FAQ on RetroFIT+
Q: What does the "+" symbolize in the RetroFIT+ title?
A: The "+" symbolizes the additional value that Belimo contributes to retrofit projects. Belimo offers a lot of products that are perfectly suited for renovation projects, including damper actuators, control valves, sensors and meters. If an adapter or linkage is required, our extensive range of retrofit accessories ensures a straightforward on-site installation process. If our standard offerings do not include the ideal replacement product, we also provide the option for customized products and linkages. Our support and application consulting extend beyond supplying the correct product though. Belimo's sales managers and application specialists are dedicated to helping you determine the optimal approach for your renovation project.
Q: Is retrofit only about energy saving?
A: No. Not only can retrofit projects increase energy savings, they can also improve occupant comfort, reduce carbon emissions and lead to the preservation of building value through renovations.
Q: Does RetroFIT+ cover both the air and water sides?
A: Yes. We have a wide range of damper actuators, sensors and control valves which perfectly fit a large variety of renovation projects.
Q: I have several hundred 25-year-old thermal actuated valves installed in our office building, and they are still functioning. Can I simply upgrade the actuators and leave the valves as they are?
A: Yes, you have the option to upgrade just the actuators. However, we strongly recommend considering a complete replacement of both the valves and actuators. These older thermal actuators are known for their high power consumption, and by upgrading to newer technology, you can significantly reduce operational costs. Furthermore, given the age of your valves, there may be pipe contamination, leading to occasional valve sticking. The most critical concern is that older valve technology tends to develop leaks that worsen over time. In this case, we highly recommend replacing the valves with tight, self-cleaning ball valves. This not only eliminates maintenance costs but also results in long-term operational cost savings and ensures the future-proofing of your system.
Q: During your RetroFIT+ event, you mentioned a minimally invasive approach to retrofitting. Can you elaborate on what this process entails?
A: The minimally invasive retrofit approach focuses on avoiding major, disruptive actions like replacing boilers or chillers right away, which often require significant investments and can disrupt ongoing operations. Instead, we recommend starting with smaller retrofits, such as integrating technologically advanced field devices to improve the efficiency of your existing systems. These initial steps help identify areas for improvement and allow for gradual enhancements to your overall system. These actions can often be aligned with your existing operations budget, making the process smoother and less disruptive.
Q: As a Consulting Engineer, I find retrofit projects can be quite complex. Does your company aim to take over my role?
A: Not at all. Our goal is to enhance your capabilities and support your work. We've expanded our resources, including hydronic and ventilation support within our sales teams, and integrated digital tools to streamline your daily tasks. Our primary objective is to provide you with comprehensive support and simplify your professional endeavors.
Q: How do we determine when it's time to replace a Belimo actuator, and are there any preventative maintenance tasks we should perform?
A: Belimo actuators require zero maintenance. The geartrains are oil-less, eliminating the need for grease, oil, or any other type of preventative maintenance.
The decision to replace an actuator depends on various factors. However, it's essential to note that Belimo specifies and guarantees a minimum operational cycle for all our actuation products. This includes 1,000,000 partial cycles and 100,000 full open/close cycles.
Q: I have some old actuators on valves, and I’m unable to find a direct replacement. Is it possible to replace just the actuator with a Belimo product, or do I need to purchase an entirely new valve and actuator?
A: Whether you should replace the entire valve assembly or retrofit just the actuator depends on several critical factors, including the condition of the valve and the ease of replacement. Additionally, valve technology has advanced significantly over the years, so it's essential to consider both your current needs and the future performance goals for your building. If you decide to retain the existing valve and retrofit the actuator, we offer various solutions for actuators and linkages. You can explore these options using our RetroFIT+ App or the RetroFIT+ Product Replacement Tool on our website to find the most suitable replacement solution for your specific situation.
Q: Is the RetroFIT+ App only suitable for Belimo products or does it also work for 3rd party products?
A: The RetroFIT+ App is primarily designed for 3rd party actuators, valves, and sensors, and it provides replacement options from Belimo.
Q: How does the RetroFIT+ App identify a product when a picture is taken, especially if it's not a Belimo product?
A: The RetroFIT+ App employs Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality to recognize the type code of a 3rd party product. It then searches for a corresponding result in our RetroFIT+ database based on the recognized code.
Q: If the quality of water is not perfect, do you recommend protecting the Energy Valve with a pre-filter, like a simple strainer?
