A GUIDE TO SELECTING THE RIGHT BOOSTER SET  

Low water pressure? Finding a suitable cold water booster set is essential to install a pressurized system that is fit for purpose. Our experts offer free consultations so you can tell us what you need before you spend a penny. Action Pumps can offer custom pump designs for any pumping application, including hand, wind, solar, electric, petrol or diesel pumps, for various applications and end-users. 

By providing high-quality pumping solutions for the building services, drainage and sewage, irrigation and water utility markets, our core objective is to ensure your water flows smoothly. Manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, chemical processing, and marine are among our niche markets that require specialized knowledge. 

   

What is a booster set? 

Technically, it is a multi-pump skid-mounted system that automatically maintains system pressure and consists of: 

  • A variable speed drive is typically used to drive two or more pumps. 
  • Expansion vessels, manifolds, and valves 
  • Sensors, control gear, and BMS interface systems. 

 

Booster sets are helpful for many applications, from providing water supply pressure to drinking fountains and washrooms to pressurizing critical fire suppression systems, irrigation systems, car washes, water treatment systems, industrial processes, and many more use booster sets. They have two major components: a booster pump and an accumulator tank. Home, hospitals, schools, offices, hotels, industrial, and commercial sites can benefit significantly from variable speed booster sets. The modern booster set maximizes efficiency, minimizes water consumption, and reduces energy consumption – and can be retrofitted into existing systems. 

   

How does a booster set work? 

There are provisions in the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 intended to reduce waste, misuse, and contamination of water. Under these regulations, water cannot be pumped directly from the mains at a rate higher than 12 litres per minute. 

As a result, if the incoming supply is insufficient to meet demand, the mains water supply feeds into a storage tank and is stored at atmospheric pressure until it is pumped around by the booster. A booster set is a device that increases the pressure of a water system. A storage tank is filled with mains water, stored at atmospheric pressure before being pumped around the system by a booster set. The system will also incorporate a backup or standby pump to ensure an uninterrupted supply in the event of a pump failure. 

   

The importance of Booster Sets 

Water conservation has become increasingly important in the UK in light of the forecast for extreme heatwaves in the coming decades. The UK consumes an incredibly high amount of water per person (around 150 litres) compared to other European countries. Urbanization and population growth will continue to increase water demand, so water conservation is critical. Booster sets play a vital role in the preservation of water. Booster sets can reduce water usage and save money while reducing environmental impact. 

Compared with standard booster sets, variable speed boosters can save up to 50% on energy because they only deliver the required pressure when needed. In addition to benefitting the environment, this will also save money. 

The intelligent control also prolongs the life of parts (such as motor bearings) and the pump itself and reduces the footprint of the applications (large expansion tanks are not required). 

   

Choosing the right booster set 

In the current climate of energy conservation, it is even more critical than ever to choose the right booster set, and identifying essential data is the key to this process. Almost every project will involve making assumptions about this data. Due to this, the data needs to be over-specified to ensure that the pump system can handle the demand. 

 

 

Normal Flow Rate calculation: 

Determining the optimum number of taps, showers, and any other combination of baths/showers/taps essentially balances technical aspects against financial ones. On a technical level, it is simply a question of how many people could use the system at one time; industry standards such as CIBSE can be used to guide decisions here. Informal surveys or limited trials may also give helpful information. 

 

Calculated peak demand flow rate:  

To calculate the peak demand flow rate, you can use a simple formula: Flow rate = flow quantity/time in seconds. If your project has a staggered shower usage pattern, then you should visit during different times of day and on other days of the week to get an accurate number. The demand flow rate for residential and commercial buildings will vary, so a hospital and hotel, for example, will have very different demand flow rates. 

 

The static height difference between the supply tank water level and the highest outlet on the system:  

Booster sets are set up and installed to ensure sufficient water pressure is obtained at the highest outlet. The vertical distance between the supply tank water level and the highest outlet on the system is a measure of the static height difference between these points. 

 

Highest outlet pressure required: 

Building designers determine the pressure required at the highest point; for example, an upper-floor shower in a three-storey building may need at least 3.0 bar pressure. The duty head pressure can be calculated by adding the required pressure to the static height and friction loss figure (see below). 

 

Friction losses at peak flow rates:  

The size of the interconnecting pipes should be checked as there would be a significant drop in pressure through the system if the pipework is too small. Suitable pipework will be required to deliver the pressure through the booster system. 

 

Redundancy needed for emergency or maintenance cover at peak demand:  

Based on the flow rate specified, one pump could cover the total duty flow, or two or more pumps could be equally distributed. It is possible to provide 50% redundancy by having three pumps (each pumping 50% of the peak flow rate required). Therefore, if one pump failed, the other two could still operate successfully. 

 

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