Whichever energy is chosen, the most important parameter for the selection of an actuator is the operating torque. Usually expressed in newton meters (Nm) for the metric system or in foot by pounds (lb.ft) for the Anglo-Saxon unit system. Unless a measurement is taken, it is not always easy to know this value. However, the diameter of the handwheel intended for manual operation of a valve gives us an indication. Indeed they are generally dimensioned so that the operator's effort does not exceed 20 Nm per arm.
It is difficult to know the actuating torque of a valve as the values indicated by the manufacturers are only valid for new equipments, which has been installed according to the rules of the trade. Depending on the service life of the equipment, the environment and the operating conditions, the actuating torque can become very high.
The choice of the energy does not affect the torque performance of the modec portable valve actuator range. Whether in the gaz, electric or pneumatic family there are models that can achieve the same torque ranges, up to 1000 Nm.
So why choose one energy rather than another for your portable valve actuator? I propose to list in detail the reasons which could motivate the choice of an actuator operating with compressed air from the modec HL83 range:
If your environment is an Atex zone our HL83 models are ATEX II certified. Due to their construction and the materials used, no heat or sparks are emitted during use. The power supply boxes that we have specially developed for this range of actuators, such as the AC118 or AC107, are also ATEX certified. By adjusting the supply pressure of these boxes it is possible to adjust the torque of the actuator connected to them.
Operators must use the actuator for long periods of time. It should be noted that the Modec air motors that equip our entire range of HL83 actuators are 4 to 5 times smaller than an electric motor for example. This also translates into a weight saving which is an undeniable advantage for frequent and repeated manipulations. For example, our HL83E-054-00 actuator weighs less than 4 kg. This type of sustained use can be found among our valve manufacturer customers who use our portable valve actuators at the end of assembly to carry out operating tests.
The other strong point of this range is that as soon as a air network is available in the area of use, there is no more problem of autonomy. The pressure required to operate the HL83 actuators is low, 6 bars maximum.
If for all the families of portable valve actuators the torque performances are equivalent, the HL83 range of actuators has a higher power, close to 2000W for the most powerful. This is made possible by the small size of the modec air motors I mentioned in the previous point. More power means that for the same torque the operating speed will be higher.
Taking the example of the HL83S-035-00 portable valve actuator, it will be possible to reach a rotation speed of 140 rpm under a torque of about 120 Nm. In case of very low torque, the operating speed will be close to 270 rpm. It is therefore the ideal solution for this case where the aim is to optimise the operating times.
Moreover, this does not limit its use to this type of fast operation, in fact by adding an accessory such as the BJH01 socket head, you will have a solution allowing on the one hand to operate rising stem valves but also to raise the available torque of your actuator to a value of 530 Nm.
The location or environment of your valves requires special ergonomics. Our HL83 range combines the most compact of our actuators with the HL83E model, but also the longest (HL83S). While the former, such as the HL83E-023-00, allows valve operation in very confined or congested spaces, the HL83S portable actuators, thanks to their configuration, allows the operator to be moved away from the valve location. In fact, the acceleration and start up controls are located at the end of the actuator. This makes it possible to operate a valve located outside a guardrail for example.
To sum up, I have only one recommendation: call a specialist. At modec we have the experience because we are field people and the portable valve actuator solutions that we develop respond to each type of application or situation.
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