Points for LEED Certification using
Pressure Independent Control Valves, PICVs
By Torben W. Ibsen, CEO, M.Sc. (Mech.Eng.) and Christina Cohr, CCO, M.Eng (Export), FlowCon International ApS, Denmark
EA Credit 1: Enhanced Commissioning (up to 6 points)
This section contains amongst others a requirement of 10 months’ operation review, which the remote monitoring of the valves will allow through the BMS system. A log of valve performance can be created if programmed into the BMS system. In additional, the feedback signal can be used to notify of possible valve failures, and thereby proactively alert the maintenance personnel of possible problems.
EA Credit 2: Optimize Energy Performance (up to 18 points)
Commonly, PICVs are equipped with measuring points to confirm pressure drop across the valve. During commissioning, the pump should be trimmed to allow only the required minimum differential pressure at the system’s index coil. This will result in a system setup which at full load uses only the required pressure and nothing more. During partial load, the variable frequency drive (=VFD) pump will reduce speed and let the pump run at a more efficient point of its performance curve corresponding to the new reduced load requirements. Likewise, the chiller will operate at its optimized coefficient of performance, COP. And with the PICVs’ unique pressure independency, they will not be affected by system pressure changes, and will automatically adjust its orifice and reduce flow matching the lower load conditions.
EA Credit 3: Advanced Energy Metering (1 point)
By using FlowCon PICVs the system flow rates can be continuously monitored externally, allowing for data comparison between the actual performance and the predicted performance.
Materials and Resources, MR
MR Credit 1: Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction (up to 5 points)
PICVs are not only of beneficial use in new constructions but is certainly also welcomed during refurbishment and complete renovations of existing buildings. With the unique insert concept which FlowCon offers on all smaller PICV valves, reuse of flushing caps and valve housings is a possibility. The innovative PICV working is built into the insert, which can be replace for service or change-out without tampering with the pipework.
At the end-of-life-stage, FlowCon insert based PICVs can easily be separate for correct material sorting, proper recycling and recovery and thereby minimized waste.
Both will support positively in a building’s LCA.
MR Credit 2: Environmental Product Declarations (up to 2 points)
For all PICV valves, FlowCon can provide a CO2 invoice which documents each product’s embodied carbon.
Indoor Environmental Quality, EQ
EQ Credit 5: Thermal Comfort (1 point)
The FlowCon PICVs valve will increase the accuracy in the water flow control and the pressure independent function will improve the temperature stability. In conventional solutions with 2-way control valves and DRVs, pressure fluctuations will lead to flow fluctuations, which in turn will cause temperature fluctuations. To summarize, the pres-sure independent function, in combination with the overflow protection, will maintain the correct temperature in the zone.
The feedback feature ensures that the valves can be directly integrated into a permanent monitoring system to ensure that the building performance meets the desired comfort criteria.
IN Credit 1: Innovation (up to 5 points)
It is a possibility to link the FlowCon PICVs to the VFD pump and thereby ensure the optimal operation and improved efficiency. The valves have the innovative feature, allowing for the BMS system to monitor the actual flow rate without considering the exact differential pressure. It furthermore has the option of direct verification regarding among other actual valve performance, energy consumption, possible error codes and statistics, which can be used for addressing building maintenance.