A major U.S. sugar producer has several hundred pumps throughout the plant. These pumps are either using packing, which requires constant maintenance or using mechanical seals, which require a water supply to cool and flush it. In the latter instance, the water is usually either returned to a seal water tank or dumped to drain. Any water that ends up on the floor or in a drain finds its way back to process and must be evaporated (large cost) or sent to wastewater (even larger cost). Because of this, any unnecessary water flow that can be cut from the process is beneficial.
This plant faced several challenges prior to its adoption of EcoFlow valves:
The plant could not use mechanical seals on their pumps due to the large water demand and up-front expense of a closed recirculation system.
Packing was used in all pumps instead of double mechanical seals, causing leaks and constant maintenance.
Expensive seals were damaged every year due to accidental dry running.
HOW OUR ECOFLOW VALVES HELPED
ThermOmegaTech® EcoFlow valves were placed on the seal water outlet of their pumps’ double mechanical seals to control the seal water temperature…
Modern Pumping Today interviewed our Vice President of Engineering, Nick Tallos, on the role thermal relief valves play in potable water systems.
MPT: What applications are the ThermOmegaTech range of thermal relief valves designed for?
Nick Tallos: The primary application we found for one of our valves, which is used as a thermal relief valve, is for domestic water supply booster pumps—so we’re not talking about chemical or processing pumping with this application; the focus is on potable water for buildings. And in this application, we discovered that the pumps need to be sized for the maximum demand, and they have to be run to maintain pressure throughout the building. In other words, you can’t shut it off…
MPT: How would you best describe the benefits of the ThermOmegaTech range of valves? What are your customers looking for?
Nick Tallos: We’ve had customers report that idling pumps can sometimes elevate water temperatures to what we’d consider standard for hot water taps or even scalding hot. So building managers are obviously concerned about someone in their building turning on what should be a cold water tap and unexpectedly getting hot water…
MPT: How important is customer feedback to your product offerings? What do you hear from your customers that you put into your products?
Nick Tallos: We hold customer feedback at a very high level, especially during product development. Over the years, we’ve learned that the customer wish list makes a pretty good place to start whenever we’re deciding which features should be included on a valve—whether it be pipe sizing, valve size, flow rate. There are so many applications where a self-operating valve link to temperature controls prove beneficial, even separate from pump relief, that we greatly value what our customers bring to the table…
ThermOmegaTech® can now offer CEUs good for CPD and CPDT recertification for the following workshop: “Domestic Hot Water Recirculation Systems Design – Self-Balancing Valves and Problems with Flow Devices.”
You can find contact information for ThermOmegaTech and all of the ASPE CEU Providers at aspe.org/ceuproviders.
From Plumbing Magazine, Hydronic Heating Systems – Drain-tempering Valves Limit Discharge Temperatures
Problem: Balboa High School, part of the public school system in San Francisco, California, needed new low-pressure steam boilers that limited maximum drain discharge temperatures.
Solution: Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers designed the project, with Tünde Munz, P.E., LEED AP and Principal of G&B, initiating the solution. As required by code, these low-pressure boilers must have relief valves. Due to safety concerns about venting steam near where students are congregating, the designer chose to vent the relief valves into suitably sized piping, which runs to a floor drain inside the boiler room.
To comply with plumbing codes limiting maximum drain discharge temperatures, the designer chose to add self-operating, thermostatic, drain-tempering valves that only inject cold water into the vent lines when the relief valves activate.
These drain-tempering valves from ThermOmegaTech automatically detect when the drain temperature is above allowable levels and discharge just enough water to temper drain flow below the allowable 140 degrees F.
Result: The drain-tempering valves require no outside power or signal, which made the installation efficient, clean, relatively simple, and cost-effective.
Exposed pipes can be the biggest headache for plant managers and maintenance personnel in the harsh winter months. Any sort of pump, valve, or process pipe that is exposed to the harsh effects of the Winter is susceptible to freezing and bursting. As you can imagine, this can create havoc in critical systems.
There are many ways to heat these pipes, but in extreme climates, one of the most effective methods is to apply glycol tracing. Since glycol does not freeze and doesn’t require any special handling in environments that need to be explosion-proof, it makes it an ideal solution.
Glycol has a very low freezing point which allows it to remain in the liquid phase, even in very cold temperatures. The exceptional thermal transfer characteristics also make it the obvious choice for a cost-effective heating medium.
How We Can Help.
ThermOmegaTech manufactures many valves that control the flow of, and maximize the effect of glycol through these systems. Our most popular valves for use in glycol tracing include HAT and TV/HAT.
Our valves are not reliant on electricity to operate. To regulate the flow of glycol, each of these valves contains a thermostatic element inside that modulates open or closed to maintain a constant discharge temperature.
Each of them improves system efficiency by automatically varying the rate at which glycol is pumped through the system.
For years, manual balancing valves have been the industry standard in regulating the flow of recirculating domestic hot water systems.
Particularly in large, populous commercial buildings, such as offices, hotels, and multi-dwelling housing, maintaining perfect hot water distribution was very challenging until Pennsylvania-based manufacturer ThermOmegaTech®, Inc. launched its self-operating temperature actuated CircuitSolver thermal recirculation valve (Circuit Solver) and set a new standard.
“Even people who are very knowledgeable with years of experience in the industry are impressed with what CircuitSolver can achieve,” shares Nick Tallos, vice president of engineering for ThermOmegaTech and 40-year industry veteran. “They ask, ‘where was this 20 years ago,’ and call CircuitSolver a game-changing technology.
However, ThermOmegaTech is no stranger to game-changing products. Since the company was founded by the late Fred Pirkle in 1983, it has been solving temperature control problems all over the country and the world.
