» Articles » Bürkert’s energy saving process valves

Bürkert’s energy saving process valves

Steam and compressed air are used as sources of heat and motive power across industry. But they require careful management to be used efficiently and cost effectively. Thankfully, a programme of worthwhile energy saving initiatives can be achieved with a few tweaks of your process control structure.

Correctly designed steam processes can offer efficient use of this versatile product. However, get one calculation wrong – or install a steam trap incorrectly – and costs can quickly escalate. Over sizing pipework can lead to unnecessary materials costs, increased installation costs from support structures and insulation.

Larger pipework can also lead to increased condensate levels due to greater heat loss. This in turn will mean additional steam trapping is required or wet steam reaching the point of use resulting in reduced operational effectiveness.

Burkert steam valves in steam application

On the other hand, undersized pipework will result in a reduced pressure at the point of use, which may impede the performance of the equipment requiring the steam energy. The reduced size of the pipework will also increase the velocity of the steam which can cause water hammer and increased erosion levels.

Proper design ensures safe, reliable and green operation

Proper design not only saves energy, it also ensures safe and reliable operation. The Safety Valve, for example, is designed to protect the boiler shell from over-pressurisation and explosion. So sizing of the Safety Valve is a crucial process in order to ensure the proper safety levels are maintained. The valve must be able to pass the maximum possible flow rate in the event of a Pressure Relief Valve (PRV) failure – a point that can be overlooked in some cases.

Careful management of steam, through the use of intelligent valves that are directly linked to the temperature sensors, ensures that the steam energy is used in the most efficient manner. These process valves and their installation can also influence the energy efficiency of the compressed air system, which also comprises a significant cost of production.

Meanwhile, creating compressed air is a fundamental, if expensive, requirement for many process control applications and so employing the most efficient layout and valve design can provide significant savings. One area of pneumatic energy saving potential still largely unexploited is improved process valve control techniques.

The use of a decentralised automation system, employing innovative intelligent process valves, eliminates the problems of centralised systems, because automation functions - pilot valves, electrical and optical position feedback and fieldbus interfaces - are integrated directly into the actuators of the process valves.

Each process valve is connected directly to the main compressed air supply line in the field, reducing the number and length of tube and cable connections. This approach minimises the number of cables and compressed air lines, which significantly reduces the losses and subsequently the energy costs that are attributed to the compressed air circuit.

Bürkert valve controller for use in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries

Bürkert Fluid Control Systems has developed a range of valve controllers specifically for use in the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. These valve units provide a distributed method of opening and closing of process valves automatically, thereby eliminating the need for the wasteful venting of control air, normally associated with pneumatic tubing between the process valve and its related control solenoid valve.

The Bürkert valve controller is mounted directly above the valve body. This close coupling means that there is little or no distance between the actuator and the valve that it is piloting and this in turn means that there is no air bleed. The unit is completely sealed and so the energy from the compressed air is not wasted, again reducing the energy requirements of the process.

Energy costs are continually rising and for companies to remain competitive it is important that they adopt and integrate new technologies that can use their resources more efficiently. At the same time, manufacturers, such as Bürkert, continue to develop more efficient and more reliable products that require less energy and so help their customers to achieve their goals.

Company Profile

Bürkert Fluid Control Systems

Bürkert Fluid Control Systems is a world-leading manufacturer of control and measuring systems for fluids and gases.

Get the latest process industry news

Interested in receiving even more industry-leading news from Process Industry Forum delivered directly to your inbox? Then sign up to our free newsletter. Bringing you the latest news, trends, innovations and opinion from across the process industry, our exclusive newsletter gives you all the industry insights of the moment in one, easy-to-digest bulletin. Stay ahead of the competition with regular process industry news instalments from PIF.