Sentinel, the leading water treatment specialists, are the only company in its sector to have funded an independent research programme into the benefits of chemical water treatment. The research was undertaken on their behalf by GasTEC.
This followed the changes in Building Regulations for Conservation of Fuel & Power (Approved Document L – England and Wales), confirmed in the Domestic Heating Compliance Guide that details how to comply with the new regulations. The guide specifically requires the use of chemical inhibitors for new build heating systems and when a new boiler is fitted to an existing heating system.
The guide says “Central heating systems should be thoroughly cleaned and flushed out before installing a new boiler. During final filling of a system, a chemical water treatment formulation should be added to the primary circuit to control corrosion and the formation of scale and sludge.”
This simple addition to Building Regulations saw an upsurge in companies entering the chemical water treatment sector, and sadly the arrival of some less than totally effective products on the shelves of merchants across the country. Clearly the effects of a quality, proven product like Sentinel compared to the effects of one that is 97% water and only 3% active ingredient will be very different. So Sentinel was keen to have independent confirmation that its products do 'exactly what it says on the can' – and differentiate itself from the less effective products that are available.
The independent research confirmed that sludge build up in radiators on a normal domestic heating system can reduce their overall effectiveness by as much as 15%. In addition, it says that proper cleansing of a system using a chemical additive to 'break-up' sludge deposits combind with a power-flush of the system will result in greater uniformity of radiator temperature and result in a reduced risk of system hydraulic imbalance. This is turn should lead to an increase in measurable overall boiler energy efficiency of 2%.
The brief for the research was to gain a greater understanding of the problems that inadequate cleaning and treatment of systems may cause, to quantify the loss in energy efficiency that may arise as a result and to quantify the consequential gain that can be expected from – and which is directly attributable to – correct cleaning and inhibiting of systems utilising the company's product range.
It is important to stress that the research relates to the use of Sentinel products – not chemical water treatment products per se – as many of the products on the marketplace were and still are recognised as being of vastly inferior quality.
The research project was based around a purpose-built replica of a simple domestic installation, comprising an 11kW condensing boiler and five radiators at two levels. The radiators were all extended surface single panel units and fitted with two lockshield valves. The hydraulic load of the system was accurately balanced.
The original concept of the research programme was simply to start with a clean system and determine its thermal efficiency, and then progressively foul the system by the addition of sludge taken from existing central heating systems. The effect of this on thermal efficiency was then monitored. A new boiler was then subsequently fitted, and the new efficiency level measured. This corresponded to retrofitting a new boiler without power flushing the system. The system was then power flushed and again the performance with the new boiler was measured. Finally, Sentinel X100 corrosion inhibitor was added and a long-term study of the performance of the system undertaken.
As a result of the research project, Sentinel now has indisputable proof that using the correct chemical water treatment products, in conjunction with a quality power flush system such as the Sentinel Jetflush 4 unit or the recently launched Jetflush Junior, has a significant and measurable effect on energy efficiency in domestic heating and hot water systems. Using quality products will provide an important extra efficiency boost to a system and added protection to a shiny new boiler.
Sentinel continues to introduce new products to its portfolio to help installers to do their job better, more quickly and with less mess! It's powerflush systems – the Jetflush 4 and the Jetflush Junior – especially when used with its award winning X800 Jetflo one visit cleanser, continues to return heating systems around the UK to as close to pristine condition as is possible. Its new Rapid-Dose dosing system has taken off in a big way, as the quickest, most flexible dosing system you can buy and its new system filter has been universally welcomed as a 'belt and braces' addition to an installers armoury, taking out metallic and non-metallic debris from a domestic heating system. And of course the X series of chemical water treatment products – X100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 800 and its leak sealer continue to be the UK's favourite chemical water treatment products.
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