Spelsberg IP66 TK enclosures specified by Watersavers

31st August 2007
ES Admin

UK company Watersavers is using IP66 TK enclosures from Spelsberg to house the controls for the company’s new SOV-100 automatic water shut off system. The system has been designed with BREEAM guidelines in mind and can save thousands of pounds every year in reduced water wastage. The Spelsberg enclosures satisfied a long list of requirements, from transparent lids in order to view status LEDs through to PCB mounts, extra wiring space and an aesthetic exterior that would suit smart commercial premises.

Watersavers shut off controls are designed to reduce costs and prevent water wastage in public and commercial buildings, something that needs to be done when you look at the figures: If you take the example of a person leaving one tap running overnight (12 hours) it will use approximately 6480 litres of water over 12 hours (Environment Agency figures) at an average cost of 0.70GBP/m3 and a worst case scenario where a tap is left on in a building each night that will cost the business 1,679GBP per annum. A simple dripping tap which is far more likely will use a staggering 10,940 litres a year, both examples represent avoidable wastage.

Watersavers range of Shut off Valves are designed to isolate the water supply to certain areas of buildings e.g. toilets, shower blocks, and commercial kitchens when unoccupied (at night, weekends and holiday periods) thereby preventing water wastage and also protecting buildings from potential damage from running taps, burst or leaking pipes. An optional Building Management System interface also allows the units to be easily integrated into more sophisticated building automation systems, communicating their status and flagging up any operating issues immediately. Businesses that employ these units can make substantial savings on water bills.

The range is led by the SOV-100, a 240v fully specified control with multiple PIR sensor and solenoid valve capability. The control components are PCB mounted, and need to be housed in an enclosure that provided easy PCB mounting, a clear lid for visual inspection of LEDs and plenty of space for easy wiring by electrical fitters and contractors. Spelsberg TK enclosures matched these requirements while also providing a high level of ingress protection, IP66 as standard, they are manufactured in a plastic material that will not corrode, provides protection from UV and mechanical impacts and looks good to boot.

The SOV-100 is supplied with one or more PIR sensors (either mini-ceiling or single-gang style) to detect occupancy in the designated areas. Brass solenoid valves (in sizes from 1/2” to 2” BSP) are then controlled to shut off the water supply when the area has been unoccupied for a pre-set time period which can be set from 10 to 150 minutes. A test mode and status LED’s are provided to assist installation and to confirm operation. Wiring the enclosures requires IP66 cable glands to be pre-fitted, and Spelsberg offer precision NC drilling of enclosures and gland fitting as part of their service.

Stuart Richards of Watersavers comments, ‘we see this technology as a cost effective alternative to the installation of multiple mechanical and electrical controls in buildings, sales are growing rapidly and this would suggest there is a big market for the units, they tend to be specified by architects and building systems engineers, who can see the benefits of using them in delivering a more efficient and environmentally friendly facility. Using these items in new buildings also helps to achieve desirable BREEAM credits by eliminating unnecessary water wastage.'

These items are also being used in retrofit situations by facilities management departments, facilities contractors, local councils and utility organisations. Particularly in public conveniences where there is little care taken of water wastage and taps are frequently left on, a presence detector and a shut off valve can save thousands of litres of water. A simplified battery operated version, the SOV-50 has been specially designed for use in remotely situated buildings such as public toilets, camp site shower blocks and washrooms, village halls etc.

All Watersavers controls are manufactured at the company’s factory in Norwich, the products have a reputation for longevity and the company advocates a 'repair rather than replacement' policy to it’s products in the field, an extended life requirement also meant that quality was a crucial aspect to the decision of which enclosure to house the control components in and the Spelsberg unit proved ideal. This is a serious commitment and when the products do reach the end of their service-life and can’t be repaired Watersavers request that customers return them for safe recycling.

Watersavers frequently works with architects and mechanical designers to produce custom engineered solutions. The Spelsberg TK enclosures range includes hundreds of sizes and options; this provided the flexibility Watersavers needed to satisfy the bespoke side of the business. All design work including programming, printed circuit board layout and manufacture is carried out at the company’s UK factory and having a huge range to chose from means that variations can always be satisfied.

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