Air Management in Hydronic Piping Loops
This is a secondary chilled water pump in a large pump room designated for pumps and piping in a data center. After a few minor tweaks and corrections these pumps all operated flawlessly. There was very little issues with the secondary pump start-ups unlike the primary pumps where cavitation was encountered on the primary chilled water pumps and the condenser water pumps for the chiller. The diagnosis for the cavitation of the primary pumps and the condenser water pumps was that the loops were not properly purged and this caused those pumps to cavitate. The secondary pumps, pictured here, did not have that problem giving kudos to the team that purged the loops on this side of the chilled water system.
Air Management in Hydronic Piping Loops | Air Bubbles
Proper air management is important in any type of loop whether it is a chilled water loop or a hot water loop. As the air moves around in a closed loop over time it becomes de-oxygenated or it looses little air bubbles that is in all water.
Air Management in Hydronic Piping Loops | Risers
This air (tiny air bubbles) can build up in risers and other places that make it difficult to purge. When enough air builds up in the loop it can cause hydronic air block. New water is introduced to the loop system through the make-up water which normally comes from the municipal water supply or a well in rural areas.
Air Management in Hydronic Piping Loops | Conclusion
This water has these tiny air bubbles in it and these air bubbles need to be purged before they end up in the loop and trapped in one of the branch loop circuits or a riser. Typically there is an air management system in all chilled water or hot water loops where the air is purged. Sometimes you will find these systems at the expansion tank or where the make-up water enters the hot water or chilled water loop and you will also find these through the system on risers.