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Market Outlook 2018: A Sunnier Mood with a Few Caveats

Market Outlook 2018: A Sunnier Mood with a Few Caveats

The atmosphere at VMA’s 2018 Marke...

Is it Time to Toss Those Commissions?

Is it Time to Toss Those Commissions?

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Cybersecurity for Process Control

Cybersecurity for Process Control

Security for any process plant has alway...

Young Valve Professionals: Megan Johnston

Young Valve Professionals: Megan Johnston

In 2014, VMA's leadership created the Val...

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Industry Headlines

Crude Oil, Petroleum Product Exports Reach Record Levels

Thursday, 19 October 2017  |  Chris Guy

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration ( EIA ), crude oil exports in the first half of 2017 increased by more than 300,000 barrels per ...

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Industry Headlines

Emerson Agrees to Acquire Paradigm

2 DAYS AGO

Emerson has agreed to acquire Paradigm for a purchase price of $510 million, reflecting a multiple of 13 times expected 2017 EBITDA. Paradigm will be joined with Emerson’s existing Roxar automation software. The acquisition is expected to close within the next 60 days, subject to various regulat...

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ValvTechnologies Receives ISO 15848 Certification

3 DAYS AGO

ValvTechnologies’ EcoPack technology has received ISO 15848-1:2015 certification from Odin Heavy Industries. To earn ISO 15848 certification, ValvTechnologies underwent a stringent evaluation process that included a series of 17 helium leak tests and eight thermal cycles on a fully assembled v...

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Crude Oil, Petroleum Product Exports Reach Record Levels

1 DAY AGO

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration ( EIA ), crude oil exports in the first half of 2017 increased by more than 300,000 barrels per day (b/d) from the first half of 2016, reaching a record high of 0.9 million b/d. Petroleum product exports also grew over the same period with propan...

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Energy Intensity in U.S. Manufacturing Decreased

1 DAY AGO

Energy intensity in manufacturing in the U.S. decreased from 2010 to 2014. U.S. manufacturing overall fuel intensity decreased by 4.4% from 3.016 thousand British thermal units (Btu) per dollar of output in 2010 to 2.882 thousand Btu in 2014. According to the Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey (M...

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Fed Reports Economy Growth in September, Early October

1 DAY AGO

Reports from all 12 Federal Reserve Districts indicated that economic activity increased in September through early October, with the pace of growth split between modest and moderate. The Richmond, Atlanta, and Dallas Districts reported major disruptions from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in some areas a...

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Industrial Production Up 0.3% in September

2 DAYS AGO

Industrial production rose 0.3% in September. The rates of change for July and August were notably revised; the current estimate for July, a decrease of 0.1%, was 0.5% lower than previously reported, while the estimate for August, a decrease of 0.7%, was 0.2% higher than before. Manufacturing output...

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Water Hammer—Check It Out

Have you ever been in an area of the plant that had just shut down a pump, only to hear an explosive sound a few seconds later? The noise you heard was the pump check valve, accompanied by the water hammer, or reverse flow, that slammed it shut.

Multiple pump systems often use a check valve located between the pump and the discharge header. The purpose of this valve is to prevent backflow from the header to the pump when it is not running. Without the check valve the pump could actually spin backwards.

Depending on the system pressure, these valves can close with such force that they damage the check valve, the pump, and over time even the pump base. Most check valves require reverse flow to close the valve and once this flow momentum has started, it does not stop as quickly as the check valve closes. The result is water hammer, a very destructive force. According to Webster's: Water hammer: a concussion, or sound of concussion, of moving water against the sides of a containing pipe or vessel.

We have seen many plants overcome these laws of physics with the use of an "auto check," also known as a "butterfly check." This concept utilizes a pneumatic-operated butterfly valve, and relatively simple control logic in order to close the valve automatically, prior to shutting down the pump. This action avoids reverse flow, so that the back flow and water hammer never have the chance to develop.

The valves for these applications are typically high-performance butterfly valves with a pneumatic actuator. Accessories include a limit switch and four-way pilot solenoid with two adjustable speed controls. The speed controls restrict the airflow out of the cylinder in both directions, thus regulating the opening and closing speed of the valve.

Control logic for the auto check is simple. When the pump is not pumping, the butterfly valve is closed. When the motor start command is received, either locally or from the PLC, the pump motor is energized. Pressure builds up on the pump side of the auto check valve. A differential pressure switch senses pressure differential between the newly started pump and the header past the auto check. At some predetermined point-such as 1 psi, .5 psi. or .25 psi-the delta p switch makes contact on pressure increase. The switch is sealed in by a relay and energizes the solenoid valve, which opens the butterfly valve smoothly, aided in part by the speed control valves. When the butterfly valve is totally open, a limit switch is tripped and sends a valve-open status to the PLC.

When the motor stop command is received, the pilot solenoid is de-energized and the valve closes at a controlled rate, again aided by the speed controls. When the valve is completely closed the limit switch is tripped, which in turn shuts off the pump motor. This action eliminates water hammer by preventing any back flow from occurring.

BRUCE FENWICK is in technical sales for McJunkin Corporation, Harvey IL. Reach him via 708.225.3120 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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