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Research Papers

Modeling and Simulation of a Mixing System With Water Saving Function

[+] Author and Article Information
J. D. D. S. Corte-Real, V. A. F. Costa, J. A. F. Ferreira

Departamento de Engenharia Mecânica,  Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 3(3), 031004 (Aug 12, 2011) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004108 History: Received November 05, 2010; Revised April 25, 2011; Published August 12, 2011; Online August 12, 2011

This work focuses on the modeling and simulation of a mixing system for domestic use, which includes the water saving function. Water to be saved is the cold or partially cold water that reaches the mixing valve through the hot water inlet, as the tube length between the hot water source and the mixing valve is initially filled with cold water. Water saving function is obtained through a storage tank for accumulation of the initially cold or partially cold water, which is later used to feed the cold water inlet of the mixing valve. The accumulation system is designed such that accumulated water is preferably used than the cold water coming from the main cold water supply/distribution system to feed the cold water inlet of the mixing valve. Modeling considers fluid flow through the internal chambers of the system, the pressure evolution of water when flowing through the internal chambers of the system, and the temperature evolution of the separated and mixed water flows along the system. Simulation of the overall system is made using specialized tools to deal with stiff equations’ systems. Results show that, under real conditions, potable water savings of nearly 80% can be obtained relative to the water that is usually lost.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic representation of the proposed system, where the main elements to refer are M1 and M2 , command levers to control the flow of hot and cold water, respectively; 1, hot water inlet in the mixing valve; 6r, cold water coming from the main cold water distribution system; 10, mixing valve water outlet; PF, perforated fixed disk; B, dilatable bulb; H, perforated sliding piston, linked through rod 4 to a solid piston; R, sliding piston of the water selector system; AR, check valves; RC, internal flow resistances; KM, KR (combined), springs; 2, 3, 3r, 4, 4r, 7r, 8, 9, internal chambers of the system

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Figure 2

Flow chart with the main steps of the numerical solution strategy

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Figure 3

Response of the system to a cold water demand, with the accumulation reservoir initially fully charged

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Figure 4

Response of the system to a hot water demand, with the accumulation reservoir initially empty

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Figure 5

Response of the system to a command on both command levers, with the accumulation reservoir initially empty

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Figure 6

Response of the system to a cold water demand only, and a partial opening of the exit tap

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Figure 7

Sensitivity results obtained changing the the linear expansion coefficient of the bulb α and the spring constants Kr and Kr by 5% below and above their nominal values

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