Marflow Hydronic Systems

The Crystal Gateway

The Crystal Gateway

The Crystal Gateway is a revamped day centre in Dudley that aims to help meet the specific needs of people with dementia. It required a flexible heating system with full end user control that could provide maximum energy savings.

The centre is being called a ‘Dementia Gateway’ by Dudley Council. It offers advice and support pre-diagnosis and, once diagnosed, respite care is available to suit individual needs long term. Each gateway offers a range of activity sessions as well as useful therapies. With care being at the core of the Gateway, a flexible heating system with full end user control providing maximum energy savings was required.

To provide this, Dudley Council worked with Biddle Air Systems, Gill Mechanical and Marflow Hydronics.

The Products

Axial Xterminator® valve assemblies were the product of choice, with BACnet controls pre-installed in to Biddle Fan Convector units. The Xterminator is a range of engineered terminal device connection sets which incorporates a suite of valves and fittings to optimise and maintain control of a fan coil, chilled beam or other hydronic unit. In this instance the units were supplied pre-assembled and pre-tested, fully prepared for installation into a fan convector making them very easy to install once on site.

Marflow Hydronics was chosen as the supplier as the company is a specialist provider of Pressure Independent Control Valves (PICVs). Axial PICVs were selected as the best products to use in the valve assemblies as the heating system was using a variable speed pump. A PICV is a multi-functional valve, combining the operation of 3 different valves in one convenient and compact unit, acting as a differential pressure control valve, a regulating valve and a 2-port control valve. The Axial design is selected when either a manually operated valve is required or when electric actuation is preferred. Rotary or Electronic options are also available depending on the system requirements.

In addition to the valve assemblies, Marflow Hydronics also supplied the actuators and controls thereby providing the End User with a balanced energy efficient system that could be changed at any point. This ensured that long term flexibility was planned in from the beginning, resulting in a future proofed system.

A total of 11 Fan Convector Units were installed and with a master network controller the End User Client is given absolute control of the system. With multiple application log ons so that all the right people have the authority, the system can be scheduled weekly, monthly and yearly using a basic calendar function so that rooms are only heated as and when necessary. This means that costs and energy are optimised at all times.

The Installation

Using the products chosen, the installation was made easy as all the local valves and controls were pre-fitted at the Biddle factory. The Contractors only had to run mains pipework and power to the units, saving a massive amount of time and costs.

The Contractor that completed the installation had never used the equipment before, but with training and support from Marflow Hydronics and Biddle they were able to deliver the Project on time, meaning that teamwork was a great strength to the project. Training was then offered to not only the Contractor, but also to the Consultant and the End User Client to ensure there was maximum understanding of the system by all interested parties and the true benefits could be optimised.

The Handover

The Crystal Gateway is now in daily use by Dudley Council and dementia patients. There are other expansions for the Dementia Gateway planned and Dudley Council is looking for the same system solution.

Martin Phillips, Marketing Manager of Biddle Air Systems, comments:

Using Marflow Hydronics’ Xterminator® valve assemblies we were able to provide the Contractors with fully pre-assembled Fan Convector units, saving considerable time on site. Even with the fact that the Contractors were new to the equipment, the ease with which the systems can be installed and commissioned and the great support that Marflow Hydronics offered meant that the project was completed on time and is now helping out people in Dudley, as was planned.

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