Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Edited by Jenny Pickles,New Developments Section Editor
Keywords BSI, Water industry
Standards currently being drafted for physical water conditioners, do not reflect the use of these units in real life situations, and threaten to reduce choice for end users, warns the UK Physical Water Conditioning Association (UKPWCA).
Technical experts within the UKPWCA have evaluated the German DVGW W512 standard, a standard that could be used as the basis for a similar UK and European standard, and found a number of areas for concern.
The association has also consulted independent experts about its concerns. Dr Carl Jasper of BG Technology, who has been involved in devising test protocols for PWC over a number of years, has also assessed the standard: "It is clear to me that DVGW W512 does not form a good basis for a UK Standard," he commented.
In particular, the water temperature, convection patterns, heat flux, venting arrangements and feed water all differ from the conditions that would normally be found in residential, commercial or industrial heating systems.
This is at least partly because the test rig used for the standard has not been developed as a dedicated rig. Rather, it has been modified from equipment used for testing other kinds of equipment, so its usefulness for testing physical water conditioners is inevitably compromised.
In addition, the testing does not address the ways in which physical water conditioners function, namely by ensuring that scale remains in suspension and is flushed through the system. This is completely different from a water softener, which removes scale salts from the feed water, so the effectiveness of the two mechanisms cannot be measured in the same way.
As the proposed testing only involves very small volumes of synthetic water over a short period of time, it cannot be representative of conditions experienced in typical installations throughout the UK.
At the heart of this concern is the intention of the British Standards Institution (BSI) to develop a standard for physical water conditioners, based on the German model. The UKPWCA has now established contact with the BSI and has arranged for representation on the appropriate committees.
"We welcome the BSI's interest in physical water conditioners but we want to ensure that their investigations truly reflect the unique way in which these units function," explained UKPWCA chairman David Walker. "We are looking forward to working with the BSI to help them arrive at an accurate and meaningful assessment that end users can have complete faith in," he added.
The UKPWCA membership is made up of the UK's leading PWC companies, supplying physical water conditioning solutions for applications ranging from the largest multi-national organisation down to the smallest residential premises.
For further information contact: Paul Haddlesey, Market Force, 45 Oakroyd Avenue, Potters Bar, Herts EN6 2EN. Tel: +44 (0) 1707 665088; Fax: +44 (0) 870 056 2476; E-mail: email@example.com