“I was working with Fred before he started ThermOmegaTech,” recounts Tallos, in Warminster. “He was working as a sales representative for another company when he was offered a position in product development in Pennsylvania. A few years later, in the early 1980s, he decided to start his own company.
The facts are frightening – especially since the problem can be avoided.
Consider this: As many as one in 10 patients hospitalized in the U.S. contracts an infection, according to the Wall Street Journal. That means nearly 2 million patients annually are infected by a bacterium or other agents.
“I turned on the water in the shower and waited for 10 minutes. Warm water finally started flowing, however, it never lasted more than a minute and alternated mostly with cool to cold water.”
Image via Pexels.
That’s the exact quote extracted from an online review of a guest who rated a hotel in Pennsylvania on Tripadvisor.com. The reviewer gave the hotel a rating of two out of a possible five. The site is full of similar comments from guests complaining about how long it took them to get hot water when they wanted to take a shower or wash their hands.
In the hospitality industry, when a guest turns on the hot water in their room, most wait patiently for the water to run a while to the proper temperature. Guests do not like to wait too long for their hot water according to the International Hospitality Association.
In fact, they specifically address “the availability of hot water” as a factor for consideration in their quality standards and star rating systems that they set as the bar for multi-star ratings.
The cost to deliver domestic hot water to ensure customer satisfaction means the domestic hot water system must be balanced in a way that keeps the delivery time low. Until recently, that meant larger recirculating pumps, more recirculating flow, more wear and tear on your hot water system, and more cost.
Read more on Green Lodging News about domestic hot water systems.
In December 2009, a well-known manufacturing plant experienced a safety incident in which an employee was severely burned. The employee was exposed to a caustic chemical that sprayed out of a spigot and came in contact with exposed parts of his neck, hands, and arms. He was rushed to the nearest safety shower and thrust under a deluge of bone-chillingly cold 40°F water. Due to the extremely frigid water, his body’s natural reaction was to leap out before being completely rinsed of the harmful irritant. He was then transported to the medical office where the combination of not being fully cleaned of the chemical and the length of travel time led to worse burns than there should have been.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z358.1-2009 is used to help plant managers and safety professionals comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations requiring employers to provide a safe workplace. This ANSI Standard establishes the universal minimum performance required for all eyewash and drench shower equipment used in plants. It states that all flushing equipment must be located in easy-to-reach areas, with the eyewash station or shower accessible within 10-seconds. This has become referred to as the 10 second rule.
Additionally, eyewash stations and showers must be installed in well-lit and marked areas with a minimum flow rate of .4 GPM at 30PSI and 20 GPM at 30PSI respectively. The ANSI Standard also includes other design and operational specifications to assure that the safety showers and eyewashes are easy to use even in the case of an emergency by a victim with compromised mobility. Such features include valves that are easy to activate and will stay open once activated without having to hold a valve or handle open. OSHA regulations that apply to safety shower eyewash stations expand on the ANSI Standard requirements in certain high risk operations. For example, if open vessels containing hazardous substances are present, OSHA requires specialized safety shower and eyewash equipment to address the higher risks.
From the Bucks County Courier Times Success Through Diversity
“For 30 years, Warminster’s ThermOmegaTech® has been helping to protect locomotives with the smallest pieces of equipment — valves that keep water from freezing and damaging engines.
Today, under new ownership, the valve manufacturer is growing by diversifying its product line to include everything from commercial plumbing products to regulators for barbecue grills.
The company was founded in 1982 by Fred Pirkle — a “modern-day Edison” who held numerous patents, said current CEO Jim Logue.”
ThermOmegaTech® began by providing self-powered freeze-protection valves to railroad companies. Over the years, Pirkle and ThermOmegaTech® developed dozens of valve products. But railroads remain its biggest customer, and the company boasts of a 96 percent market penetration in the industry.
But it’s growing in other industries, as well, Logue said.
ThermOmegaTech®’s aptly named BBQ Guru division — which began as a side hobby for Pirkle — is now the company’s fastest growing business, Logue said. BBQ Guru makes temperature gauges for barbecue grills, and fields an award-winning barbecue team.
“We’re a custom valve manufacturer,” Logue said. “We do valves for all sorts of uses.”
Its newest product is the Circuit Solver®, which saves water and electricity in large buildings like hotels and apartment complexes by allowing the almost instantaneous delivery of hot water. In other words, no more waiting for the shower to heat up. Therm-Omega-Tech already has about 20 projects either underway or in the pipeline that will use the valve.
Keystone Edge recently profiled CEO Jim Logue for their “Innovation & Job News” section. Jim discusses ThermOmegaTech’s journey into Lean Manufacturing and the growth that we’ve seen with it.
“A few years ago, when CEO Jim Logue joined ThermOmegaTech, a Warminster valve maker, he found a solid, old-line manufacturer. Still, he recalls, the assembly shop and the machine shop were not clearly communicating, leading to inefficiencies and delays.
No more Since 2010, Therm has been “on a lean journey,” says Logue. Mentored by the Delaware Valley Industrial Resources Center, Therm has taken steps to eliminate waste in its manufacturing processes and, equally important, change the plant’s culture by sharing information and ensuring that all 60 employees understand the big picture.”
“We basically have empowered every employee to have a say in how to improve their work area, or what they see elsewhere,” says Logue. “It gives purpose to coming to work.”
Since adapting the principles of lean manufacturing, Logue says, people are working better and smarter and operations are more coordinated and efficient. The company has seen 70% growth in revenues in its top products and has grown jobs by 10%. Logue anticipates adding another three positions in the next six to 12 months.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.