STVM Washdown Station combines steam, water, and safety in an easy to maintain package

Originally published in The National Provisioner.

In food processing, dairy, beverage, chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical facilities maintaining a clean environment is critical. High temperature washdown equipment is used to quickly and efficiently clean and sanitize equipment in place to keep production running on time. These washdown stations mix steam and cold water to provide hot water for facility clean up.

Maintaining competitor washdown units can be time consuming due to complex disassembly, special tooling requirements, and non-reusable components. ThermOmegaTech, a leader in self-actuating thermostatic valve technology, supplies an innovative solution to the challenge of difficult to maintain washdown units.

ThermOmegaTech’s STVM Washdown Station delivers a high temperature wash at a user-defined temperature using our proprietary Silent Venturi Mixing Valve (STVM) to combine steam and water. Our mixing valve’s design is self-scouring, which prevents mineral buildup in tight spaces and reduces maintenance frequency.

STVM Steam & Water Washdown Station

To minimize downtime during routine maintenance, the STVM Washdown Station has a simple cartridge design, which is removed with a wrench and cleaned in a descaling solution before reassembly. The station is in-line serviceable, so the operator simply switches out the STVM Cartridge with a spare and the unit is operating in minutes.

Worker safety is every facility’s priority, so we built it into our washdown’s operation. “The STVM Washdown Station has two safety features to keep your employees safe. One, the mixing valve is designed to reduce flow if the output temperature exceeds the factory set-point and will completely stop flow 15°F above that,” Nick Tallos, ThermOmegaTech’s VP of Engineering said. “Two, the unit has interlocking steam and water shut-off ball valves, so both inlets shut-off at the same time to prevent accidental steam-only, ‘hose full of steam’ operation.”

Due to the unique design of the STVM Cartridge’s water and steam mixing spool, the unit operates at around 20 decibels less than competitor washdown units. This reduces overall operator stress and improves workplace conditions.

The unit functions completely mechanically and requires no outside source of electricity to operate. Compact and reliable, the STVM Washdown Station is a beneficial addition to any facility.

Chemical production factory expansion to install 26 Therm-O-Mix® tepid water delivery stations

Originally published in Industrial Safety & Hygiene News

Safety showers and face/eyewash stations are a critical piece of equipment in any workplace where chemical spills are a potential threat. ThermOmegaTech®, a leader in self-actuating thermostatic technology, offers an innovative solution to the challenge of supplying safety fixtures with consistently tepid water on demand.

An industrial chemical manufacturer located in Ontario, Canada recently began a $2 billion expansion of their existing production facility. Due to the presence of potentially hazardous materials in chemical manufacturing, the installation of safety showers and face/eyewash stations was a plant necessity.

The company’s other sites had had success using ThermOmegaTech®’s Therm-O-Mix® Station for instantaneous tepid water delivery, therefore the Therm-O-Mix® Station was again selected for this expansion to promote overall conformity of safety equipment and procedures. ThermOmegaTech®’s TV/SC-A valve was also chosen to control the safety station enclosure’s ambient air temperature.

The Therm-O-Mix® Station utilizes only a facility’s existing steam and water supply to instantaneously deliver tepid water to emergency safety showers and face/eyewash stations. When an emergency fixture is activated, the resulting pressure drop on a diaphragm establishes flow and opens a steam control valve, which the station uses to heat cold water. The now hot water travels through an initial tempering valve that adds cold water and reduces the water temperature to about 100°F (37.7°C), then through a second mixing valve that adds more cold water and lowers the temperature to an OSHA approved 80°F (26.6°C), before being delivered through the emergency fixtures.

The expansion project included a mix of classified and non-classified environments. Equipment in the classified section of the plant needed to be explosion-proof due to the sensitive nature of the chemicals produced on-site and by selecting the Therm-O-Mix®, the facility avoided the need for an expensive insulation process.

“Our Therm-O-Mix® Station operates completely mechanically,” Timothy Hartung, industrial product manager at ThermOmegaTech® commented. “It doesn’t require a source of electricity to operate, so it’s the ideal tepid water delivery product for refineries and factories with explosion proof environments.”

