Spirotech will play up the need for giving clients ongoing training to tackle fears of de-skilling in the area of water conditioning that it warns is drastically limiting heating effectiveness
The heating industry is significantly lacking skills to ensure the effective design and maintenance of pressurised water systems, fluid conditioning specialist Spirotech has argued.
The company has said that a failure within the curriculum and wider ongoing training programmes to ensure widespread best practice in conditioning water used in heating both is limiting the effectiveness and durability of existing solutions on the market.
Rob Jacques, technical sales manager at Spirotech UK, said the company’s longstanding commitment to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiatives around more effective system design and protection would therefore be an increasingly important part of its product delivery.
He added, “Our industry has become incredibly de-skilled and I know this because we do post-graduate training and we bring students in from the energy companies and others in the sector and ask if they do any of this at college or university.”
“The answer we get is no. It is not in the engineering curriculum to talk about pressurisation and air and dirt [in a system].”
Two new CPD sessions entitled, ‘Deaeration and Dirt Separation Techniques’ and ‘Understanding Pressurisation Design, Installation and Implementation’ are now being offered by the manufacturer as part of a push to encourage more long-term approaches to designing and protecting systems.
The focus on development is being pushed alongside the launch of two upgraded vacuum degasser models that will allow remote monitoring and control of the units via LAN or Wi-Fi connectivity.
CPD is seen as particularly important for water conditioning as industry shifts away from larger traditional installations such as cast-iron radiators and steam boilers, towards smaller and more complex systems that make use of technologies such as heat interface units.
Mr Jacques argued that air and dirt in water had been much less of an issue for these larger systems and there was growing pressure to make customers understand the challenges in moving to more efficient technologies that may be more sensitive to dirt and other waste materials.
He said, “We have different materials and a much thinner grade of steel for instance. You look at a radiator now and you can these things in one hand. So oxygen and corrosion has a massive impact on that, compared to a cast iron radiator you may have seen in a school or university.”
“So the treatment and understanding of deaeration by consultants is very important , as is the actual correct installation.”
Mr Jacques added that the company believed that under existing practice, it was possible for newly qualified trainees to be given responsibility for complex, multi-million-pound systems such as an energy centres without sufficient understanding of pressurisation techniques.
He said that post-graduate students were also being offered separate CPD focuses to tackle concerns about de-skilling, as well as addressing longstanding industry failure to ensure standards are being met.
Mr Jacques added that pressurisation standards such as the BS 7074 code of practice were still not being followed on a significant level.
Alongside playing up the role of training in the use of its systems, the company has launched two new degassers that can offer intelligent control functions and maintenance support to ensure the longer life of heating systems.
The S400 and S600 models of the technology are intended to manage higher volumes of water in a system, while supporting more predictive maintenance support and allowing remote control functions via the cloud.
Spirotech has claimed that allowing for improved control of the technology to allow for continuous degassing of heating system liquid can ensure that the negative impacts of dissolved materials in a system are reduced.
Spirotech technical advisor Mark Boccetti said the degasser models were believed to be the first of their kind on the market that can offer a category 5 break tank and pressurisation functions in a single unit.