Eqobrush FAQ


Does Eqobrush fit in our overall energy-saving strategy?

Absolutely! With Eqobrush you instantly eliminate all power and capacity losses that are caused by fouling issues. In chiller operations, these losses can run up to 30% of chiller power consumption, which can run up to 10% of the total consumption of a commercial building. This ranks Automatic Tube cleaning as a top attractive investment in any energy-saving plan. This white paper on energy saving in building management may be interesting for you. 

What are the parameters to monitor the effectiveness of Eqobrush?

‘The approach temperature (difference in temperature between cooling liquid out vs cooled liquid out) is the main KPI to demonstrate effectiveness. Any secondary KPI (such as COP or electricity efficiency) is very relevant, but it should be noted that other factors may impact these values. We will be happy to discuss suitable conditions to set up a test and monitor effectiveness in your project. Also, we can offer tools for remote monitoring of the system performance. 

What is the life span of the system components such as valve and cleaning brushes?

Brushes will only need replacement after 3-5 years, depending on your water treatment regime (1-2 years in brackish or seawater). 

The flow reversal valve will last as long as the main unit of the chiller or heat exchanger, up to 25 years. 

Does Eqobrush impact the normal operation of our system? For example, water flow or pressure loss?

Eqobrush causes a minimal pressure loss (<0.05 bar or 7 psi) to the system, due to the fact that there is no reduction of flow area through its design in either flow reversal valve or catch-baskets. The brushes rest outside the tubes in the baskets when they are not cleaning.  There is a temporary reduction of flow during the cleaning cycle, but the cycle lasts less than 1 minute every few hours. 

The fouling layer that occurs in systems without regular cleaning, even if only 0.5 mm thick, will cause much higher pressure loss and flow reduction. 

In any case, the ultimate purpose of your system is the optimal exchange of heat. The minimal (theoretical) pressure loss is irrelevant if this overall purpose is effectively met. 

I know about ball cleaning systems. Is Eqobrush comparable to that?

Brush and ball cleaning are not exactly the same. Both are effective strategies to mitigate fouling loss in your installation. The main advantage of brush cleaning lies in the fact that it means absolute worry-free operations: it requires minimal attention apart from an annual inspection. Balls on the opposite need constant attention and replenishment, and if ignored this system may spark further efficiency losses. Read this article if you wish to know more, or contact us. 

Eqobrush Selections

How do we select the right items for our project?

We will cooperate with you to come to a suitable selection for your project, during which we will verify water flow, pressure and quality as well as specifics of the units that you plan to clean. Please download our project form and send to us to receive a budget quotation. 

In the second stage, we will request a blueprint of the piping layout to identify the optimal location for the reversal valve. 

What are the design limitations for Eqobrush?

We install EQOBRUSH in Air-conditioning and industrial applications. Our standard flow reversal valves range from DN 100 to DN 700 (4″ – 28″), handling flow up to 900 litres per second. Larger diameters, e.g. power stations can be flushed with 4 butterfly valves. 

The cleaning brushes range in size from 10-30 mm. 

For our standard materials, the temperature of the cooling liquid is limited to 70 degrees Celcius. 

Nevertheless, as an engineering company we welcome your inquiries that may not fit within the mentioned limitations to jointly explore possible solutions. 

Can Eqobrush be retrofitted to our existing equipment?

Yes. When you use older equipment of previous generations, you may have extra benefits as equipment COP is lower. With its short payback period, it will still be economically worthwhile to invest in a cleaning system. Even when you replace the main unit, the main component of the Eqobrush system (flow reversal valve) can be connected and continue its service to your system. 

Financials: CAPEX and OPEX

What CAPEX investment does Eqobrush require?

We can efficiently prepare a budget quotation based on general information that you provide us through our project form. For a chiller application, the CAPEX in cleaning technology that will save double-digit figures on electricity consumption and extend the lifespan of your main unit with years, the investment is a fraction of the amount invested in the chiller itself, around 5%. 

What is the ROI I need to take into account?

As a rule of thumb, we state an ROI of 100% or a Payback time of 1 year. This may vary with your local situation’s specifics, such as electricity cost, carbon tax, energy investment subsidies etc. 

How much energy does the Eqobrush system itself use?

Eqobrush energy use is negligible, particularly in comparison to the gains it brings. The brushes are propelled by the water from the system pump, and the actuator (that runs in total up to 20 hours annually) will consume up to 100 kWh each year. 

How can I justify the investment in Eqobrush to management and decision-makers?

