Resus develops, manufactures and sells corrosion sensors for use in central heating and cooling installations. How do the monitors contribute to sustaining these installations? We asked Erwin Vermeulen.
Vermeulen: “Installations involving water for central heating and cooling are becoming ever more complex and are therefore also more likely to break down. One root cause is the accumulation of sediment in the installation caused by corrosion. The Risycor corrosion monitor keeps permanent guard and means we can act promptly if things start to go wrong. This method is sustainable and circular, because we prevent defects, limit repairs and avoid waste. This is what gave our company its name: the RE in Resus stands for ‘reliability’ and SUS for ‘sustainability’.
On top of that, a clean central heating installation consumes less energy than a dirty one. After all, sediment reduces heat transmission and means more energy is required to achieve the same comfort. Besides saving resources, the lower energy consumption is also an important factor in sustainability. Our solution contributes to this as well."
How was your product invented?
“The development of Risycor began around 2008, as Karl Willemen was searching for a better way to prevent problems using predictive maintenance. There were already techniques involving corrosion measurement, but these were time consuming because they had to be done manually or on a visual basis. Alternatives are often more expensive and less practical. He devised a method to reverse the operating principle of a proximity switch and as such developed the ‘Risycor’, which has since been patented as an 'electronic coupon method’."
How does Risycor work?
“On the front of the probe of the Risycor, there's an iron coupon, which is installed where the water flows. When the plate begins to oxidise, due to oxygen infiltration, its mass is reduced. We turn this transformation into a value, which demonstrates the speed of corrosion in µm/year. If this goes above a certain threshold, the Risycor sounds the alarm. A dashboard charts the speed of corrosion, giving you a clear picture of what is happening and when.”
What are the advantages of your solution?
“The owner of the installation benefits most of all. The fact you can track down corrosion in good time means you can take preventive action if something threatens to go wrong. Many repairs (and the service kilometres they cause) can be avoided, but also raw materials and production costs of replacement parts become unnecessary thanks to predictive maintenance. On the other hand, the maintenance company can also provide a better service, because maintenance (and also down time) can be minimised and organised at a more convenient moment.”
Where does Resus conduct its activities?
“The development, manufacturing and sales are done entirely in Flanders, at our production unit in Bruges and head office in Merksem. We employ about ten people.”
Which markets does Resus target?
“Our main focus lies on owners and managers of larger installations in particular, such as those in hospitals, care centres, industrial buildings, warehouses, offices and schools. Thanks to Risycor, their total cost is much less in the long term, due to the fact that the cause of corrosion can be dealt with in good time and the replacement of expensive components can be avoided.
Not only that, we also advise research agencies to persuade them to include Risycor in their specifications. Boiler manufacturers also offer an extended warranty provided that Risycor is installed.
Finally, thanks to Risycor, an installer can develop a strong long-term relationship with the customer. In this case, he focuses on predictive maintenance rather than costly replacements, which are also time consuming.
Currently, we predominantly sell our product in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, and we have several ongoing projects in Scandinavia.”
Are there any new developments in the pipeline?
“We are developing an ecosystem based on the Risycor that focuses on reliability, sustainability and circularity in water-bearing installations for heating and cooling. Not only to provide an early warning to prevent problems, but also to be able to identify underlying causes remotely in order to automatically offer our customers very targeted advice.
You can compare it with a car which tells you that the brake pads will soon need replacing and that kind of thing. Field tests are currently being carried out with Risycor+ (which also logs pressure), and Risylog (which can log all kinds of water quality parameters). Meanwhile, there are also already patents for a Risycalc (for boiler scale), automatic detection of air bubbles in an installation and much more besides.”
What are your ambitions?
“We aim for greater awareness concerning predictive maintenance and corrosion monitoring, whereby it will become the norm, just like a smoke detector. Our ambition is for Risycor to become a standard component in every central heating and cooling installation in the world.”