Valves for Hydropower

Valves for Hydropower

One way of producing electricity is through hydropower, which is installing dams on rivers that have a large drop in elevation—the dam stores lots of water behind it in a reservoir. Near the bottom of the dam wall, there is a water intake. Gravity causes it to fall through a penstock inside the dam. At the end of the penstock, a turbine propellor turns by the moving water. The shaft from the turbine goes up into the generator, which produces the power. Power lines connect the generator to the electric distribution system.

Electricity demand is not constant. Requirements go up and down during the day. Overnight there is less need for electricity in homes, businesses, and other facilities. Hydroelectric plants are more efficient at providing peak power demands during short periods than fossil-fuel and nuclear power plants. One way of doing that is by using "pumped storage", which reuses the same water more than once.

Pumped storage is a method of keeping water in reserve for peak period power demands by pumping water that has already flowed through the turbines back up a reservoir above the power plant when customer demand for energy is low, such as during the middle of the night. The water is then allowed to flow back through the turbine-generators when demand is high and the system is under heavy load.

The reservoir acts much like a battery, storing power in the water when demands are low and producing maximum power during daily and seasonal peak periods. An advantage of pumped storage is that hydroelectric generating units can start up quickly and make rapid output adjustments.

The Hydro/Dam Industry demands can take a toll on valves not up to the job of using the power of moving waters to generate electricity. Val-Matic has several Quarter-Turn and Check Valves that can meet these demands. Quarter-Turn valves such as QuadroSphere® Ball Valves, Ener•G® Ball Valves, and American-BFV® Butterfly Valves are available in a wide range of sizes and pressure classes. The QuadroSphere® has additional flow paths and a seat that is contact minimized for reduced wear and operating torques. Val-Matic's Surgebuster® Check Valve, Tilted Disc® Check Valve, and Swing Check Valve have features and designs to prevent slamming, reduce headloss and provide significant pumping cost savings.

Automatic Controls of Virginia
(804) 752-1000