Hydraulic separators (sometimes called low-loss headers) are used to remove both the air and dirt that circulate in heating and chilled water systems. They allow multiple pumped circuits to work independently, enabling cost-effective and efficient operation, especially with condensing boilers and boiler cascade systems.
The use of hydraulic separators is recommended to minimize interaction between primary and secondary circuits. The primary will typically work at a constant flow rate and the secondary at varying flow rate and water temperature. Together they work to keep the system balanced.
Hydraulic separators ensure that your system works efficiently which, in turn, reduces the risk of unnecessary downtime, minimizes maintenance and helps to keep energy costs in check.
How do they work?
The hydraulic separator separates the primary and secondary circuits by acting as a closely spaced tee, as is normally seen in traditionally primary-secondary piping. As well as separating the circuits, a hydraulic separator also provides air and dirt separation. A low-velocity area allows the air to rise to the top and sediment to fall to the bottom.
There are three possible flow paths. Each of these is dependent on the flows within the primary and secondary circuits. The hydraulic separators ensure the differences in volumetric flow between primary (flow) and secondary (return) systems. Excess energy doesn’t get sent back to the pump but instead goes back around the system. If the primary side isn’t needed it gets sent back round. This reduces the amount of work required by the boiler, which in turn means less energy is required and energy costs are kept in check.
Benefits of Hydraulic Separators
The key benefits of hydraulic separators include:
- The hydraulic separation of primary and secondary circuits
- The separation and venting of air from the system
- The separation and collection of impurities in the circuits
- Ease of installation and no complex piping
- Reduction in installation labour
- Reduction in piping and fittings
- Elimination of primary loop circulating pump, air separator, and strainer
An effective solution
Hydraulic separators provide an efficient and effective means to ensure separation between multiple pumped circuits. This allows each circuit to operate independently and to be controlled for optimum efficiency.
Hydraulic separators present a very low-pressure drop between the flow and return. They help to simplify your system, ensuring that flow from one circuit to another is prevented and reducing the need for multiple parts. It also improves and allows multiple circulators to operate independently without interfering with each other.
See our hydraulic separators here.