A necessary addition to any new or existing facility to comply with ANSI Z358.1, the Therm-O-Mix® Station has a small footprint, does not require insulated tanks or expensive recirculation systems, and is self-purging so there is no need for an elaborate drainage system.

The Therm-O-Mix® Station was mounted onto the outside of a polar cubicle and plumbed to deliver tepid water to the safety showers and face/eyewash station inside of the cubicle.

To maintain the temperature inside of the cubicle at a level where users would feel comfortable disrobing for proper safety shower operation, ThermOmegaTech®’s TV/SC-A valve was selected to control the flow of steam.

A thermostatic actuator on the end of the TV/SC-A valve located inside of the polar cubicle monitors and responds to the ambient temperature inside the cubicle. When the temperature falls to the valves set point, the TV/SC-A modulates open to allow steam to flow through a radiation element, which is traced inside of the cubicle to warm it up. Once the ambient temperature has risen, the valve modulates closed again to conserve steam.

“Installation of 26 integrated units is currently underway at the facility and will be completed by the end of 2019.” Hartung commented.

Compact and reliable, the Therm-O-Mix® tepid water delivery station is an essential fixture in any facility where chemicals are being handled to ensure both worker safety and guideline compliance.

Check out the full article at ISHN.com.

Preventing Legionnaires’ Disease with DHWS Design

Legionnaires’ disease is arguably the hottest topic in the plumbing industry today.

First identified after an outbreak in 1976, this potentially fatal form of pneumonia is contracted by aspirating Legionella bacteria and presents with coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pain.

Since its initial discovery, the bacteria has been found to be pervasive in large-scale water systems, leading to offices, hospitals, hotels and other sizeable buildings to double down on their sanitization, identification and prevention efforts.

Legionella bacteria can be found in many domestic hot and cold water systems in trace amounts, but does not present a health concern until it colonizes, and the bacteria are atomized and aspirated. In warm, stagnant water, the bacteria can grow and multiply to high concentrations, which is when it becomes dangerous.

Organizations differ on the specific temperature at which the bacteria will grow, but the most common range stated for Legionella bacteria survival is 68°-122°F (20°-50°C). The bacteria is dormant below 68° (20° C) and does not survive above 140° (60° C).

The key to preventing Legionnaires’ disease is to make sure that building owners and managers follow a water management program. Unfortunately, there is no one guideline to follow on how to reduce the risk of Legionella growth and spread. Go to any ASPE meeting and ask the members what the best way is to prevent Legionella and you are likely to get as many different answers as there are attendees.

Organizations that mandate domestic hot water systems design guidelines and recommendations are similarly scattered and contradictory in their requirements, torn between the need for energy conservation and Legionella prevention.

ASHRAE, which touts energy conservation practices, suggests that temperature maintenance systems should be automatically switched off “during extended periods when hot water is not required,” whereas OSHA states that in the interest of Legionella prevention, DHWS should be excluded from energy conservation measures and run continuously…

To check out the full article visit pmengineer.com.

CircuitSolver Solves Bacteriological Problems

Being “first” often sets the bar high. As one of the first manufacturers of a thermostatic balancing valve for domestic hot water systems, ThermOmegaTech’s commitment has not just been to set the bar but also to raise the bar. Since the introduction of its CircuitSolver in 2012, the company has frequently added components, including ball valves, strainers, check valves and ProPress ends to meet customer demand.

In April 2018, the innovation continued with the launch of the CircuitSolver Union Sanitary Flush thermostatic balancing valve for domestic hot water systems. The union is integral with the valve body, which also has an optional integral check valve. A key feature of the CircuitSolver Union Sanitary Flush is the new capability to automatically balance a domestic hot water system during a high-temperature sanitary flush procedure.

In the following Q&A with ThermOmegaTech, Plumbing Engineer explores the features of the new product, including its ability to mitigate Legionella and other bacteriological problems.

PE: What makes CircuitSolver Union Sanitary Flush different from other valves on the market?

TOT: It has an all-stainless-steel construction for maximum corrosion resistance and durability. It is NSF61 and NSF372 certified — even though it seems that all components in a domestic hot water system (DHWS) should be certified and most plumbing codes and specifications say they must be, not all balancing valves are certified. The valve is completely automatic, thermostatically balancing both the standard recirculation temperature as well as the high-temperature sanitary flush cycle. No power, signal or powered actuators are required, as in some other such balancing valves.

