A common element of a hydronic pump system is turbulent water flow at the pump intake, which can shorten the lifespan of your system over time. A pump connector helps to create a steady, even flow of water into the pump, which reduces the amount of wear and tear on the pump by eliminating turbulence and pressure spikes. This helps to extend the life of your hydronic pump system by reducing the likelihood of premature failure. Metraflex offers two kinds of energy-saving pump connectors: suction diffuser flex and vane flex. Let's look at how each of these connectors works.
First, the suction diffuser flex uses a set of fixed vanes placed upstream of an elbow to utilize the principle of gyroscopic motion. This principle is based on Newton's First Law: "a body in motion tends to move in a constant speed and direction unless acted upon by an external force." The vanes in this pump connector are curved to make use of this principle and counteract the normal turbulent motion of the water caused by the elbow. This technology allows the water to navigate the curve in a more controlled manner and exit the elbow with a flat velocity profile, and the flatter the better. Check out the video below for a detailed breakdown of how the suction diffuser flex works compared to a normal suction diffuser.
Another energy-saving pump connector offered by Metraflex is the Vane Flex, which reduces water turbulence and requires less space to do so than normal piping. The required distance from the pump to the preceding valve is 10 pipe diameters. The vane flex eliminates the need for additional piping by reducing the turbulence coming off the pump discharge. It should be noted that, unlike the suction diffuser flex, there is no curve in the vanes of this pump connector. However, the straight vanes still have an advantageous hydrodynamic design for better system efficiency. The video below shows how water moves through a pump system with three different designs: pipe only, standard flex, and vane flex.
As you can see, there is hardly any turbulence in the vane flex model, which far surpasses the required 10-diameter pipe lengths of the first model. This is beneficial to any valves that immediately follow the vane flex because it reduces the wear on those valves.
By reducing the turbulence in the pipes of your pump system with energy-saving pump connectors, you will extend the life of your system, save money in the process, and save yourself a headache down the line. If you want to save money on your hydronic HVAC system, your local Hoffman Hydronics rep can set you up with the right energy-saving pump connector for you. Contact us today!