Technology and software company Emerson has introduced a new self-calibrating electric valve actuator as a sustainable alternative to gas-operated actuators.
When paired with its Fisher butterfly and ball valves, the Fisher easy-Drive 200R Electric Actuator is designed to perform under extreme conditions found in many heavy industries, particularly oil and gas installations in cold remote locations.
According to Emerson, these actuator/valve assemblies increase uptime, improve performance and reduce the risk of emissions posed by gas-operated systems locations.
“Many pneumatic valve actuators installed in remote locations are operated using natural gas, but this technology releases atmospheric emissions every time the valve is actuated,” said the company in a statement.
“Electric actuators address this issue by eliminating control-related emissions, but existing solutions have limitations, each of which is addressed by the 200R actuator.”
To reduce energy usage, the technology operates on 11 to 30 VDC power and consumes less than 0.4 watts when in the holding position mode, making it suitable for use in applications without available utility power.
Backing up its eco-friendly claims, Emerson reports that the actuator is capable of operating in temperatures as low as -40C (-40F), eliminating the need for a space heater in extreme conditions.
“In the case of loss of power, the actuator can be driven to the user-defined position using its optional RPU-100 reserve power unit,” added the company.
Users can also remotely monitor and configure the device via a Modbus RTU serial interface.
Valve actuators in industry
Valve actuators play a crucial role in various industries by automating the operating of valves, controlling the flow of liquids, gases and steam. Their importance lies in enhancing efficiency, ensuring precision and promoting safety in industrial processes.
Different types of valve actuators include electric, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators. Electric actuators are known for their precision and are commonly used in applications where precise control is essential while pneumatic actuators are favoured for their cost-effectiveness and simplicity.
Hydraulic actuators, on the other hand, offer high power and reliability, often employed in heavy-duty applications.
Designing valve actuators to withstand extreme environments is essential for their successful operation when exposed to harsh conditions such as high temperatures in industrial furnaces, corrosive atmospheres in chemical plants and offshore locations with saltwater exposure.
According to market research, the valve actuator market was valued at $15.2bn in 2020 and is expected to reach $20.4bn by the end of 2027, growing at a CAGR of 4.4% during the forecast period.