Corrosion risk returns in horticulture through more economical heating

Contamination or even blockages and stuck valves due to corrosion are not what growers want in heating systems. The importance of venting these systems is therefore well known. However, as more economical heating lowers the temperature of water in heating systems, the same dangers appear again. As an expert in water quality, Spirotech likes to point growers to solutions that prevent corrosion, even in heating systems running at lower temperatures.

For that reason, Area Sales Manager Martijn Worst was at GreenTech Amsterdam last June, on Zantingh's stand. Via Zantingh, Spirotech's systems have been finding their way into horticulture for years. The Helmond-based family business is also active in the utility sector. There, Martijn, who serves the market in the Netherlands, saw the temperature of heating water drop years ago. Sustainability was the driver here. "Vacuum degassers have now taken off in this sector."

Martijn at GreenTech Amsterdam 2023

Venting differently
The roots of Spirotech, which operates internationally with its own sales teams or through dealers, are in utility and residential construction. Basically, it's a very simple story, Martijn says, regarding what the company does. "In heating or cooling systems, there is water, very often tap water. That water contains oxygen. Generally around 30%. If you heat traditionally, water reaches boiling point at 80 to 90 degrees Celsius. At that moment, oxygen is released. We can capture those oxygen bubbles. That way, we remove oxygen from systems, and no corrosion occurs."

The systems Spirotech uses for this purpose are called microbubble air separators. The new developments call for a different way of venting. Vacuum degassers are used for this, but these are still little known in horticulture, notes the Area Sales Manager. "By no means is everyone aware of the corrosion risk that is now once again around the corner when heating with lower temperatures. And actually, it is quite simple. When I tell people, you soon see the lights above their heads come on, so to speak. Water, oxygen, and iron result in rust if you don't do anything about it."

Spirotech heating system on-site in Helmond

Higher efficiency
At the water quality expert, they speak of low-temperature heating systems at water of around 50 to 60 degrees Celsius and below. "That is also the tipping point where you have to start thinking about venting in a different way." Spirotech has the solutions for this in-house. The company makes the devices itself in the Netherlands. Integration in horticulture, for example, is quite possible. "You need power, and the installer has to make two connections to the heating system. One to drain water and one to return the water that has been deoxygenated."

Those asking what is needed will, in almost all cases, end up with one vacuum degasser per system. "We calculated in cubic meters per hour. Our smallest degasser is already suitable for systems up to a volume of 100 cubic meters of water. Larger systems can even handle up to 300,000 liters of water content. Such systems are already running in district heating projects." Martijn's point is that a heating system of any size is not a problem in horticulture. An additional benefit of proper venting is that heating systems can achieve greater efficiency. "With a properly vented system, efficiency can increase by 12 to 13 percent," he says.

For more information:
Spirotech BV
Churchilllaan 52, 5705 BK
Helmond, the Netherlands
Tel.: +31 492 578 989


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