To justify an investment proposal, you may firstly clearly visualize the electricity losses caused by fouling. A method to do this is laid out in this white paper. It can simply be done in your current setup without any additional equipment other than reliable electricity meters on your chiller group. Don’t hesitate to talk to us for assistance on this. 

Operation and Maintenance

How long does the installation take and what pre-conditions need to be met?

The installation takes 2-3 days depending on the number of tubes in the unit. The tubes need to be cleaned before we can start the installation.
The valve is easy to install for local M&E contractors. Installation of the catch baskets takes a bit more time and will be supervised by our local representative. Contact us to discuss the details and watch a video on installation here.

What are the maintenance requirements for the Eqobrush system and do we need to train our staff for this?

Simple maintenance on the actuator gear (lubricant check) is the only requirement. In addition, we recommend an annual check on the status of the brushes. Our operation manual provides clear instructions on this topic.
The installation works simple and there is no training required. We assume that the people in charge of a cooling water system, have basic technical knowledge in case of calamities. Our service supports solving any issue.

Can we connect the control panel with the Building/Process Management System or the chiller?

This is possible. In case of this requirement, our engineers will communicate to have the right protocols in place.

Can we operate the cleaning system manually?

The control panel has a manual function override. It does not interrupt the programmed cleaning cycles.
In case of a temporary lack of power at the control panel, the valve can be manually operated by the handwheel.

How does a chiller react on a short flow reversal?

In normal operation, the chiller makes some noise during the flow reversal period. With sensitive chillers and/or badly performing cooling towers (meaning the cooling tower output temperature is over the design condition), the chiller might surge or even trip.
If this happens, we suggest connecting the Eqobrush to the chiller and managing cleaning cycles to be executed when the chiller load is down below the critical threshold. 

What to do when the main unit chiller or heat exchanger is out of service for an extended period of time?

The best practice is to keep the installation filled with cooling water. With the start-up after a longer period, we advise checking the valve-actuator function manually, before the starting automatic operation.
In case of a periodical stop, we advise a weekly manual cleaning session. In this case, the cooling water pumps need to be operated for the duration of the cleaning sessions.

Will the cooling tower be impacted by the dirt removed from the chiller?

The fouling materials that are washed out from the condenser or heat exchanger will not impact cooling tower performance. Nevertheless, we advocate regular maintenance of the cooling tower and removal of sediments from the basin is part of such a maintenance program.

Can I set or change the timer for the cleaning intervals?

The control panel comes with easy-to-use touchscreen control. Follow the instructions in the control panel manual and set the required cleaning times in the touch screen panel (admin function only).

Special situations

Why the brushes never get stuck in the tubes?

The brushes are precision designed with the nylon brush hair about 0.2 mm wider than the inner tube diameter and they travel (due to light friction of the brush hairs to the pipe wall), with half the speed of the water flow. All material is scratched from the pipe wall flushes out in front of the brush.
Since the brushing takes place at regular intervals, there is no real build-up of fouling, nor will there any crystallization between the cleaning cycles. With the brushes sized correctly and installed in pre-cleaned tubes, there is zero risk of brushes getting stuck in the tubes and causing blocking.

Can the flow reversal valve leak?

The shaft seal is a standard ship seal design with POM seals and a pressure plate. In the event of minor leakage of some water drops (may happen over time), the pressure plate can simply be tightened.

What happens if the valve got stuck in the middle of a cleaning cycle?

The actuator is equipped with torque and Amp sensors. In the event that the valve blocks due to external impact, e.g. big debris blocks the function, the valve will automatically run back to the end position.
In the event that frictions create a heavier torque, the same will happen and the valve will automatically run back to its end position.

In the worst-case scenario, just return the valve via the handwheel. 

If the system stops operating alltogether, what to do?

No problem. If Eqobrush stops working, your chiller or heat exchanger can continue its normal operation. Just make sure the flow reversal valve is returned to its operating position (return by handwheel if the interruption occurred during a cleaning cycle). Contact our support to get the system back to work. 

Can I set or change the timer for the cleaning intervals?

The control panel comes with easy-to-use touchscreen control. Follow the instructions in the control panel manual and set the required cleaning times in the touch screen panel (admin function only).

What happens with Eqobrush during a power surge?

In case of a power surge, the system may go into automatic safety shutdown. If this occurs in the cleaning cycle (also the chiller will shut down), the valve may come to rest halfway. When the system is back online, the alarm will show and the reversal valve will automatically return to its operational position. In case this does not happen, it can be manually set to operational position by turning the handwheel.