Shale gas is becoming an increasingly important source of the natural gas sector globally, with the top 25 areas alone containing an astonishing 175,000 trillion cubic feet of unrecovered gas.

The current focus of global shale gas reserves is in the US, China and Australia, and is expected to extend into Canada, India, Poland and the UK.

And as a result Norgren, which claims to be an international market leader in pneumatic motion and fluid control technologies, has increased its commitment to develop technologically advanced energy-efficient actuator-control solenoid valves to deliver Engineering Advantage in shale gas applications, ably demonstrated by its latest manual reset low-power solenoid valve.

Norgren acknowledges that one of the biggest challenges facing the shale gas industry is the need to find actuation devices that consume very low power in order to be able to operate in remote areas with the only available source of power being the sun.

With a power consumption as low as 0.5W – believed to be the lowest of any direct-acting or hydraulic valve on the market today - Norgren’s new manual reset solenoid valve is ideal for these low power, low pressure hydraulic actuation applications.

The new product boasts a <60ms changeover speed and a five kilogramme return spring, which is three times that of most other products on the market and ensures 10 times the force friction ratio (FFR).

The full range is certified to ATEX Ex d IIC T6-T4 (-55°C to +90°C) and has an IP66/X8 and Nema 4X environmental rating.

Its operating pressure range is 0-12 Bar (pneumatic and hydraulic) with each fully balanced valve delivering leak-tight performance.

The new product draws on Norgren’s globally renowned Maxseal ICO technology, whose inherent reliability characteristics have provided safe and reliable performance, even in the most arduous environments, across the globe for more than 50 years.

“Norgren is continually pushing the boundaries of valve and instrumentation technology and has an established reputation for high-performance products which operate across the oil and gas, petrochemical, chemical, and power generation markets across the world.”

says Jon Taylor, Global Sector Head – Energy at Norgren.

“The new valve has been optimised to combine minimal power consumption with optimised safety and all the key performance attributes the sector has come to expect from Norgren products. The range will be further enhanced later this year with a fully automatic solenoid valve ensuring complete coverage for all actuation methodologies in this emerging sector.”