Electric Actuated Gate Valve
What is an Electric Actuated Gate Valve?
The electrically actuated gate valve utilizes the linear motion of its electric actuator, controlled by electric voltage and signals, to dictate the opening or closing of the valve. Such electric gate valves allow for remote operation, subsequently reducing labor expenses and boosting productivity. The Hearken electrically actuated gate valve uses an electric actuator to command its operations. This electric mechanism, typically situated atop the gate valve, offers remote control capabilities. Electric actuators can be categorized into three main types:
- Linear Stroke: This modulates the valve by moving it vertically to adjust the valve's aperture. Examples include single-seat, double-seat, sleeve, and Y-valves.
- Quarter-turn: This actuator rotates the valve between 0 to 90 degrees to modify its opening. It's suitable for eccentric butterfly valves, ball valves, rotary valves, and plug valves, among others.
- Multi-turn Actuators: With rotations exceeding 360 degrees, these are ideal for gate and globe valves. The actuator's output shaft rotates beyond a complete circle, typically requiring multiple rotations to achieve full valve control. Hearken stands out as a leading producer of electric gate valves, with its reputation built on superior quality.
The Structure of Electric Actuated Gate Valve
The primary shell or casing that houses the internal components and provides the main fluid containment. It's typically made of materials like cast iron, ductile iron, stainless steel, or carbon steel, depending on the application.
This is the top part of the valve body, providing access to the internal components for maintenance or repairs. It's securely attached to the body, often using bolts, and houses the stem and actuating mechanism.
3. Gate (or Disc)
The heart of the valve, the gate is a flat or wedge-shaped element that moves vertically to start or stop the flow. When fully raised, the fluid flows freely, and when fully lowered, the flow is completely blocked.
This slender rod connects the actuator or handwheel to the gate. When the actuator turns or moves, it's the stem that transfers this motion to the gate, raising or lowering it.
Typically made of a durable and wear-resistant material, the seat provides a sealing surface for the gate. When the gate is closed, it presses against the seat to create a watertight seal.
6. Handwheel or Actuator
This component is used to operate the valve. In manual gate valves, a handwheel is turned to raise or lower the gate. In electrically actuated gate valves, an electric actuator performs this function.
The yoke is a kind of bracket that connects the body of the valve to the actuating mechanism. It houses the stem and provides a guide for its vertical movement.
8. Gland Packing
Located around the stem, this ensures a tight seal, preventing leaks while allowing the stem to move freely. It's typically made of flexible materials like graphite or PTFE.
9. Gland Flange & Gland Bolt
These components compress the gland packing around the stem, ensuring a tight seal. The flange holds the packing in place, and the bolt provides the necessary compression.
Found in some gate valves, the backseat provides a sealing surface for the stem, preventing leaks when the valve is fully open.
How does an Electric Actuated Gate Valve work?
1. The Core Component: Electric Actuator
At the heart of this mechanism lies the electric actuator—a device that transforms electrical energy into mechanical motion. In essence, it's the puppeteer that pulls the strings, directing the valve's operations.
2. Signal Reception
Our journey begins when the actuator receives an electrical signal, typically from a control system or manual input. This signal dictates whether the valve should open, close, or hold its current position.
3. Translation to Mechanical Motion
On receiving the signal, the actuator's internal motor springs into action. Depending on the design, it may rotate a shaft or employ a linear motion mechanism. The movement's nature is often determined by the valve type and its application.
4. The Main Event: Gate Movement
The actuator's motion directly influences the gate (a flat or wedge-shaped component). When the actuator moves, it either lifts the gate to open the valve or lowers it to seal off the flow path. The gate's position determines the flow rate, ranging from fully blocked to entirely open.
5. Feedback Mechanisms
Modern electric actuated gate valves often come equipped with sensors that provide feedback. These sensors constantly monitor the gate's position and relay this information back to the control system. This feedback loop ensures accurate valve positioning and swift response to any adjustments.
6. Safety Protocols
For scenarios where something goes awry, many actuators incorporate fail-safe mechanisms. In case of power failures or signal disruptions, these systems can automatically close the valve or lock it in its current position, ensuring safety and minimizing potential hazards.
7. Manual Overrides
Sometimes, old-school hands-on intervention is required. Many electric actuators feature manual overrides, allowing operators to manually control the valve in the absence of electrical power.
