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Demineralized water for district heating network

EnviroFALK supplies Stadtwerke Ulm’s district heating network with demineralized water

District heating will play an important role in the energy sector of the future. Not only for industrial companies and commercial enterprises, but also for local authorities and private households. SWU-Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm and the surrounding area supply around 200,000 customers with district heating. However, a district heating network requires treated water as a heat transfer medium.

Rohr und angeschlossener Ionenaustauscher in grünem Kreis

Treated water for district heating network

As a manufacturer and supplier of water treatment systems, EnviroFALK has focused on the energy sector for many years. The right choice of treated water depends on many factors. For example, the water quality in district heating networks is subject to AGFW worksheet FW 510 and VdTÜV data sheet TCh 1466. This is because the salts and other substances dissolved in the water, such as iron and manganese compounds, gases, silicic acid and various solids, can quickly lead to corrosion. Unchecked, leaks occur that allow the circulating water to escape. In the worst case, even small amounts of corrosion can clog aggregates and fittings.

Desalinated water for long-lasting corrosion protection

More and more operators of district heating systems are turning to low-salt water when it comes to minimizing corrosion and protecting the boiler system. There are various methods of extracting minerals from the water in the district heating circuit. Christoph Huchler, Technical Consultant for drinking and process water at Müller Service GmbH, contacted the experts for process water technology from EnviroFALK for the professional treatment of the circulation water in the district heating network of SWU-Stadtwerke Ulm/Neu-Ulm. Alois Müller specializes in energy and building technology (heating, ventilation, sanitary, refrigeration, electrical) and industrial plant engineering. In line with the company’s guiding principle “Focus on energy”, the emphasis in all projects is on innovative, cost- and energy-efficient solutions without compromising user comfort. Regionally connected and nationally active, the group of companies stands for solid craftsmanship and well thought-out solutions.

Ion exchangers ensure fast and reliable water treatment

After a detailed on-site discussion, the EnviroFALK ion exchange process proved convincing. On the one hand, the district heating water had to be treated quickly and reliably, and on the other, it had to score points for sustainability and environmental friendliness. Particular emphasis was placed on recycling the resins required for the ion exchange process, as disposable resins generate vast quantities of hazardous waste.

Sustainable treatment of ion exchange resins for water demineralization

Ion exchange resins, such as those used for the treatment of district heating networks, require sophisticated and environmentally friendly treatment. The experts at EnviroFALK have been familiar with this for more than 30 years. Extensive expertise that is reflected in the expanded regeneration center at the main site in Westerburg. After intensive planning and project management, a regeneration station was built in which only ion exchange resins loaded with heavy metal ions are treated.

Sebastian Groß, Head of Sales for Ion Exchange Resins at EnviroFALK: “Thanks to the professional treatment in the middle of Germany, the customer benefits from the highest resin quality and security of supply. In addition, our regeneration service avoids many hundreds of tons of hazardous waste.”

The processing of these resins is indeed technically very complex: In a first process step, the contaminated resins are carefully cleaned, freed of residues from the district heating network and separated according to their specific weight. This is followed by the actual regeneration and the subsequent combination of the previously separated ion exchange resins. At EnviroFALK, this is a highly automated process that is completed by strict quality control in the laboratory.

Pure separation of ion exchange resins

In addition, EnviroFALK has a special resin for every area of application that is precisely tailored to the guidelines for desalinated water – such as for district heating networks.

With EnviroFALK as a partner for water treatment

“It was extremely important for us to carry out the conversion and preparation for low-salt operation during ongoing operations. Without any loss of energy and within the agreed time frame of just three weeks. From the consultation to the implementation, everything went very smoothly. With EnviroFALK, we have a partner at our side who simply knows what is important,” adds Christoph Huchler, Technical Consultant for drinking and process water at Müller Service GmbH.

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