Smart Valves, 3D Printing, and Digital Twins: Revolutionizing Industrial Valve Automation

Smart Valves, 3D Printing, and Digital Twins: Revolutionizing Industrial Valve Automation

Three significant technological advances may revolutionize the future of industrial valves and valve automation in various markets. These advancements aim to improve efficiency, reliability, and sustainability in industries such as oil and gas, chemical processing, and water treatment.
  1. Smart Valves and Predictive Maintenance: Integrating smart sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) is one of industrial valves' most influential technological advances. Manufacturers equip smart valves with sensors that continuously monitor various parameters, such as pressure, temperature, and flow rate. AI algorithms analyze the data collected by these sensors, detecting anomalies and predicting potential valve failures before they occur. This predictive maintenance approach allows timely repairs and replacements, minimizes downtime, and increases system reliability. Industries such as oil and gas, where unplanned shutdowns can be extremely costly, are already adopting smart valve technology to optimize their operations and reduce maintenance costs.
  2. 3D Printing and Advanced Materials: 3D printing technology is transforming the manufacturing of industrial valves. With 3D printing, manufacturers can produce valve components quickly and cost-effectively, reducing lead times and inventory costs. Additionally, 3D printing enables the creation of complex valve geometries that were previously impossible to manufacture using traditional methods. This innovation allows for the development of valves with improved flow characteristics, reduced pressure drop, and enhanced performance. Furthermore, manufacturers increasingly use advanced materials, such as high-performance polymers and ceramic matrix composites, in valve manufacturing. These materials offer superior resistance to corrosion, high temperatures, and wear, making them ideal for demanding applications in the chemical processing and power generation industries.
  3. Digital Twin Technology and Virtual Commissioning: Digital twin technology is another game-changer in industrial valves and valve automation. Engineers create a digital twin, a virtual replica of a physical valve system, using real-time sensors and historical performance data. This technology allows for the simulation and optimization of valve performance under various operating conditions without physical testing. Using digital twins, engineers can identify potential issues, test different control strategies, and optimize valve settings for maximum efficiency. Virtual commissioning, which involves testing and validating control systems using digital twins, is becoming increasingly popular in the water treatment and pharmaceutical industries. This approach reduces the time and cost associated with physical commissioning and ensures that the valve system performs as expected from the outset.
Smart valves, 3D printing, advanced materials, digital twin technology, and virtual commissioning are leading the way in the bright future of industrial valves and valve automation. These technological advances will transform various markets, improving efficiency, reliability, and sustainability. As industries continue to embrace these innovations, we expect significant improvements in valve performance, reduced maintenance costs, and increased overall system reliability. Companies looking to stay competitive in an ever-evolving industrial landscape will find adopting these technologies crucial.


Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

Thermoplastic Valves for Industry

Thermoplastic Valves for Industry

Thermoplastic valves, like those manufactured by Asahi America, play a crucial role in various industrial processes due to their unique properties and advantages. These valves, known for their durability, corrosion resistance, and versatility, are essential in industries where the control of fluids and gases is a critical component. The significance of thermoplastic valves stems from their ability to handle a wide range of chemicals without degradation, which is paramount in sectors like chemical processing, water and wastewater treatment, and semiconductor manufacturing. In the chemical processing industry, handling aggressive and corrosive substances is a routine task. Under such conditions, metal valves often succumb to corrosion, leading to frequent replacements and increased downtime. Thermoplastic valves, on the other hand, offer excellent resistance to a wide array of chemicals, ensuring a longer service life and reducing maintenance costs. This resistance also ensures the purity of processed chemicals, a critical factor in this industry. Asahi America's valves, for instance, are known for their reliability in these harsh environments, making them a preferred choice for many chemical processing plants.

The water and wastewater treatment industry also greatly benefits from using thermoplastic valves. These facilities deal with various chemicals used in the treatment process, such as chlorine and sulfuric acid. The corrosion-resistant nature of thermoplastic valves ensures that they can withstand these substances, maintaining their functionality over long periods. Furthermore, the lightweight nature of these valves, compared to traditional metal ones, allows for easier installation and handling, which is particularly beneficial in large-scale water treatment plants with numerous valves.

