MCE Group PLC: Improving Plant Reliability with ValvPerformance Testing™
Field-proven solutions for severe service applications
Leaking valves are costing UK power stations millions of pounds annually in lost energy and maintenance downtime, and often these leaks are seen as a necessary cost of doing business. But through ValvPerformance Testing™, MCE Group PLC (MCE Group) has worked with power stations across the UK to assess and reduce these losses.
ValvPerformance Testing™ is a non-intrusive acoustic inspection process, which ascertains steam leakage levels in valves whilst in operation. MCE Group technicians conduct an on-site survey that can cover up to 75 valves per day. Specialists then analyze the results at ValvTechnologies’ head office. A technical report is issued outlining the impact of any leaking valves on plant unit efficiency in terms of savings (costs and fugitive emissions). This report allows plants to take restorative action.
Depending on the reported losses, many customers often see a return on investment in less than one week, recovering sizeable megawatt loss.
MCE Group technicians recently completed a further round of non-intrusive ValvPerformance Testing™ on a total of 148 Globe / Gate Valves on HT steam processes on UK Biomass and Efw Power Stations, with all valves being in service for 3 years or less.
Based on the plants hourly operating costs and annual run time, the reported steam losses were a combined 2.35MWH, resulting in a total cost attributable to cycle isolation losses of £642K per annum.
By replacing valves with soft or stellite coated seats to ValvTechnologies metal-seated, zero-leakage Isolation valves, payback can be less than 1 month in some cases, and for all steam applications on Power Stations, ValvTechnologies offer a 4-year, unlimited cycle, material and workmanship guarantee.
ValvPerformance Testing™ has been utilized successfully in multiple power-producing processes, including Biomass, and a recent valvem changeout here, resulted in vastly improved steam capture.
“One week after installation, we already notice how much quieter the valves are and that the team are impressed with the look, ease of operation and seat tightness compared to the valves which have been replaced, and we can already visibly see the results of additional capture in our steam tanks. We plan to replace more valves in the very near future.” – Operation & Maintenance Manager, Biomass Power Station.
ValvPerformance Testing™ has regularly been performed at a Nuclear facility resulting in valve changeout, and a considerable improvement to the process..
“A number of the engineers on station, including myself, like the simple but elegant design, construction and quality of the ValvTechnologies V1-1 ball valves. Several hundred V1-1 valves have been installed on the station over the years and these have resolved a number of process plant issues and recovered sizeable MWe losses.” – Systems Engineer, Nuclear Power Station.
The ValvTechnologies V1-1 Series’ seat design provides improved performance, far beyond the capability of conventional seats with wear and corrosion prone crevices.
Engineered to eliminate leak paths, maximize a smooth flow and make maintenance and repair easier, the ValvTechnologies design and construction gives an absolute tight shut off, with zero leakage.
- Available sizes 1/4” - 4”, ASME 900 - 4500#
- End connections, Butt Weld, Socket Weld, Flanged
- Proven sealing under every operating condition up to 1400°F (760°C)
MCE Group can work with the site on the best strategy to improve operations for plant type and operational goals. ValvPerformance Testing™ can be conducted for the partial or complete plant, and replacement projects can be scheduled in phases to align with operational and maintenance plans.
Published: 27th October 2021
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