What does an Electric Actuated Gate Valve use for?
1. Water Treatment Plants
Here, precision is paramount. Electric actuated gate valves regulate the flow of water, ensuring a seamless treatment process, from initial filtration to final purification.
2. Oil & Gas Industry
In the intricate dance of extraction, processing, and distribution, these valves play a pivotal role. They manage the flow of crude oil, natural gas, and refined products, offering remote operation and ensuring safety.
3. Power Generation Plants
In both conventional and nuclear power plants, controlling the flow of coolants, steam, and other fluids is crucial. Electric actuated gate valves offer precise control, aiding in efficient energy production.
4. Chemical Plants
Handling a myriad of chemicals, from the benign to the volatile, requires precision and safety. These valves ensure that chemicals are mixed, stored, and distributed in a controlled manner, mitigating risks.
5. HVAC Systems
For large commercial and industrial setups, managing the flow of coolants in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems is essential. Electric actuated gate valves ensure optimal system performance.
6. Mining Operations
In processes like mineral extraction or wastewater management, these valves offer precise control, ensuring that slurries and liquids flow or halt as required.
7. Irrigation Systems
Agriculture thrives on water management. Electric actuated gate valves help manage reservoirs, canals, and drip irrigation systems, ensuring that crops receive the right amount of water.
8. Marine & Shipping
Onboard ships, these valves are employed in ballast systems, fuel systems, and wastewater management, ensuring safe and smooth voyages.
9. Fire Safety Systems
In situations that demand rapid response, such as fire sprinkler systems, these valves can be actuated remotely, ensuring timely water flow to douse flames.
10. Food & Beverage Processing
Hygiene and precision are kingpins here. Electric actuated gate valves control the flow of liquids, from raw ingredients to finished beverages, ensuring quality and consistency.
The Main Advantages Of Electric Gate Valve
1. Remote Operation
Electric gate valves can be operated from a distance with the push of a button or through a control system. This capability is invaluable in hard-to-reach or hazardous locations.
2. Precision Control
Thanks to their electric actuators, these valves offer impeccable accuracy in modulating flow. Adjustments can be made down to the minutest details, ensuring optimal flow rates.
3. Reduced Labor Costs
Automated operation means fewer manual interventions. This translates to cost savings as there's less need for constant on-site personnel.
4. Enhanced Safety
Electric gate valves minimize the need for manual handling, especially in extreme conditions or environments with potential hazards, thereby reducing the risk of accidents.
5. Consistency & Reliability
With electric actuation, the valve's operation remains consistent over time, minimizing errors and deviations. This consistency ensures the longevity of the system and reduces maintenance needs.
Electric gate valves are adaptable and can be integrated into various control systems, be it PLCs, DCS, or SCADA, offering seamless operation across diverse applications.
7. Energy Efficient
Compared to some other actuation methods, electric actuators are often more energy-efficient, leading to long-term operational savings.
8. Quick Response Time
Electric actuators respond swiftly to control signals, enabling rapid valve actuation, which is essential in emergency scenarios or systems requiring rapid adjustments.
9. Fail-Safe Mechanisms
Many electric gate valves are equipped with fail-safe features that can automatically close or lock the valve in its current position during power outages, ensuring system safety.
10. Manual Override
In situations where electrical operation isn't feasible, many electric actuators offer manual override options, providing flexibility and ensuring uninterrupted operation.
Features of Electric Gate Valve:
1. Electric Actuation
The valve leverages electric power to actuate, using motors that translate electrical signals into mechanical movements.
2. Remote Operation
One of its shining features, this valve can be operated remotely, making it suitable for locations that are either hard to reach or potentially hazardous.
3. Precision Flow Control
Thanks to the electric actuator's precision, the valve offers fine-tuned control over the medium's flow, allowing for adjustments that are both minute and accurate.
4. Fail-Safe Mechanisms
Many electric gate valves come equipped with features that automatically revert to a safe position (either fully open or fully closed) in the event of a power failure or signal disruption.
5. Manual Override
In circumstances where electrical actuation might falter, many models offer a manual override option, ensuring the valve's operation remains uninterrupted.