Another critical industry that relies heavily on thermoplastic valves is semiconductor manufacturing. This sector requires exceptionally high levels of purity and precision in handling various process gases and chemicals. Even the slightest contamination can lead to defects in semiconductor chips, resulting in significant financial losses. Thermoplastic valves offer the necessary chemical resistance and do not leach contaminants into the flow media, making them ideal for use in the ultra-clean environments required for semiconductor fabrication.

The pharmaceutical industry also finds thermoplastic valves indispensable. The production of pharmaceuticals often involves aggressive chemicals and the need for sterile conditions. Thermoplastic valves resist corrosion from these chemicals and are easy to clean and sterilize, maintaining the hygiene standards required in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Thermoplastic valves, such as those produced by Asahi America, are essential in industries where chemical resistance, durability, and purity are paramount. Their role in chemical processing, water and wastewater treatment, semiconductor manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals highlights their versatility and critical role in maintaining the efficiency, safety, and reliability of industrial processes. The ongoing advancements in manufacturing these valves will continue to enhance their performance and expand their applications in various industries, underscoring their importance in the industrial world.

For more information about thermoplastic valves, contact     :

Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

2024 Industrial Valve Technology Predictions

2024 Industrial Valve Technology Predictions

The industrial valve automation sector tends to have gradual advancements focusing on efficiency, reliability, digital integration, and predictive maintenance rather than rapid, groundbreaking changes. It's safe to expect upgrades related to increased connectivity and IoT integration, further automation with AI and machine learning, more robust and adaptive control systems, enhanced material technologies for valves to improve durability and efficiency, and perhaps more significant emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency within systems.

Here are some predictions for 2024:

  • The Rise of Intelligent Valves: 
Enhanced with IoT integration, valves will self-regulate and adjust to varying conditions, offering remote diagnostics and improved system efficiency.
  • 3D Printing for Tailored Valve Solutions: 
Precision and flexibility in valve manufacturing will be enhanced through 3D printing, allowing for custom designs and reduced production waste.
  • Transition to Non-metallic Valves: 
Ceramics, composites, and specialized polymers will increasingly replace metals, offering corrosion resistance and lightweight properties.
  • Revolutionary Sealing Mechanisms: 
Upgrades to sealing materials and mechanisms will improve valves' longevity, reliability, and maintenance.
  • Valves in Renewable Energy Systems: 
Specialized valves will become crucial in optimizing energy flows in renewable energy systems designed to withstand extreme conditions and support sustainable energy infrastructure.

Though traditionally slow to evolve, industrial valves stand to gain significantly from AI and advanced monitoring technologies. AI's predictive capabilities can forecast maintenance needs and optimize performance, reducing downtime and extending valve life. Meanwhile, monitoring technologies provide real-time data on valve conditions, allowing immediate adjustments to improve efficiency and safety. Together, these innovations promise a future where even the most steadfast industrial components, like valves, become part of a more innovative, responsive industrial ecosystem. 


Energy West Controls
https://energy-west.com
800-533-4477

 

What are Valve Positioners?

What are Valve Positioners?

Valve positioners are critical components in industrial process control, ensuring accurate and efficient fluid flow control in various systems. Here's an overview of what they are and the role they play:

  • Definition: A valve positioner is a device used to control the positioning of a valve's actuator. It's an attachment to the valve actuator that ensures the valve reaches the correct position as the control system demands.
  • Types: There are several valve positioners, including pneumatic, electro-pneumatic, and digital or smart positioners. The choice depends on the specific requirements of the process and the operating environment.
  • Components: A typical valve positioner includes a feedback mechanism, a controller, and a means to actuate the valve. It receives a control signal (usually pneumatic or electrical) and manipulates the actuator to open or close the valve accordingly.

Role in Industrial Process Control

  • Accuracy and Precision: Valve positioners ensure that the valve accurately reaches the desired position as determined by the control signal, which is essential for maintaining precise control over process variables like flow rate, pressure, or temperature.
  • Compensating for Variabilities: They help compensate for external factors affecting valve operation, such as friction, pressure changes, or wear and tear, ensuring consistent performance over time.
  • Improved Control Dynamics: By providing faster and more accurate responses to control signals, positioners enhance the overall dynamics of the control loop to improve process stability and efficiency.
  • Facilitating Remote Control and Monitoring: Particularly with smart or digital positioners, they enable remote operation and monitoring of valves, integrating with modern control systems for better process management.
  • Energy Efficiency: By ensuring valves operate as needed and to the exact required extent, positioners can help reduce energy consumption.
  • Safety: In critical applications, they contribute to safety by ensuring valves respond correctly to emergency shut-down signals or other safety-related controls.

