Reducing maintenance costs and achieving energy savings are high on the list of operational budgetary items to monitor in plants across the globe. In fact, analyzing energy efficiencies with regard to valves, an industrial product that sometimes exist as components of critical operations systems for a large variety of applications not just in the single digits, but which there are often actually thousands of valves in use in an enterprise industrial project, has a direct tie-in to issues of sustainability.
Sustainability is in many ways an increasingly discussed and analyzed aspect of the functioning of global businesses and is today more commonly viewed as a keystone toward the attainment of business growth, innovation, and competitive advantage by approximately 80% of CEOs in global corporations.
Although discussions surrounding energy efficiencies with regard to valves are a hot topic at the moment, this consideration is not necessarily new. In March 2007, the government Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy released Pumping Systems Tip Sheet #10 with a main topic article entitled: Energy Savings Opportunities in Control Valves where they stated: “Valves that consume a large fraction of the total pressure drop for the system or are excessively throttled can be opportunities for energy savings. Pressure drops or head losses in liquid pumping systems increase the energy requirements of these systems. Pressure drops are caused by resistance or friction in piping and in bends, elbows, or joints, as well as by throttling across the control valves. The power required to overcome a pressure drop is proportional to both the fluid flow rate (given in gallons per minute [gpm]) and the magnitude of the pressure drop (expressed in feet of head).”
Today, in 2014, many valve manufacturers and companies that engineer systems involving the use of valves have already spent many years working diligently to optimize the energy efficiencies of each system in relation to valves.
The Critical Role of Valve Industry Knowledge
Knowledge regarding which types of valves are most suitable to each application is paramount in achieving energy efficiency goals. The government office tip sheet listed above goes on to state: “Pumping system controls should be evaluated to determine the most economical control method. High-head-loss valves, such as globe valves, are commonly used for control purposes. Significant losses occur with these types of valves, however, even when they are fully open. If the evaluation shows that a control valve is needed, choose the type that minimizes pressure drop across the valve.”
However, valve knowledge has not always been as abundantly available to all who needed access to it as would have be desirable to achieve the best historical results. Many organizations have had to rely on a single individual or at best, a small handful of industry pros to both accomplish the many daily tasks they were faced with, as well as to attempt to share their valve knowledge with all who needed it.
Considering the fact that the actual choice of which valves to use in which instance is a cornerstone piece of achieving energy efficiencies with valve products, a great deal of validity is demonstrated in connection with our efforts at EmpoweringValves.com and the efforts of those who have both motivated and supported the launch and further development of the Empowering Valves community.
A Centralized Valve Industry Resource
This mission of creating a central hub for all industry professionals who are affected by the valve industry and work heavily within the valve industry to join together and actively share their knowledge and experiences; of providing an effective platform for the voices of the valve industry to be heard and reach the ears of those in need, has never been more important than it is today!
Beyond finding this wealth of knowledge on valves and the valve community on the EmpoweringValves.com website, you will note that many of these items are shared in a very easy to locate format through the use of social media engines such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and in the LinkedIn Group where the community of professionals involved in some aspect of the valve industry gathers together online to actually participate interactively in valve topic discussions, where questions are answered, and helpful support is shared. In this online valve community, people who are really out there in the field, living the reality of all we are discussing online, are accessible and interested in talking about their experiences and life as field workers, safety workers, engineers and designers, CEOs, COOs, and other hard working managers in the valve community.
As we continue to work to pull together the many sources of essential valve information, providing a central location for direction to important information such as this valve basics photo gallery from the VMA, an energy cost calculator, this valve selection tool, the FSA Gasket publications, information on valve industry events and training, valve industry associations, and a vast array of continuously updated news about valves, we are continuing to work each day to improve the global capabilities for advanced achievements in valve energy efficiency.
All of this equates to sustainability for industrial companies, which in turn is simply “Good Business!”