Advancements in Automatic Control Valves


Old Pump Control ValvesControl valves have come a long way since inception

In the past decade, the control valve industry has undergone significant advances in its ability to provide greater flexibility, control and service than ever before. With the inclusion of electronic controls and other instrumentation at valve installations, an automatic control valve can now be considered a critical part of complex telemetry/SCADA and control solutions in water distribution systems.

The development of new valve control components and auxiliary products are a direct result of listening and responding to water purveyors’ operational challenges.

Smart VaultControl valves are great multi-taskers

Automatic control valves can do so much more than when they were first introduced to the waterworks industry in the early 20th century.  Today, you can use one valve to perform multiple functions and execute precise control strategies to get the most out of your valve investment and the system at large.

Example: By utilizing Cla-Val’s VC-22D Electronic Valve Controller, wireless communication between the valve and the utility management system is incorporated to the overall fluid delivery solution. The VC-22D can act either as a standalone valve controller or in conjunction with a SCADA system.

Using newly developed electronic pilot controls, such as the Cla-Val CRD-34 Pressure Reducing Control, enables automatic adjustment of pressure based on demand rather than fixed set points, facilitated by the controller. This optimized pressure capability improves system efficiency, prevents damage from over-pressurization and helps save water.

Cla-Val VC-22D InstallationControl valves are problem-solvers

Cavitation can be mitigated by retrofitting automatic control valves with Cla-Val’s KO Anti-Cavitation Trim, significantly reducing that condition in applications with high-pressure differentials. Pipeline surge and water hammer can be anticipated and minimized through the use of valves equipped with special pilot systems as is seen on Cla-Val 52-03 Surge Anticipator Relief Valves. One of the most underutilized benefits that an automatic control valve can offer is the ability to include an electronic pilot system with an all-hydraulic back up.  Because a hydraulic valve uses the system pressure to operate itself, that back up will allow the valve to continue to operate, even with loss of signal and/or power to the electronics.

PrintAutomatic control valves have become MVPs in water distribution systems 

The potential to improve reliability and optimize system performance with specially equipped control valves is significant. With the recent advancements in control valve technology, valves can now be equipped with an integral X144 e-FlowMeter to add metering capability while eliminating the cost of installing an external meter. Automatic control valves can even be used to produce power if none is available at the valve site. This is done with Cla-Val X143 Series Power Generators that produce power using the hydraulic energy in a piping system to operate electronic controllers and pilots, without impacting the primary function of the valve.

The possibilities are endless

From basic functions such as pressure reducing and level control, to the most advanced applications, development of peripheral technologies has allowed the control valve to become a more valuable, multi-faceted component of today’s water systems. We expect that control capabilities will continue to grow exponentially as the necessity for efficiency and reliability of water delivery solutions becomes ever more critical.

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