ThermOmegaTech’s design is highly resistant to mineral buildup and the adverse effects of debris in the piping system. It is the only tamper-proof thermostatic balancing valve on the market. Other competitive devices are adjustable for several reasons: those manufacturers don’t manufacture their own thermal actuators as ThermOmegaTech does. They can not be as flexible and offer all the setpoint variations we can, so their valve is adjustable, making it prone to tampering and/or being set to a temperature other than what the designer specified.

With CircuitSolver Union Sanitary Flush, the plumbing system designer specifies the desired temperature and the valves are factory-set to that exact setting.

PE: What are the benefits or special features of the CircuitSolver Union Sanitary Flush that are specific to those designing and specifying thermostatic balancing valves for DHWS?

TOT: CircuitSolver Union Sanitary Flush brings the benefits of the standard CircuitSolver into high-temperature sanitary flush applications. There is no manual balancing required. It can simply be installed; once the system is turned on, within minutes the building’s DHWS is balanced…

To check out the full article visit PHCPPROS.com.

Controlling Hydraulic Oil Temperatures

With cooler weather on the way, you may not be too worried about rising oil temperatures, but the fact is, any industrial hydraulic system running higher than 140 degrees is too hot. Consider that for every 18-degree increase in temperature above 140 degrees, the life of the oil is cut in half. Systems that operate at high temperatures can produce sludge and varnish, which result in the sticking of valve spools.

Pumps and hydraulic motors bypass more oil at high temperatures, causing the machine to operate at a slower speed. In some cases, high oil temperatures can waste electrical energy by making the pump drive motor pull more current to operate the system. O-rings also harden at higher temperatures, leading to more leaks in the system. So what checks and tests should you perform if the oil temperature is higher than 140 degrees?

Causes of Heat Generation

Every hydraulic system generates a certain amount of heat. Approximately 25 percent of the input electrical horsepower will be used to overcome heat losses in the system. Whenever oil is ported back to the reservoir and no useful work is done, heat will be generated.

The tolerances inside pumps and valves are normally in the ten-thousandths of an inch. These tolerances permit a small amount of oil to continuously bypass the internal components, causing the fluid temperature to rise. When oil is flowing through the lines, a series of resistances will be encountered. For example, flow controls, proportional valves and servo valves control the oil’s flow rate by restricting flow. When oil flows through the valves, a “pressure drop” occurs. This means that a higher pressure will exist at the valve’s inlet port than the outlet port. Anytime oil flows from a higher pressure to a lower pressure, heat is generated and absorbed in the oil.

When a system is initially designed, the reservoir and heat exchangers are sized to remove the generated heat. The reservoir allows some of the heat to dissipate through the walls to the atmosphere. If properly sized, heat exchangers should remove the balance of the heat, enabling the system to operate at approximately 120 degrees F…

To check out the full article visit Machinery Lubrication.com.

Why Your Hydraulic Machine Probably Needs an Oil Cooler – and a Big One!

A lot of attention is paid to contamination of hydraulic fluid, usually viewed as dirt, water, and air. But heat is also quite detrimental to hydraulic fluid and may account as many component failures as “regular” contamination.

The inconvenient truth about hydraulic machines is they are heat-generating systems. They are not unique in this respect: Energy conversion and control with 100% efficiency remains elusive. But it’s my contention that unavoidable inefficiency, which manifests as energy contamination of the hydraulic fluid, does not command the attention it deserves.

With the exception of the reservoir, every component in a hydraulic system is a heat-generating device. The process of moving hydraulic fluid through a conductor from A to B results in pressure drop and, therefore, heat generation. Installing depth filters to control particle contamination also creates a pressure drop, which increases heat load. Pumps and motors leak internally, resulting still more heat-generating pressure drops. The charge pump on a hydrostatic transmission is 100% heat load. In open circuits, heat-generating orifices, throttles (in all their various forms), and hydrostats are installed to control direction, flow, and pressure—and loads are counterbalanced by installing hydraulic resistance.