6. Robust Construction
Constructed to endure, these valves often boast materials resistant to corrosion, wear, and tear, ensuring longevity, especially in challenging environments.
7. Feedback Systems
Integrated sensors frequently monitor the valve's position, relaying feedback to a central control system. This continuous monitoring ensures accurate positioning and swift responses to adjustments.
8. Compatibility with Control Systems
Electric gate valves seamlessly integrate with various control systems, from PLCs to SCADA, offering a harmonious operation across a range of applications.
9. Energy Efficiency
Electric actuators, in comparison to some other types, can be more energy-efficient, often leading to cost savings in the long run.
10. Compact Design
Given their electric actuation mechanism, these valves often exhibit a compact design, making them suitable for installations where space might be at a premium.
11. Sealing Mechanisms
To prevent leaks and ensure optimal operation, electric gate valves often incorporate high-grade seals, designed to be both durable and effective.
Applications of Electric Actuated Gate Valves
1. Water & Wastewater Treatment
These valves take center stage in controlling the flow of water, ensuring seamless purification, filtration, and distribution processes.
2. Oil & Gas Sector
From extraction sites to refineries and distribution networks, electric actuated gate valves ensure precise flow control of crude oil, natural gas, and other petrochemicals.
3. Power Generation
In power plants—be they nuclear, coal-fired, or hydroelectric—these valves regulate the flow of steam, coolants, and other essential fluids, contributing to efficient energy production.
4. Chemical & Pharmaceutical Plants
Handling diverse chemicals and solutions requires precision. These valves control the movement, mixing, and storage of various chemicals, ensuring safe and efficient processes.
5. HVAC Systems
In larger commercial and industrial HVAC setups, these valves modulate the flow of coolants and refrigerants, ensuring optimal temperature regulation.
6. Mining & Mineral Processing
Electric actuated gate valves manage the flow of slurries, wastewater, and other fluids, ensuring smooth operations in mineral extraction and processing.
7. Agriculture & Irrigation
These valves find their use in large-scale irrigation systems, reservoirs, and dams, ensuring crops receive the precise amount of water they need.
8. Marine & Shipping Industry
On ships and maritime setups, these valves are pivotal in managing ballast systems, fuel transfers, and wastewater disposal.
9. Food & Beverage Production
Sanitation and precision are crucial in this industry. Electric actuated gate valves ensure that liquids, from raw ingredients to final products, flow at the desired rates, maintaining hygiene and product quality.
10. Pulp & Paper Industry
From managing the flow of raw pulp slurries to controlling the release of wastewater, these valves play an essential role in paper production processes.
11. Fire Protection Systems
In advanced fire safety setups, electric actuated gate valves can be employed to regulate water flow in sprinkler systems, offering rapid actuation in emergencies.
Material of Electric Actuated Gate Valves
1. Body & Gate Material
Carbon Steel: Widely used for its durability and strength. Suitable for many standard applications, especially where corrosion isn't a significant concern.
Stainless Steel: Known for its anti-corrosive properties. It's ideal for corrosive environments like chemical processing or marine applications.
Bronze: Offers excellent resistance to corrosion from sea water or other harsh conditions.
Cast Iron: A more economical option, suitable for non-corrosive and lower-pressure applications.
Ductile Iron: Combines the cost-effectiveness of iron with enhanced strength and flexibility.
2. Sealing Materials
Graphite & PTFE (Teflon): These materials are commonly used for seals and gaskets due to their excellent resistance to heat and most chemicals.
Nitrile Rubber (NBR): A general-purpose seal material that resists oils and many industrial chemicals.
Viton: Known for its high-temperature resistance and excellent chemical compatibility.
3. Stem Material
Stainless Steel: This is the most commonly used material for valve stems due to its strength and corrosion resistance.
Brass: An alternative to stainless steel, offering decent corrosion resistance in certain applications.
4. Actuator Housing
Aluminum: Lightweight and resistant to corrosion, it's often used for the outer housing of electric actuators.
Stainless Steel: Used for actuators in highly corrosive environments.
To enhance their lifespan and resistance, many electric actuated gate valves are coated with:
Epoxy Coatings: These provide a durable, corrosion-resistant layer, especially in water applications.
Zinc Coatings: Often used to protect steel components from rust.
Nylon Coatings: Provide a smooth finish and resistance to various chemicals.