A: Yes, it is advisable to install a strainer when dealing with potentially contaminated water.
Q: Is it accurate to say that you replace a closing damper with a modulating damper actuator and control its position based on CO2 levels?
A: Yes. To regulate CO2 levels, we replace a closing damper with a modulating air damper, typically in a VAV (Variable Air Volume) system. This VAV component is essential for balancing the aeraulic system.
Q: Can the Belimo globe valve retrofit actuators be mounted on all types of globe valves?
A: We offer a universal globe valve actuator that is compatible with a wide range of globe valves, covering over 90% of cases. If you have a special globe valve to be motorized, we also provide options for customized linkages. You can use our RetroFIT+ App's "Measure and Motorize" section to check the valve spindle dimensions and determine the appropriate replacement product.
Q: Why is the Energy Valve well-suited for renovations?
A: Upgrading to an Energy Valve is like installing a state-of-the-art energy efficiency device. When integrated into an existing system, it effectively eliminates hidden water flow circulation during standby periods. Furthermore, the Energy Valve provides valuable data and complete system transparency, making it easier to enhance the performance of an operational system.
Q: Which retrofit applications are suitable for the Energy Valve?
A: A good place to start with the Energy Valve is using it toreplace conventional control valves, typically at the equipment level, such as Air Handling Units. Retrofitting can be staged, for example, by starting with the Chilled Water system and building on that. Each installation of an Energy Valve immediately increases efficiency and savings potential while providing transparency into system performance.
Q: Is the Energy Valve powered by a battery or wired to a power source?
A: The Energy Valve is wired and receives power through Power over Ethernet (PoE).
Q: Up to which DN is the Energy Valve available?
A: The Energy Valve is available up to a nominal size 150.
Q: Why isn't the connection between the Energy Valve and inputs such as CO2 or thermostats made wireless for faster installation?
A: Our Energy Valve and CO2 sensors are equipped with BACnet or Modbus connections to facilitate communication of energy demand from the room to the production system. This wired connection ensures reliability and compatibility with building automation systems.
Q: The majority of buildings continue to rely on traditional Mechanical Ventilation and Balancing systems. How can we persuade end users to consider applying the Energy Valve?
A: The most compelling approach to convince end users is to highlight the transparency that the Energy Valve brings to their application. Typically, customers initiate the retrofit process by implementing one Energy Valve at a specific point. Once this part of the installation is optimized, and the benefits are realized, the gradual addition of more Energy Valves to the system becomes feasible.
Q: Do you offer an Energy Valve with an IP65 rating?
A: No, we do not have an Energy Valve with IP65.
Q: Can integrating the Belimo Energy Valve with a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) provide additional benefits compared to using just a VFD-controlled pump?
A: The valve positions of electronic pressure independent valves like the Belimo Energy Valve give a perfect image of pressure drop created by the valve. With the pump optimizer concept, you can optimize the valve's pressure drop and decrease the pump's speed with the VFD. The Energy Valve also has an integrated Delta T Manager to optimize the flow and maintain the desired delta T. A VFD is essential for the Delta T Manager to function effectively.
Q: We've noticed that after activating the Energy Valve's low Delta T manager, several AHUs have shown reduced energy output. Is this energy saving from the Energy Valve, or are we only reflecting flow savings to the customer? How can we incorporate this into the payback calculation?
A: After installation, you can initially monitor the Energy Valve's performance without the Delta T Manager activated, which provides a baseline consumption figure. After a certain period, you can activate the Delta T Manager to generate energy savings. The resulting reduction in energy consumption can be factored into payback calculations.
Q: Is electric more expensive than pneumatic?
A: Ultimately, it depends on your perspective and situation. The total investment will be greater if you don't already have a building management system. However, the increased efficiency will help pay back the investment, and often, incentives are available to mitigate the costs further.
Q: I'm confused about why pressure independent valves are better than globe valves. Our BMS controls the discharge air temp by moving the valves with a PID loop, so the system is already auto-tuning. Why would I need the PI products or is it just for buildings without BMS?
A: This question requires a lengthy explanation. We recommend reaching out to your local Belimo sales representatives or viewing our free training sessions that cover this topic.
Q: How long does it take on average to amortize the costs of the new devices?
A: The time it takes to amortize the costs of new devices through energy savings can vary depending on the real case installation and usage. However, in many cases, the amortization period falls within the range of 1 to 3 years.