Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

The dependency on electricity demands for higher, supercritical range of steam power is making valves play a pivotal role in ensuring higher pressure and temperature delivery in the power sector. The need for higher performance from supercritical to ultra-supercritical power steam generation is posing a significant challenge to valve manufacturers to up their game and brace up to the problem of meeting power sector steam power demands.

The supercritical (SC) range is the pressure between 3,553 psi and 4,133psi with a corresponding temperature of between 540°C  (1004°F) and 580°C (1076°F). The lower density and higher mobility of the pressure and temperature are the reason they are essential for the power sector energy improvement.

Power plant challenge to valve makers

To continue to provide higher pressure and temperature needs of the power sector, valve makers will have to improve its efficiency in producing  the right quality stainless steel tubing valves and fittings and also meet the challenges posed by finance in meeting the demand. The power industry is facing an all-time high need for power supply; this means that what works a few years back can no longer sustain the industry.

In term of valve quality and efficiency, there is a need for continued improvement in the quality and types of valves for the industry. A complex piping network like the power plant needs several isolation valves to meet its production demand. Several vales production will need to be produced to perform the designed role and sustain the power sector energy boost. In this regards, valves such as the gate and check valves are needed to enhance the SC and USC requirements.

Valves design to meet the increase in SC and USC demands

To produce high-temperature steam service various gate valve wedge designs are needed to accommodate expected high temperature and pressure without losing its value in the ensuing heat. Focusing attention on producing relevant types of valves to meet power sector valve needs will go with applicable industry regulation to reach pressure and temperature needs.

Valve specs must consider the heart of valve design that includes consideration of pressure dro

Power Plant Isolation Valves Beat the Heat

p and noise and control needs. Brand-new valve necessitates a fresh look at design concepts that are more responsive to thermal cycling operations, peaking plants and thermal distribution in sealing areas.

Peak plant problems

Beyond the challenges of temperatures and pressures lies an additional obstacle in the way of increased operating efficiencies—peaking power plant operation. Provided a plant operates at constant temperatures and pressures, the potentially damaging effects of radical temperature and pressure variation on components are no cause for alarm. In a peaking plant, however, temperatures may waver by 500°F (260°C) every day.

To meet the isolation valve requirements in these plants, legacy valve types, as well as newer designs, are employed. Gate valves are still famous, but Y-pattern globes are competitors. For gate, globe and check valves to meet SC and USC requirements, pressure-seal bonnets should be demanded. Bolted bonnet in Class 2500 above designs are cost-prohibitive, and creep of the bonnet bolting can pose problems.

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About the Author: Nicholas Thomas