their associated circulators.
Hydronic circulators come in various sizes, with some operating at variable speeds while others at fixed velocities. But, while size can affect overall efficiency, you can reduce the pressure drop with proper header design – and consequently, the head loss – in modern hydraulic separator systems. Additionally, make sure to connect headers to the piping for low head loss for efficient hydraulic separation.