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  • Writer's pictureBusy Energy Ade

Water Treatment in Residential Boilers - Can we remote monitor yet?

Only last week i saw yet again the ferrous sludgy evidence of a failing heating system that was shall we say 'fairly old' that had, had, numerous boilers connected to it over the years.

What astonished me though, was the actual physical amount of black sludge that was removed and collected during shall we say an 'assisted' flush, ahead of the new boiler being fitted....

Yes i understand that systems can be drained for repairs and decorating, and not always re-inhibited adequately, and some boilers slip the annual service net and hence become more at risk of premature failure, yes, I am a massive fan of filters as well.....

However, in this day and age 2017... where BS 7593:2006 Code of practice for treatment of water in domestic hot water central heating systems, is more than firmly established, and manufactures are visibly promoting 'best practice' and building regulations compliance, it seems despite this, that there is still room for thought and implementation into how to monitor the system and record the findings and address as required to help close risk gaps.

Yes, I am familiar with Laboratory testing services, random sampling, also basic toolbox measures that all can access, such as, recording the aqueous condition in PPM, using TDS meters during flushing, and then engaging in basic on site chemical testing before, during and post installation and during annual servicing.

But, the more i think about this situation, and the more we move towards automation and in effect eventually AI, (which is in the news this week) i wonder if there is a way we can cost effectively automate the measuring and sending of information from a metal based aqueous circuit (corrosion cell) to provide real life/real time feedback for water condition and or corrosive/scale conditions/levels within the water via 'a probe/thermister/resistor type device' and sending this data onto an App driven dashboard as part of a planned maintenance or installer managed customer service alert system.....

We after all seem slightly obsessed (me included) with monitoring energy savings via BMS systems, where renewable technology is concerned, metering heat, and also smart metering, but all we are theoretically doing here if this core issue isn't dealt with is monitoring what fuel is being burnt/used/consumed and maybe wasted... and not actually monitoring the technology at it's peak design efficiency, which drives energy savings and carbon reduction, and can impact on certain circumstances in regards to Fuel Poverty.

Open Therm for Boilers comes into scope from next year, but we still seem to have to rely on manual intervention to check on what can be one of the most damaging and costly consequences, not necessarily the incorrect flushing and dosing of a system but the ongoing preventive activity that according to what i saw is still in some circumstances very much needed.....

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