District heating pipe network supplier Flexenergy has introduced a pre-insulated valve system for Polybutene (PB-1) pipe applications, which it claims to be a first in the UK.
“V-Flex will transform the ability of operators to control and service PB networks by delivering zonal control via pre-insulated valve technology that can be fusion welded directly to the main network,” according to a press release from the firm.
The valve innovation includes a key-operated steel ball valve inside a polyethylene casing, insulated by PUR foam, and incorporates PB tails for a fully welded connection to a Polybutene pipe network.
“The V-Flex valve system means it is now possible to create an all-plastic fusion weld to the main network, thereby avoiding a secondary joint, with its inherent weakness,” said Sandy Fairley, Sales Director at Flexenergy.
This is the first such pre-insulated valve system to be available for plastic pipe systems and will be welcomed by DHS designers for providing much greater control over heat networks. In effect, it means that the valves can be used to shut down entire networks or to isolate individual streets/ properties. This makes network maintenance much easier and can also facilitate network extension.
The valves can be specified for single or twin pipe applications and come in a number of chamber sizes (to accommodate depth variation) in order to provide flexibility in network or zonal control. In practice, V-Flex technology means that in the case of a burst, the affected area of the network can be isolated rather than the entire system being shut down. Each chamber provides easy access to the valve, and includes a lockable lid as an option.