In summary, valve positioners are essential for enhancing industrial control systems' performance, efficiency, and reliability. They are vital in ensuring that the valves, the final control elements in many processes, operate as intended, thereby maintaining the desired control.

Valve Accessories and Controls (VAC) Positioners






Since its inception, VAC has consistently prioritized a customer-first approach in its business dealings. The company's range of quality positioner products features the straightforward V100, the adaptable V200, and the digital D400 and D500 models. These solidly built, designed positioners represent the beginning of the Valve Accessories and Controls narrative. VAC prides itself on a customer-oriented team dedicated to assisting you in selecting the ideal positioner for your needs, ensuring a hassle-free experience without the confusion of navigating through extensive phone directories and extensions. The combination of competitive pricing and exceptional service distinguishes VAC from its competitors.

Energy West Controls
https://energy-west.com
800-533-4477

Navigating Industrial Steam Traps: The Value of Expert Surveying

Navigating Industrial Steam Traps: The Value of Expert Surveying

Steam systems are integral to the operations of various industries, from power generation to petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, mining, oil & gas, and pulp and paper mills. A critical component of steam systems is the steam trap—a device designed to remove condensate, air, and other non-condensable gases from the steam system without letting steam escape. Like every mechanical system, steam traps require regular monitoring to ensure they function optimally, which is where steam trap surveys come into play.

What are Steam Trap Surveys?


A steam trap survey systematically inspects and tests all steam traps in a facility to assess their condition and performance. These surveys involve:

  1. Identification: Each trap is located and tagged to keep track of its status.
  2. Testing: Various techniques, such as ultrasound, temperature measurement, and visual inspection, are used to determine if the steam trap is working correctly.
  3. Documentation: Data on the functioning status (e.g., failed open, failed closed, working correctly) and other relevant information about each trap are documented for analysis and future reference.
  4. Analysis & Recommendations: After the survey, the data is analyzed to determine the overall health of the steam system, and recommendations are made for repairs or replacements.

Why are Steam Trap Surveys Important?


Energy Conservation: A malfunctioning steam trap can allow steam to escape, leading to energy wastage. Ensuring all steam traps work efficiently helps conserve energy and reduces operating costs.
  1. Increased System Efficiency: A failed steam trap can cause water hammer, reduced heat transfer efficiency, and other issues that can negatively impact system performance.
  2. Safety: Steam system malfunctions can pose safety risks. Regularly checking steam traps helps identify and rectify potential hazards before they escalate.
  3. Prolonged Equipment Life: Regular maintenance, including issues found in steam trap surveys, can extend the life of the equipment, reducing long-term capital expenditure.
  4. Environmental Impact: With the global emphasis on reducing carbon footprints, energy-efficient operations, including efficient steam systems, contribute to lowered greenhouse gas emissions.

The Importance of Hiring Experienced Contractors


While understanding the need for steam trap surveys is crucial, it's equally important to recognize the value of expertise in conducting these assessments.Thorough Inspection: Experienced contractors know how to navigate complex industrial settings and ensure no trap is overlooked during the survey.
  1. Accuracy: With expertise comes precision. Professionals use advanced techniques and equipment to gauge steam trap functionality accurately.
  2. Tailored Recommendations: Experienced surveyors can provide tailored solutions based on the unique needs of a plant, leading to optimal system performance.
  3. Cost Savings: Although there's an upfront cost associated with hiring experts, the long-term savings due to enhanced system efficiency, reduced energy wastage, and decreased equipment replacement costs make it a worthy investment.
  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that seasoned professionals are handling the health of your steam system gives peace of mind that every detail will be addressed.
Conclusion

Industrial steam trap surveys are essential to maintaining a steam system's efficiency, safety, and longevity. They lead to energy conservation and cost savings and play a vital role in ensuring smooth operations. Hiring an experienced contractor to undertake this task ensures that the survey has the highest expertise and precision, setting the foundation for an efficient and safe steam system.

Energy West Controls
https://energy-west.com
800-533-4477

Zero-Emission, Failsafe, Emergency Shutdown (ESD) Valve Actuator Systems

Zero-Emission, Failsafe, Emergency Shutdown (ESD) Valve Actuator Systems

The oil and gas industry has evolved significantly, with a heightened focus on environmental protection and safety. An essential component to safely transferring oil and gas via pipeline is the zero-emission, failsafe emergency shutdown (ESD) valve actuator.

