Valve actuators approved for balance of plant duties

Jon Lawson

Following an in-depth modest integrity assessment (MIG), EDF Energy has approved Rotork IQ3 non-intrusive intelligent valve actuators for balance of plant applications within its nuclear power stations. EDF Energy operates nuclear power stations around the world, including eight in the UK, where it hopes to build four more reactors at two sites.

Balance of plant areas typically include the turbine hall, water treatment and cooling systems. Approval for Rotork IQ3 technology brings the benefits of increased functionality to the operation of valves and dampers in these areas. Secure, non-intrusive infrared set-up and data transfer eliminates the need to remove electrical covers for commissioning once the actuator is site wired. This feature permanently protects internal components from the time the new actuator leaves the factory, enhancing the traditional double-sealed enclosure design that has been a standard feature of Rotork actuators for nearly 50 years.

Powerful operational data logging is another standard feature of IQ3 actuators, providing comprehensive diagnostic information that can be used for preventative maintenance and asset management. Valve maintenance requirements can be identified and anticipated, eliminating unplanned interruptions to the process or over-cautious planned maintenance outages. This ability, which is widely adopted in many industries including conventional power generation, can assist EDF Energy with its plans for life extensions in its existing nuclear fleet as well as new stations.

Data includes valve torque profiles, operational start profiles, vibration and temperature trend logs and an event log. Specific asset management information includes running time, average torque and number of starts. Service or maintenance alarms are selectable from configurable menus including open and close torque levels, total starts and vibration levels. 

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