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Wireless monitoring control
Published:  01 October, 2014

With increasing concerns over illegal circulator pumps entering the UK market, Xylem strives to ensure that its solutions are fully compliant with the latest regulations. HVP visited the company in Italy to find out more.

Non-compliant circulator pumps are entering the UK market from China and the Far East, raising concerns about market surveillance across the European Union.

The warning from water technology provider Xylem comes after the British Pump Manufacturers’ Association’s recent visit to the National Measurement Office (NMO) in the UK, demanding action on imported circulator pumps which fail to meet the standards.

The NMO confirmed that tests had recently been carried out in Denmark on 15 different circulators that had been placed into the UK market. Ten of the 15 pumps tested failed to meet the required standards and were deemed to be illegal.

Peter Agneborn, global business unit director HVAC at Xylem, said: “We are now seeing a number of non-high efficiency pumps which do not meet the standards set out by the European Union in the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive coming into the market.

“These pumps look like the new high-efficiency models but do not perform to the standards required in operation.”

The circulator pumps were tested in accordance with the criteria and standards referenced in the ErP Directive, which require an Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) value of 0.27 efficiency. It is expected that the European Union will now approach those manufacturers whose products failed to meet the required standards, with the potential for prosecutions to follow.

Mr Agneborn says the HVAC sector must be vigilant. “The entire HVAC industry is threatened by copycat non-complying products appearing on the market. These pumps failed to meet the standards which came into force in 2013 and it must be remembered that the ErP Directive will require even greater efficiency again from August 2015 when a minimum EEI value of 0.23 is required.”

He continued: “It is vitally important that effective market surveillance is put in place across all EU member states in order to stop this trafficking of non-compliant pumps. We intend to support the efforts of the British Pump Manufacturers’ Association in raising these concerns and hope their efforts meet with a robust response from the EU.”

Wireless communication

To further enhance its range of high efficiency commercial circulator pumps, Xylem has introduced the Lowara ecocirc XLplus which allows end users to wirelessly monitor and alter the pump’s performance from a computer or smart device.

As with the ecocirc XL, the latest model is a large wet rotor circulator pump complete with energy-efficient electronically commutated permanent magnet technology. With a flow rate of up to 70m³/h and a head of up to 12m, the ecocirc XLplus has been designed specifically for domestic, light industrial, commercial heating, cooling systems, solar systems, ground source heat pumps and secondary hot water systems.

However, the distinguishing factor of the ecocirc XLplus is its wireless communication ability. With the addition of an optional built-in Wi-Fi module, end users are able to remotely monitor the pump’s operating parameters and check for any warning indicators, as well as set the most appropriate control mode depending on the time of day or temperature.

End users can also alter the control modes through the use of a standard Wi-Fi enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC.

The ecocirc XLplus is available in 84 models across eight different ranges, including single, twin and bronze for secondary hot water applications. Spherical rotors are available in the 25-40,

25-60, 32-40 and 32-60 models. It’s shaftless and the permanent magnet rotor/impeller unit is the only moving part which also features Xylem’s Anti-Block Technology.

The ecocirc XLplus also features a built-in air purge facility, digital display with human interface, and with an EEI value well below the minimum requirement set out in the ErP Directive.

All pumps in the ecocirc XLplus range have five different control options, including constant pressure, proportional pressure, constant speed, differential temperature control and night mode. The night time setback option automatically reduces the power consumption of the pump to a minimum when the heating system is not in operation, further reducing overall energy bills.

The ecocirc XLplus can also be used in installations with Building Management Systems as the pump range is available with either ModBus or BACnet hardware installed directly into the circulator. Additional features are external start/stop, signal relay and analogue input 0-10v or 4-20 mA.

This article first appeared in the September 2014 issue of Heating, Ventilating & Plumbing.