ESD valve actuator systems halt the flow of hazardous fluids or gases when abnormal operating conditions arise. This quick intervention is essential to prevent catastrophic failures, leaks, and explosions. Two main features define these systems: their "zero emission" capacity and "failsafe" functionality. The former ensures the actuator does not contribute harmful emissions to the environment, and the latter ensures that the system automatically reverts to a safe mode in case of a malfunction.

These systems incorporate a sealed design that prevents the escape of hazardous gases to achieve the zero-emissions objective. This design includes high-quality seals and components that leave no room for weak points where emissions might potentially escape. Additionally, many of the latest actuators have monitoring systems looking for possible leaks or system failures. The system can alarm or begin the necessary shutdown procedures if such an issue arises.

Failsafe mechanisms are critically important. A spring return mechanism is one of the primary ways this is achieved. Suppose there's a power loss or a system malfunction. In that case, the spring propels the valve to its designated safe position, which could be either fully open or fully closed, based on the specific application. Additionally, some actuators are designed with secondary power sources, like batteries or reserves of compressed gas, ensuring they remain operational even when the primary power source is compromised. These actuators can promptly recognize operational irregularities and anomalies when coupled with intelligent control systems. Once detected, the system, adhering to predefined parameters, can call on whether to shut down the valve, sound alarms, or take other necessary protective measures.

For several reasons, the introduction and widespread adoption of these advanced ESD valve actuator systems are crucial for pipeline distribution networks. Environmentally, they help mitigate leaks in midstream pipelines, which, if unchecked, could lead to substantial ecological damage, especially if hazardous gases or liquids find their way into the ground or water sources. Another environmental benefit is in the fight against climate change. Methane, frequently found in natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas. By guaranteeing zero emissions, these actuators significantly reduce the release of methane into our atmosphere.

From a safety perspective, the fast-acting nature of ESD actuators ensures that the flow of potentially flammable substances can be quickly shut down, minimizing the risk of fires or explosions. 

Furthermore, with tightening regulations across numerous jurisdictions regarding emissions and safety standards in the oil and gas sector, these zero-emission, failsafe ESD valve actuators have become the gold standard, assisting companies in complying with the stringent rules, not only preventing significant financial penalties but also circumvents potential operational halts.

As the oil and gas industry marches forward, addressing ever-present environmental and safety challenges, the zero-emission failsafe ESD valve actuator systems protect the environment and pipeline operators from the consequences of failures, ensuring public and environmental security and demonstrating a commitment to responsible and sustainable operations.

For more information, contact:

Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

"Intrusive" and "Non-Intrusive" Industrial Electric Actuators

"Intrusive" and "Non-Intrusive" in Industrial Electric Actuators

Industrial electric actuators play a pivotal role in automating various industrial processes. These actuators convert electrical energy into mechanical motion to control or move machinery components such as valves and dampers. Regarding "intrusive" and "non-intrusive" in industrial electric actuators, the terms typically address the design and mode of operation, particularly the setup, monitoring, and control aspects. 

Here's a detailed breakdown of the differences:

Design & Configuration:

Intrusive Actuators: These actuators generally require users to open or intrude into the actuator casing or cover for setup, adjustment, or monitoring, meaning the internal components can be exposed to external environments, potentially compromising the actuator's integrity or operation.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: These actuators allow setup, adjustments, and monitoring without physically intruding or opening the actuator's casing, ensuring the internal components remain sealed and protected from external contaminants or potential damage.

Operation & Monitoring:

Intrusive Actuators: Adjustments or calibration typically require direct interaction with internal components, which can be time-consuming and may expose the system to errors or contamination.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: They often come with user interfaces, like LCD touchscreens or push buttons on the exterior, allowing operators to perform setup, calibration, or monitoring without exposing the internal components. Some might even have remote interfaces, facilitating monitoring and control from a distance.

Safety & Maintenance:

Intrusive Actuators: The need to open the actuator for adjustments or monitoring can introduce safety risks, mainly if the actuator is operating in environments with hazardous gases, liquids, or materials. Additionally, maintenance can be more challenging as exposing the internals might allow contaminants to compromise the system.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: These actuators provide a safer operation, especially in hazardous environments, as there's no need to open the casing. Their design also reduces maintenance challenges and improves the actuator's longevity.

