Pneumatic valve actuator to prevent water hammer

09 February 2018

Water hammer occurs when the flow of fluid in a pipe rapidly changes. The result can be very high pipe pressures, mechanical stress on pipe supports, and possible reversal of flow. If not controlled it can cause pipe bursting, broken pipe supports and joint leakage.

Controlling valve closure time is one of the most economical ways to minimize water hammer. To do this efficiently, while still meeting the process requirements, the use of a variable speed mechanism to control valve stroke is used.

A pump station in the USA was having repeated problems with a large, open reservoir hydraulic actuator used to dampen valve opening and closing. It was overly cumbersome and costly to maintain.

In its place, the pumping station installed Kinetrol Size 14 double acting actuators with digital speed controllers and Kinetrol LJ rotary dampers installed on 12” Pratt butterfly valves.

Using pulsed outputs with programmable delay between steps, the actuators provide a 10 minute opening & closing time for the full 90 degree travel. The system is adjustable between 3-15 minutes with less than one degree increments, and other opening and closing ranges are available.