The point is that energy wasting-pressure drops are a fact of life in hydraulic systems. They can (and should) be minimized, but they can’t be completely eliminated. So let’s stop ignoring the elephant in the room. Because if left unchecked, energy contamination is just as problematic as particle contamination, and arguably more so.

Energy Contamination Affects Lubrication

Adequate lubrication of hydraulic components and efficient power transmission both depend on appropriate oil viscosity. If hydraulic fluid temperature is allowed to exceed that required to maintain viscosity at around 20 centiStokes (cSt), the likelihood of boundary lubrication—resulting in friction and wear—increases dramatically.

he temperature at which this point is reached depends on the fluid’s viscosity grade and its viscosity index (VI). The VI is a measure of an oil’s resistance to change in viscosity with a change in temperature. An oil with a high VI is often called a multi-grade oil. Multi-grade oils are often specified for equipment that must operate in cold. The high VI helps prevent the oil’s viscosity from increasing (thickening) at low temperatures. However, a high VI also helps prevent its viscosity from decreasing (thinning) at high temperatures.

In other words, the critical temperature as far as viscosity is concerned can be relatively low or high, depending on the oil being used…

To check out the full article visit Hydraulics & Pneumatics.

Upcoming Shows & Conventions 2019

Conventions 2019

Stop by our booth and learn how ThermOmegaTech’s innovative solutions using thermal actuator technology can protect your equipment, simplify your design, and improve your process.

Aerospace & Defense

MRO Americas
April 9th-11th Atlanta, GA

Commercial Plumbing

ASA ELEVATE2019
Women in Industry
April 30th – May 2nd San Diego, CA

ASA Emerge2019
Emerging Leaders
May 20th – 22nd Denver, CO

AIM/R Annual Conference
September 11th – 14th Walt Disney World

ASA Network 2019
Sept 25th – 27th Washington D.C.

ASPE Tech Symposium
October 24th-27th Pittsburgh, PA

Industrial

Safety 2019
Professional Development Conference & Exposition
June 9th – 12th New Orleans, LA

Railroad

ASLRRA 2019 Connections
April 6th-10th Orlando, Fl

Rail Supply Chain Summit
May 9th Chicago, IL

Railway Interchange
September 22nd-25th Minneapolis, MN

Sweetening the Deal with EcoFlow Valves

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.

CHALLENGES

  • This plant faced several challenges prior to their 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 VALVE HELPED

ThermOmegaTech® EcoFlow valves were placed on the seal water outlet of their pumps’ double mechanical seals to control the seal water temperature…

To check out the full article visit Modern Pumping Today.

Keeping Cool for the Sake of Safety

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 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…

To check out the full article visit Modern Pumping Today.

Upcoming Shows & Conventions 2018

Conventions 2018

Stop by our booth and learn how ThermOmegaTech’s innovative solutions using thermal actuator technology can protect your equipment, simplify your design, and improve your process.

Commercial Plumbing

CMPX 2018
Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition
March 21st – 23rd Toronto, Canada

ASPE  2018
Convention & Expo
September 28th – October 3rd Atlanta, GA

Railroad

ASLRRA 2018 Connections
April 7-10 Nashville, TN

Innotrans 2018
September 18th – 21st Berlin, Germany

Aerospace & Defense

Sea Air and Space
The Navy’s Leque’s Global Maritime Expositon
April 9th – 11th National Harbor, MD

Upcoming Shows & Conventions 2017

Conventions 2017

Stop by our booth and learn how ThermOmegaTech’s innovative solutions using thermal actuator technology can solve your temperature control issues.

ASLRRA 2017 Connections
April 22-26 Grapevine, TX

Valve World 2017
June 20-21 Houston, TX

RSI 2017 Railway Interchange
September 17-20 Indianapolis, IN

AeroTech Congress & Exhibition
September 26-28 Fort Worth, TX

ASPE 2017 Tech Symposium
October 19-22 Montréal, Québec

Drain-tempering Valves Limit Discharge Temperatures

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 live casino australia 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.

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Winter is Here. Protect Your Exposed Pipes

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 harsh effects of the Winter is susceptible to freezing and bursting. As you can imagine this can create havoc in critical systems.

Winter is Here. Protect Your Exposed Pipes HAT/FP Freeze Protection Valve There are many ways to heat these pipes, but in the 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 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.