Energy Optimisation Project Successfully Completed using On-Line Valve Insertion for Pipe Isolation Without Shutdown
Wellube’s On-Line Valve Insertion service uses an innovative cutting technique that leaves no negative effect on the integrity of the pipeline. Our technique allows the valve to be installed at full pressure with no need to shut off the water supply.
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Summary of the Project
Wellube successfully completed energy efficiency measures on a major infrastructure in the UAE, by installing isolation valves to in various existing bypass lines to separate the chilled water supply and return lines. This project was completed using On-line Valve Insertion for pipelines where shutdown was not allowed and conventional line stopping method for the other pipelines.
The client had completed an evaluation of their energy utilisation and wanted a solution to help them optimise the energy consumption in their facility by controlling their cooling requirements. The facility had chiller lines (supply & return) with decouplers, which caused mixing of the cooling water and hence inefficient cooling. Therefore, to maintain cooling throughout the infrastructure, pumps had to be constantly run which led to unnecessary energy utilization.
To solve this issue, the client wanted Wellube to install isolation valves in various existing bypass lines between the chilled water supply and return lines to separate them, thus avoiding the mixing of the supply and return lines while being able to maintain the desired temperature.
- Conventional line stopping method was not feasible at all places due to access and space constraints
- Shutdown of the facility was not possible
Unique Solution delivered
Taking into consideration the challenges in the project and the critical nature of the client facility we proposed On-Line Valve Insertion (OVI) on the live chilled water line along with conventional line stopping method. The OVI method uses an innovative cutting technique that has no negative effect on the pipe integrity and allows the valve to be installed at full pressure without the need to shut off the water supply thus avoiding a costly downtime.
Prior to implementation we had performed a complete in-house mockup demonstration at our facility in Sharjah for the end client and the main contractor, this demo helped them get a better understanding about the technology. Following this session, Wellube was awarded the contract for installation of all the valves in the client facility, ranging from 2” to 14” sizes.
Owing to the magnitude of the project and the unique challenges it faced, we opted for two methods based on the situation.
- Online Valve Insertion: In situations where shutdown was not possible and there was narrow access space we opted for this method. We have performed 70 insertions in this facility with 100% success rate. We were able to service sizes ranging from 2” NPS to 14” NPS.
- Conventional Valve installation: We used this method for locations where we could not install the OVI due to the shorter length of the pipe or less space clearance. In this process we had shut down the pipes and deployed the Clamshell Pipe Cutting machines to cut the pipes to the required length for the installation of the valves. Th final welding work & the related non-destructive testing (NDT) were carried out and the lines were re-energized. The size ranges we worked on are from 2.5” to 24”.
From the total scope of work, 53 were flanged decoupler lines. In this scenario we used spade installation and deployed flange spreaders & necessary tools. Once the installation was completed, the bolts were retorqued to get the isolation. The spading sizes we worked on ranged from 2” to 10”.
- Fully HSE compliant with no incidents
- Customised solution according to the available client conditions.
- Project executed with minimal interruption to client operations.
- Integrity of the pipe was not compromised in the On-Line Valve Insertion method as the cut made in the pipe covers only 1/3rd of the pipe circumference.
- Overall installation time was less than 6 hours.
- For OVI no welding work was required for the installation.
- Resilient wedge gate ensured perfect seal against the pipe wall.
- Only a minimum clearance of 1.5 to 2mtrs was required around the pipe for the cutting operation.