On several recent projects, we have had control contractors who have promoted the use of pressure-independent control valves (PICV). This has led to some interesting discussions about the costs and benefits of these valves.
The original concept of a PICV was basically a single casting that included both a control valve (generally a ball valve) along with a pressure regulator for flow control. In effect, it was a balancing valve and control valve in a single package. More recently, suppliers are starting to offer more sophisticated solutions that include logic as part of the valve assembly along with a control valve, flow meter, and optional temperature sensors. These electronic PICVs may be more cost-effective for larger sizes and offer additional benefits in terms of monitoring and control.