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Rotork intelligent actuators used in solar-powered pipeline control stations

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Rotork has announced that its IQ3 intelligent multi-turn electric actuators are being used in solar-powered control stations for water gathering pipelines in the US.

The intelligent systems ‘allow for the remote operation of single-stage isolation and modulating valves’ to control water flows in a high-pressure pipeline network, located in shale oilfields in West Texas and New Mexico, according to the company.

The actuators have been installed at five mile intervals in off-grid areas, in a solution that combines solar panels with control stations and actuators. The solar solution enables the operation of automated valve technology to control water flow in areas with no mains power.

Each control station features an IQ3 actuator that controls a 12-inch or 16-inch ball valve, while individual solar panels power a 24, 48 or 120 VDC motor.

The solar solution provides power for both the IQ3 electric valve actuators and programmable logic controllers to carry contaminants from the oilfields to water gathering and disposal facilities. A low-voltage alarm system alerts pipeline operators when solar power drops below the level needed to operate the valves.

Rotork’s intelligent actuators provide continuous tracking through an absolute encoder; in the event of power failure, graphical interface, remote indication and datalogger are all maintained and remain accessible.

The use of solar power in valve automation has become a reliable alternative for pipelines located in remote, off-grid areas.