Friday, March 24, 2017

Power System Surge Protection Device

surge protective device
Line Surge Protective Device
Courtesy Dehn, Inc.
Investments of time and financial resources to operate any business process can have their yield crushed in the blink of an eye by power system anomalies. Businesses and processes run on electric power. Greater levels of IT complexity, process instrumentation, or other electrical equipment generally bring higher levels of exposure to power line surges that can bring unexpected downtime or equipment damage to a going concern.

Prevention through protection is the only available course of action for hardening facilities to the potentially damaging effects of line surges. Dehn, Inc. manufactures products that provide solutions for lightning and surge related problems. Surge protectors and lightning current arrestors, available as compact DIN rail mounted units, function as protective devices for motors, IT equipment, process controls, and instrumentation.

The video below provides a view of how the protective devices function. Without a protection plan in place, any facility is exposed to potential damage. Share your plans and challenges with a product application specialist, combining your facilities knowledge with their product application expertise to develop an effective solution.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Control Valve Flow Characteristics

industrial control valve with actuator and positioner
Industrial Control Valve
Courtesy Flowserve - Valtek
Flow characteristics, the relationship between flow coefficient and valve stroke, has been a subject of considerable debate. Many valve types, such as butterfly, eccentric disk and ball valves, have an inherent characteristic which cannot be changed (except with characterizable positioner cams). Flow characteristics of globe valves can be determined by the shape of the plug head.

The three most common types of flow characteristics are quick opening, equal percentage and linear. The adjacent figure shows the ideal characteristic curve for each. These characteristics can be approximated by contouring the plug. However, inasmuch as there are body effects and other uncontrollable factors, plus the need for maximizing the flow capacity for a particular valve, the real curves often deviate considerably from these ideals. When a constant pressure drop is maintained across the valve, the characteristic of the valve alone controls the flow; this characteristic is referred to as the “inherent flow characteristic.” “Installed characteristics” include both the valve and pipeline effects. The difference can best be understood by examining an entire system.

graph of control valve flow properties
Control valve flow properties
Courtesy Flowserve - Valtek

Equal Percentage

Equal percentage is the characteristic most commonly used in process control. The change in flow per unit of valve stroke is directly proportional to the flow occurring just before the change is made. While the flow characteristic of the valve itself may be equal percentage, most control loops will produce an installed characteristic approaching linear when the overall system pressure drop is large relative to that across the valve.


An inherently linear characteristic produces equal changes in flow per unit of valve stroke regardless of plug position. Linear plugs are used on those systems where the valve pressure drop is a major portion of the total system pressure drop.

Quick Open

Quick open plugs are used for on-off applications designed to produce maximum flow quickly.

This information provided courtesy of Flowserve Valtek. Share your control valve requirements and challenges with a valve specialist, combining your own process knowledge and experience with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Water Quality Analysis – Constituent Survey Part 3

silicon dioxide crystals quartz mineral
Silicon dioxide crystals
What we know as “water” can consist of many non-H2O components in addition to pure water. This three part series has touched on some of the constituents of water that are of interest to various industrial processors. The first installment reviewed dissolved oxygen and chloride. The second article covered sulfates, sodium, and ammonia.

To conclude the three part series on water quality analysis in process control related industrial applications we examine silica, another element which in sufficient quantities can become a confounding variable in water for industrial use. In natural settings, silica, or silicon dioxide, is a plentiful compound. Its presence in water provides a basis for some corrosion-inhibiting products, as well as conditioners and detergents. Problems arise, however, when high concentrates of silica complicate industrial processes which are not designed to accommodate elevated levels. Specifically, silica is capable of disrupting processes related to boilers and turbines. In environments involving high temperature, elevated pressure, or both, silica can form crystalline deposits on machinery surfaces. This inhibits the operation of turbines and also interferes with heat transfer. These deposits can result in many complications, ranging through process disruption, decreased efficiency, and resources being expended for repairs.

The silica content in water used in potentially affected processes needs to be sufficiently low in order to maintain rated function and performance. Silica analyzers provide continuous measurement and monitoring of silica levels. The analyzers detect and allow mitigation of silica in the initial stages of raw material acquisition or introduction to prevent undue disruption of the process. Additionally, a technique called power steam quality monitoring allows for the aforementioned turbine-specific inhibition – related to silica conglomerates reducing efficacy and physical movement – to be curtailed without much issue. The feedwater filtration couples with a low maintenance requirement, resulting in reduced downtime of analytic sequences and a bit of increased peace of mind for the technical operator.

While silica and the other compounds mentioned in this series are naturally occurring, the support systems in place to expertly control the quality of water is the most basic requirement for harvesting one of the earth’s most precious resources for use. As a matter of fact, the identification and control of compounds in water – both entering the industrial process and exiting the industrial process – demonstrates key tenets of process control fundamentals: precision, accuracy, durability, and technological excellence paired with ingenuity to create the best outcome not just one time, but each time.

Share your water quality analysis questions, requirements, or challenges with application specialists, combining your own process knowledge with their product application expertise to develop effective solutions.