Applications:

Intrusive Actuators: Might be used in applications where regular adjustments aren't required or in environments where exposure risks are minimal.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: Ideal for industries where the actuator's environment has contaminants or hazardous materials or where frequent adjustments or monitoring is essential without compromising safety.

Cost:

Intrusive Actuators: They might be less expensive initially because they have a more straightforward design without the external interface components. However, potential increased maintenance costs or reduced longevity might offset the initial savings.

Non-Intrusive Actuators: While they might have a higher initial cost due to their advanced design and user interfaces, they can result in savings in the long run due to reduced maintenance needs and extended operational life.

In summary, the primary distinction between intrusive and non-intrusive industrial electric actuators lies in their design and interaction mode. While intrusive actuators require direct access to internal components for setup and monitoring, non-intrusive variants enable these operations without opening the actuator casing and offering increased safety and operational advantages.

Energy-West Controls
801-262-4477


Capitalizing on Hidden Assets: The Significant Energy Potential in Waste Heat with Armstrong International Circular Thermal℠



The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed, maintaining a constant quantity in a system. When energy is utilized, often through conversion, it degrades into a lower quality form. This begs the question: how does degraded yet undestroyed energy exit an industrial plant?

Waste heat, while being of lower quality, retains a significant quantity of energy. Studies indicate that 50 to 80% of primary energy used in light industries becomes waste heat at medium or low temperatures when leaving the plant. Thus, up to 80% of this energy is recyclable.

By incorporating Armstrong International's  Circular Thermal℠ model into industrial processes, we can recapture and reuse this waste energy.

For more information about Armstrong International products, and their Circular Thermal℠ technology, contact Energy West Controls. Call 800-533-4477 or visit https://energy-west.com.

Types of Industrial and Commercial Check Valves

Types of Industrial and Commercial Check VAlves

Silent Check Valves:


Before fluid flow reversal occurs, silent check valves close, eliminating the water hammer's shock. Their name, 'silent,' comes from their ability to close smoothly and quietly compared to other check valves. High-pressure and high-temperature systems commonly use these valves, like those in commercial buildings' water systems where a water hammer could pose a problem.

Spring Loaded Check Valves:


A spring force closes the disc in spring-loaded check valves. The fluid's forward pressure opens the valve, and the spring closes the valve as soon as the fluid flow ceases. This rapid response to stopping the flow is instrumental in quick shutoff applications.

Poppet Check Valves:


A poppet or plug-in poppet check valve seals a hole to stop backflow. The poppet pushes away from the port when forward flow happens, allowing fluid to pass. The poppet then blocks the hole when the flow ceases. This design often needs less force to open than other check valves, making it suitable for low-pressure applications.

Inline Check Valves:


Inline check valves, being two-port valves, have two openings in the body - one for fluid entry and another for fluid exit. The valve opens as the fluid flows in the forward direction and closes when the fluid tries to flow in the opposite direction. These valves find use in various applications, such as pump and compressor discharge, header lines, and steam lines. You can easily install them as they fit into existing pipelines with minimal modification.

Remember that each valve's specifics can differ based on the manufacturer, materials used, and intended application. Therefore, always consult with an expert when selecting and installing a check valve.

Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

Process Slurry Knife Gate Control Valves

Process Slurry Knife Gate Control Valves

Applications for process slurry knife-gate control valves are slurry or highly abrasive and viscous fluids in various industries. The valve features a sharp, flat gate that efficiently cuts through the solid particles and sludge in the slurry, thus ensuring effective isolation and control of the flow. This valve is highly durable, reliable, and designed to withstand harsh conditions and frequent wear and tear.


Examples of industries that require process slurry knife-gate control valves are mining, wastewater treatment, pulp and paper, power generation, and chemical processing, where there is a need to handle abrasive and corrosive slurries. These valves install on pipelines to regulate or halt slurry flow and other challenging fluids, preventing leakage and ensuring a safe, efficient, and reliable operation.


