A custom-made solution for ENGIE / GRT-GAZ to actuate a manual valve safely and faster!

28 July 2017

PVA Case studies

ENGIE / GRT GAZ owns and operates the largest high-pressure natural gas transmission network in Europe. It is for its site of underground natural gas storage located in Beynes in France that ENGIE / GRT GAZ was looking for a solution to motorize a valve that was too slow and difficult to actuate.

Operating this valve manually was taking about 25 minutes and required the strength of 2 operators for the 12 revolutions required. The two operators had to use a lever arm to apply a sufficient torque (about 630 Nm) to open or close the valve. This operation was painful and not very safe for operators who could get hurt during manipulation. ENGIE / GRT GAZ was looking for a detachable device self sufficient in energy to enable rapid use on an unplanned intervention.

How to solve those manipulations’ difficulties

After a first meeting on site with our team, the torque required has been estimated around 630 Nm. Two solutions have been considered at that time: a pneumatic portable valve actuator which has the advantage of being ATEX certified; and an electric portable valve actuator (working on batteries) which is more flexible to set up and self sufficient in energy. It is this last solution that had finally been chosen.


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An electric portable valve actuator and a custom made flange

For safety reasons and because the torque for this application was very important, it has been decided that the portable actuator will operate with a torque reaction system that will be fixed directly on the valve. This way, the operator won’t have to carry the actuator during maneuvers. The safety of the operator is guarantee as the torque will never been applied to him especially when the portable valve actuator starts and stops.

After a second meeting our team came back with all dimensions and measurements required to start designing a special flange capable of handling the torque and being easy to set up for the operators.

The valve now gets open in a minute!

Finally, our team went back a last time on the site of Beynes to deliver the custom-made solution, test it and train operators on this new tool. The result? Now the valve is actuated in a minute ! The solution is simple, safe and the risk of accidents or injuries is now eliminated.

Our portable valve actuators are powerful tools to actuate valves in total safety. They reduce the risk of accident, guarantee the safety of operators and protect your equipment from being damaged. Our range of portable actuators is composed of 3 types of motors (electric, pneumatic, petrol) and a large number of adapters, options and torque reaction systems essential for safety. Moreover, as you probably know now, we are able to design any devices specific to your environment and your application. Do not hesitate to contact us.




Marie-Charlotte Messier
Marie-Charlotte Messier

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