A single facility has hundreds of valves to monitor every single task from the operation of turbine to ventilation and systems. This ensures complete safety of equipment as well as personnel. The size of the valve can be less than one inch to many feet in terms of diameter.
While some valves are made for manual operation most of them need remote or automatic operation. Technicians as well as operators should consider different kinds of actuators to operate them, and get a basic understanding of their working.
What is a Valve Actuator?
Valve actuators are basically those devices that help in positioning a valve. These valves are used to completely open as well as close a valve. When in state of an application, they need constant and accurate control that results in regulation of the fuel movement to a gas turbine. Novaspect valves also aid in modulating the placement of the valve.
Applications of an actuator
There are various applications that require use of an actuator. These are:
- Automation of a process
- Positioning of valves that needs large quantities of torque to function
- Immediate operation of systems that help in the protection of equipment and personnel from risky circumstances
- Used in controlling regions where it is impossible to perform manual operation
- Continuously adjusting systems that should maintain much-needed parameters
What are the different types of an actuator?
There are mainly 3 kinds of automatic valve actuators. These are controlled by electrical power, pressurized air, or via using hydraulic force.
Factors to consider when choosing the appropriate actuator
To choose the right actuator, following considerations need to be done:
- The valve application
- The available means to control the actuator
- The speed where the valve has to operate
- The total force needed for the functioning of the valve
- The kind of valve that has to be operated
- The cost with respect to the advantage for using each kind of actuator
What are Pneumatic actuators?
Pneumatic actuators work by using pressurized air in order to operate any valve. This is done by the application of the air in a forceful manner to a diaphragm or piston that is joined to the stem of the valve. These actuators provide semi-automatic or automatic operation of the valve. They are the most used kinds of actuators due to their simplified design and dependability.
What are the benefits of a pneumatic actuator?
The advantages of pneumatic actuators include:
- Simplicity of design
- Low risk of catching fire
- Quick stroking speeds
- Low price
- Ability to store pressurized air so that the valves can function even when power gets lost
What are the drawbacks of a pneumatic actuator?
The disadvantages of pneumatic actuators include:
- Inferior performance at low speeds
- Compressibility of air that results in varying speeds of movement of shaft
- Impossible to accurately control position
- Due to its simple design, low cost and high reliability, these actuators are helpful in several types of industrial applications.
Hope this article has given you a good amount of information regarding a valve actuator.