The Process Slurry Knife Gate Control Valve outperforms other types of valves for slurry applications due to several key factors:


  1. Robust and Durable Design: The knife gate valve uses wear-resistant materials like stainless steel to withstand erosive and corrosive slurries. This results in a longer service life and reduced maintenance costs compared to other valves.
  2. Efficient Flow Control: The sharp-edged, flat gate effectively slices through the slurry, providing a tight seal when closed, preventing leakage, and ensuring accurate flow control, essential for the efficient operation of various industrial processes.
  3. Minimal Pressure Drop: Unlike other valves, the Process Slurry Knife Gate Control Valve has a full-bore design, which minimizes the pressure drop across the valve, leading to higher energy efficiency and lower operating costs in the long run.
  4. Self-Cleaning Mechanism: The shearing action of the gate against the valve seat helps to dislodge and remove any debris or solid particles trapped within the valve. This self-cleaning mechanism reduces the chances of blockages and ensures a consistent slurry flow through the system.
  5. Versatility: The process slurry knife-gate control valve can be customized to handle a wide range of pressures, temperatures, and slurry compositions, making it suitable for various industrial applications.


Slurry knife-gate control valves offer superior performance and durability compared to other valves in slurry applications. Its unique design features make it the ideal choice for industries that deal with abrasive and viscous fluids, ensuring a safe, efficient, and reliable operation.


Slurry Flo Valve Corporation is a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing high-quality control valves for handling abrasive and viscous fluids, such as slurry.


Slurry Flo's innovative patented trim design functions as a variable orifice, focusing the flow within the pipe. This design safeguards the valve body, which contains the pressure, and maintains the integrity of the downstream piping. Slurry Flo valves offer exceptional durability, surpassing the performance of any other valve you've previously utilized. Slurry Flo Corporation is committed to providing tailored solutions and unparalleled customer service to meet the unique needs of its clients.


Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

The Role of Boiler Drum Level Instrumentation and Controls

The Role of Boiler Drum Level Instrumentation and Controls

Boiler drum level instrumentation and controls play a crucial role in the power generation and process control industries, ensuring steam-generating boilers' safe and efficient operation. These instruments and controls primarily manage the water level within the boiler drum, maintaining it within a specific range to ensure the boiler operates effectively and safely. Their critical functions break down as follows:


  1. Safety: A boiler's primary objective is to produce steam, which requires a precise water and heat balance. If the water level in the boiler drum is too low, the boiler tubes could overheat and cause a failure or even a catastrophic explosion. Conversely, suppose the water level is too high. In that case, excessive water may be carried over into the steam system, causing damage to downstream equipment and reducing the overall efficiency of the power generation process.
  2. Efficiency: Maintaining the optimal water level in the boiler drum ensures efficient heat transfer, which directly affects the overall efficiency of the power generation process. The steam produced in the boiler drives turbines and other equipment, so maximizing its efficiency is essential for minimizing fuel consumption and reducing emissions.
  3. Monitoring and control: Boiler drum level instrumentation and controls continuously monitor the water level, allowing for real-time adjustments. They typically include level sensors (such as float switches, conductivity probes, or radar transmitters), which send signals to a control system. This control system can be a dedicated controller, a distributed control system (DCS), or a programmable logic controller (PLC), which processes the signals and adjusts the feedwater flow into the boiler drum to maintain the desired water level.
  4. Alarm and trip functions: The instrumentation and controls also provide alarm and trip functions to notify operators of abnormal conditions or to shut down the boiler if necessary. These safety features protect personnel, equipment, and the environment from potential damage caused by boiler malfunctions or failures.
  5. Regulatory compliance: Boiler drum level instrumentation and controls are subject to stringent regulations and standards in many jurisdictions. Properly functioning instrumentation and controls are necessary for ensuring compliance with these regulations, which aim to protect human life, property, and the environment.


Boiler drum level instrumentation and controls are critical in the power generation and process control industries because they ensure steam-generating boilers' safe, efficient, and compliant operation. By maintaining the optimal water level in the boiler drum, they help to prevent accidents, optimize power generation efficiency, and adhere to regulatory requirements.


Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

Gasketed Plate Heat Exchangers (GPHEs) and Welded Plate Heat Exchangers (WPHEs)

Gasketed Plate Heat Exchangers (GPHEs) and Welded Plate Heat Exchangers (WPHEs)

Gasketed Plate Heat Exchangers (GPHEs) and Welded Plate Heat Exchangers (WPHEs) are types of plate heat exchangers widely used across various industries for their efficiency and versatility. Their primary function is to transfer heat between two fluids without allowing the fluids to mix.


