Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Challenging Steam Balancing Valve Application at Southwest Power Plant

Steam Balance Valve
Steam balance valve
with Kinetrol model 30.
In combined-cycle power generation plants, the most common design for managing high-pressure steam is with cascading bypass systems. Balancing valves are used on the hot reheat line to respond to control loop demands. The application is difficult because of high pressures, high temperatures, and large valve sizes (high torque). The valves must shut off tightly and also be capable of precise throttling.

Outfitting these valves with pneumatic actuators is also difficult. Because of the valve size and valve design, actuators must have high torque output, without taking up vast amounts of space. The actuators must also act quickly and eliminate hysteresis.

Most pneumatic actuator designs simply cannot meet the operating and size restrictions, and hydraulic actuators, with all of their associated maintenance problems, are used instead.

A Kinetrol Distributor in the Southwest USA was asked to recommend a better alternative to a line where very large scotch-yoke actuators controlling two (2) 18" valves were controlling poorly and were taking up too much space.

The Distributor's challenge was to:
  • Deliver very high torque output.
  • Provide as small a package as possible.
  • Improve the actuators stability and reliability.
The solution was to apply Kinetrol model 30 vane actuators. The model 30's deliver 168,000 lbf (at 100 psi) of torque in a compact envelope (comparatively). Additionally, the Kinetrol Model 30's, combined with third-party digital valve positioners, provided the precision and response the application required to eliminate oscillations and instability.  The actuators cycle about 20 times per day and have been performing without problem for years. Huge annual fuel savings can be directly attributed to the actuators reliability and precision due to fewer turbine restarts.

Steam Balance Valve
Power plant steam balancing valves in service.

For more information, contact Kinetrol USA by visiting https://kinetrolusa.com or by calling 972-447-9443.