V-Flex – Providing Zonal Control up 160mm District Heating Mains

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Latest News

As interest grows in district heating applications using pre-insulated polybutene (PB) and Cross Linked Polyethylene (PE-X) ‘plastic’ pipes.  Specifiers want control mechanisms that add value beyond thermal efficiency and system life cycle cost.

Energy Efficient

PB and PE-X products from research studies reduce heat loss potential over steel networks. The effect is the ability to reduce boiler source temperature (and enhance efficiency). As a result more extended replacement schedules because plastic networks do not suffer from the same corrosive limitations as steel.

This creates a number of benefits for scheme owners and operators.  Improved overall energy efficiency, lower long-term system life cycle costs and extended operational periods between pipe replacements.

Zonal Control for district heating schemes
V-Flex pre-insulated valves for zonal control

Now plastic network specialist Flexenergy has introduced a new larger sized valve – 160mm.  The 160mm addition to the V-Flex range provides larger distribution mains with more effective control – an innovation that works for community heating schemes, biomass CHP and heat recovery networks.

V-Flex introduces new levels of control to district and community heating schemes, enabling sectors to be easily isolated for maintenance and network extension”, explains Sandy Fairley, Sales Director at Flexenergy.

“Larger sized valves such as the new 160mm enables operators to control and service much bigger plastic networks by delivering zonal control.  They are fusion welded or mechanically jointed directly to the main network.”


The valve incorporates a key-operated steel ball valve inside a polyethylene casing, insulated by PUR foam.  The range incorporate pipe tails for connection to the pipe network using a range of tried and tested jointing techniques.

This is the first pre-insulated valve system for plastic pipe systems and are welcomed by District Heating System designers. The valves provide much greater control over heat networks. Valves can be used to shut down entire networks or to isolate individual streets/ properties. As a result making network maintenance much easier and facilitate network extension.

The valves range in sizes up to and including 160mm and can be specified for single pipe (25mm-160mm) or twin pipe (25-63 mm) applications. The valves are available with a range of pre-drilled chambers and cover variants suitable for carriage/roadway or footpath installations.