Gasketed Plate Heat Exchangers (GPHEs): GPHEs consist of thin, corrugated metal plates with gaskets around the edges. The plates are arranged in a stacked configuration and held together by a frame. The gaskets seal the plates, preventing fluid leakage and directing the flow of the fluids between alternate plates. The corrugated pattern of the plates increases the surface area and enhances the turbulence, thereby improving heat transfer efficiency. GPHEs disassemble easily for cleaning, maintenance, or expansion.


Welded Plate Heat Exchangers (WPHEs): WPHEs are similar in design to GPHEs, but instead of using gaskets, the plates are welded together, eliminating the need for gaskets and the associated maintenance issues. WPHEs are typically more compact than GPHEs, as they can be built with thinner plates and smaller gaps between them.


There are many industrial and commercial applications for GPHEs and WPHEs however, the two have some performance differences, which can impact their suitability for various applications.


GPHEs:

  1. Efficiency: GPHEs offer high thermal efficiency and are suitable for applications with moderate temperature and pressure requirements.
  2. Maintenance: GPHEs have gasket seals that require periodic maintenance and replacement, making them less suitable for applications with aggressive media or high temperatures.
  3. Flexibility: GPHEs can be easily expanded or reconfigured by adding or removing plates, allowing adaptability to change process conditions.
  4. Cost: Initial costs for GPHEs are typically lower, but maintenance and downtime costs can be higher due to the need for gasket replacement.


WPHEs:

  1. Efficiency: WPHEs provide excellent thermal efficiency and are designed for high-pressure and high-temperature applications, making them suitable for harsh operating conditions.
  2. Maintenance: WPHEs have welded plate connections, which eliminate the need for gaskets, resulting in lower maintenance requirements and longer service life.
  3. Flexibility: WPHEs have a fixed plate configuration, meaning they cannot be easily expanded or reconfigured like GPHEs. However, their robust design allows higher operating limits and a more compact footprint.
  4. Cost: Initial costs for WPHEs are typically higher, but they offer lower maintenance and downtime costs due to their welded construction and elimination of gaskets.



For more information, contact:


Energy West, Inc.
1955 West Industrial Circle
Salt Lake City, Utah 84104
Phone: 801-262-4477
Fax: 801-261-0862
Web: https://energy-west.com

The Importance of Managing Waste Heat in Steam and Hot Water Systems

Managing Waste Heat in Steam and Hot Water Systems

Steam production and hot water systems are crucial in industrial and commercial heating and cooling systems.


Industrial heating and cooling systems are critical in many manufacturing and production processes. These systems control the temperature and maintain a specific environment in which products are produced, stored, or processed. However, these systems emit a significant amount of heat released into the atmosphere as waste heat.

Steam production is used in various industries to provide heat and power, including food and beverage processing, chemical manufacturing, and pharmaceuticals. Steam is generated by boiling water, typically using boilers that burn fuel such as natural gas, propane, or oil. The steam is then distributed throughout the facility using pipes, which can be used for heating, cleaning, or driving turbines to generate electricity.

The use of hot water systems is similar, but instead of steam, hot water provides heat. These systems are standard in hospitals, hotels, and other facilities that require a constant hot water supply. Boilers generate the hot water and circulate it through pipes, radiators, heat exchangers, or other heating elements.

Industrial heating and cooling systems generate significant amounts of wasted or unused heat. There are measures to mitigate the causes of waste heat in industrial heating and cooling systems and reduce its release. One solution is to recover the wasted heat and use it for other purposes, such as heating or cooling nearby buildings or other industrial processes. Another solution is to improve the heating and cooling system's efficiency, reducing the energy required to maintain the desired temperature through more efficient heating and cooling systems, insulation, and enhanced equipment design. Also, by connecting your heating and cooling systems, you recover wasted heat and put it back into your industrial process. 

Armstrong's Circular Thermal℠ significantly improves the thermal efficiency of your facilities. It reduces your need for primary energy by capturing and recirculating waste heat within your plant and toward your production. It significantly impacts your site's thermal decarbonization roadmap by reducing — and sometimes eliminating — the required purchase of renewable energy.

Learn more about Armstrong's Circular Thermal℠ here. To discuss more about Armstrong's approach to steam and hot water thermal efficiency in the Rocky Mountain states, contact Energy-West Controls. Call them at 800-533-4477 or visit https://energy-west.com.