District heating operators from across Europe attend energy conference organized by Austria’s leading ball valve manufacturer
KLINGER Fluid Control is Austria’s leading valve manufacturer. One of its focus areas centers on raising the awareness of existing and potential customers regarding the benefits of ball valves in district heating applications. In addition to a presence at fairs and on-site presentations, the company therefore also organized and held the District Energy Days in July and October. This conference was attended by district heating operators from across Europe.
“The District Energy Days organized in July and October 2019 were held as a brand-neutral event,” explains Michael Heide, Sales Area Manager of KLINGER Fluid Control. He adds: “Our intention was to share knowledge on ball valves with district heating operators from across Europe. Furthermore, we wanted to inform them about the benefits this product offers for both the business and their processes.”
“The District Energy Days organized in July and October 2019 were held as a brand-neutral event,” explains Michael Heide, Sales Area Manager of KLINGER Fluid Control. He adds: “Our intention was to share knowledge on ball valves with district heating operators from across Europe. Furthermore, we wanted to inform them about the benefits this product offers for both the business and their processes.” True to the word of its host, the conference provided in-detail answers to numerous questions posed by the industry: For example why ball valves should definitely be considered to avoid scaling effects in geothermal applications. Or how the European standard EN 488:2015* differs from its 2011 predecessor. The attendees subsequently learned what the new regulation implies in terms of the requirements for pre-insulated bonded pipe systems in directly buried hot water networks. Last but not least, the third and final presentation held in the course of the District Energy Days served to prove that the ball design, i.e. a hollow ball with or without a flow liner or a solid ball actually determines the performance of a district energy ball valve.
* This European standard specifies requirements and test methods for valves of prefabricated thermally insulated valve assemblies comprising a steel valve, rigid polyurethane foam insulation and an outer casing of polyethylene for use in directly buried hot water networks with pre-insulated pipe assemblies in accordance with EN 253.
“We firmly believe that theory and practice should always be presented together. It was very important for us to also enable our participants to see the technology employed in a modern valve production process up close here at KLINGER Fluid Control, and to then witness their utilization in a real-life scenario.”
District Energy Days brings district heating operators from across Europe together
“Our District Energy Days definitely caught the attention of the industry,” states Markus Krachler, Sales Area Manager at KLINGER Fluid Control, “we were able to welcome guests from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands and Romania in July. In October we were pleased to see a second round of delegates from Austria and Hungary among our attendees. They were joined by district heating operator colleagues from Greece, Denmark, France, Iceland, Poland and Ukraine.” According to Mr. Krachler, the resounding success of the conference has two main reasons: On the one hand, the invited companies are not in a state of competition with each other, resulting in an open platform from which everybody can mutually profit.
Second, the event not only offered in-depth knowledge regarding ball valves, but also provided a hands-on experience with regard to their production and subsequent application at Wien Energie, one of the largest providers of district heating services in Europe. “We firmly believe that theory and practice should always be presented together,” states Xaver Gruber, Managing Director of KLINGER Fluid Control, “as a consequence it was very important for us to also enable our participants to see the technology employed in a modern valve production process up close here at KLINGER Fluid Control, and to then witness their utilization in a real-life scenario. In this context I would especially like to thank Wien Energie for allowing us to visit with our delegates.” Based on feedback received from the participants, the trip to Wien Energie was definitely the undisputed highlight of the District Energy Days. Next to an extensive tour of the plant and its impressive transport network that spans roughly 1,100 kilometers, the guests were also introduced to the company’s state of the art control room for the distribution of heating capacity loads, the waste combustion facility and the cooling center.
Ball valves guarantee maintenance-free, long-term operation without scaling effects
Summarizing the insights gained in the course of the two District Energy Days, Mr. Xaver Gruber states: “Thanks to their extreme durability and zero maintenance requirements, high-quality ball valves represent the ideal choice for district heating applications, both above and below the ground level. This is especially important for the latter, where a buried valve should remain tight and fully functional for more than 30 years without the need of having to revisit it.”
KLINGER Fluid Control’s Managing Director also believes that the attendees have been convinced of the superiority of ball valves in geothermal applications. As the corresponding reference case highlighted, ball valves feature flow characteristics that negate the formation of scaling effects at the valve and therefore do not lead to costly service, repairs and downtime for the operator. He concludes: “I am of the opinion that our combination of ball valve expertise and practice-oriented elements such as the manufacturing plant and district heating facility tours are an asset for the industry. I am therefore already looking forward to sharing knowledge in the course of the 2020 edition of the conference.”
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
To whom are the District Energy Days addressed?
The District Energy Days are an industry event for district heating operators from Europe on the subject of ball valves. In 2019, district heating operators from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, France, Iceland, Poland, Ukraine and Romania joined the network.
What is the program of the District Energy Days?
The District Energy Days take place twice a year. As an open networking platform, the event offers numerous opportunities for exchange in addition to the conference. Best Practice presentations and a live visit to a district heating plant are offered, too.