Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

World’s largest gate valves will operate in Texas water pipeline

The world’s largest gate valves. Source: Blackhall Engineering

 

No doubt overshadowed, in Canada at least, by the breaking news that US President Trump has approved the long-delayed Keystone XL Pipeline, another pipeline story is unfolding in Texas, this one concerning water. The Integrated Pipeline Project (IPL) is tiny in terms of distance covered, compared to Keystone: it will run just 241 kilometres, compared to over 5,000 kilometres for the oil pipeline, including more than 3,000 kilometres already built within Canada. The short distance does not in any way diminish the importance of the water pipeline, however, as more that 13 million residents of the Dallas Fort Worth area are expected to need the water it will provide by the year 2060. The IPL will provide an additional 1.59 billion litres of water (350 million gallons) per day when fully operational. It is estimated to cost $2.3 billion.

A key component of the pipeline is its valves. When the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) and the Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) partnered to execute the IPL, they required that the valves used in the project have an asset life of 100 years. Blackhall Engineering Limited, a British firm, won the contract, calling it their greatest challenge to date. The result is “the world’s largest gate valves.”

In addition to the 241 kilometres of pipeline, with a diameter of 259 cm (102 inch), the project involves three lake pump stations and three booster pump stations. Blackball designed and manufactured six High Pressure DN2800/108 inch Parallel Faced Metal Seated Gate Valves, weighing in at over 100 tons each and standing 40 feet tall. The giant gate valves regulate the water flow in the largest and longest sections of the pipeline.

According to Blackhall, it ensured the success of the product through its Advanced Casting Simulation Programme, which optimizes the casting process to ensure that the manufactured castings are free from residual stresses that could develop during the solidification of the metal. As well, the company says it employed Finite Element Analysis to simulate and predict the structural behaviour of the valves during operation and its capability of sealing under various flow and pressure conditions. Computational Seismic Analysis was also employed to ensure sustainability and robustness of the valves during earthquakes and such events.

So far, the first installed valve has passed all hydraulic tests; the five remaining valves are currently in production.

ATI Linear actuator for installation on 259 cm diameter gate valve for Tarrant County Water District IPL project.

Also thought to be the largest in the world are the hydraulically operated linear actuators, manufactured by Automation Technology (ATI), with a bore of 76 cm (30 inch). The actuators will regulate the water flow on the IPL and were selected because of their ability to close the massive gate valves. The first of five actuators has successfully completed the Factory Acceptance Test. The gate valves will be buried underground, but the actuators will operate above ground, housed in silos for access and maintenance.

Though not without controversy—some landowners on the pipeline’s route opposed it—the IPL has nevertheless been given an award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, the Envision Platinum Award. It is the first platinum-awarded pipeline in the Institute’s history. The Envision rating is based on Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Risk. Points are awarded in each category for the positive social, economic and environmental impacts in the community.

The pipeline will save the community over $1 billion in energy costs over its lifetime, according to TRWD, and will boost the local economy and employment, as well as ensuring a sustainable water supply.

More Great Stories
Swimming Robot to Examine Damage from Japan’s Nuclear Reactor
Toshiba, a Japanese industrial group unveiled a swimming robot designed to probe damage from meltdo [more]
Ontario to update Nuclear Emergency Response Plan in the event of nuclear and radiological events
Although Ontario's nuclear system has an excellent safety record, Ontario is inviting the public to [more]
StatsCan reports record auto sales for May 2017: 11 per cent over last year
Spring fever hit the auto sector as annualized sales reached 2 million units for the month of May, 2 [more]
$2 Billion expansion of Nova gas pipeline planned by TransCanada Corp to increase pipeline capacity
TransCanada Corp plans a significant multi-billion dollar expansion of its Nova natural gas pipeline [more]
Electric bush plane: combined project of Zenair and Solar Ship combines rugged short landings with green technology
Two aircraft companies from Ontario have recently combined efforts in a unique project as part of th [more]
Silicon Valley North: Canada aims to rival Silicon Valley due to better access to highly skilled workers on expedited visas
Not content with the title of "Hollywood North", Canada aims to further develop their "Silicon Valle [more]
Clean freight: with over 10 per cent of emissions coming from “goods moving” the push is on for greener trucking
Greenhouse gas emissions have been on the rise, and approximately ten per cent of Canada’s emissio [more]
Ford’s 347 kph GT: World’s fastest supercar a testbed for new automotive technology
The team of automotive engineers behind Ford’s GT had three goals when they first began work in 20 [more]
Amazon brings 800 high tech jobs to Ontario including engineers, programmers and developers
Ontario has secured a significant investment from global technology company Amazon thanks to the pro [more]
NASA Studies Climate Change in Canada’s Skies
A decade-long project, which is currently in its second year, will include NASA traversing the Canad [more]
Oil production should grow 33 per cent in Canada by 2030, despite lower oilsands spending
Crude oil production is projected to increase to 5.12 million barrels per day by 2030 — up from 2 [more]
Canada green tech company helps Chile reduce methane in landfills: $7 million project
With Chile's environment minister, Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate C [more]
Engineers being heroes: helping bring much-needed water to some of the 1.8 billion people who desperately need it
According to the United Nations, approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide have little to no access [more]
First wearable real-time translator device could change how we do business internationally
Have you ever tried to close the business deal in Hong Kong, only to be frustrated by lack of qualif [more]

Other Popular News and Stories

  • Volkswagen to produce super-efficient hybrid
  • Canadian oil production up; producers turning to railways for shipment
  • Japex to buy into west coast LNG development
  • Miners struggling with higher costs, lower prices
  • SPPCA's new landing gear facility opening in Mississauga
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada announces helicopter engine contracts
  • Russian leasing company orders 42 CSeries jets from Bombardier
  • Skilled labour shortage in world oil industry: report
  • Bombardier nearly ready to flight test CSeries
  • DART Aerospace re-branding itself to reach wider markets
  • Canadian business, except energy, had profitable Q4: Statistics Canada
  • RV industry has growing role in Canada's economy: study
  • Economy managed slight growth in Q4, but shrank in December
  • Clean energy expected to surge as pv costs drop
  • GM investing $250 million at Ingersoll plant
  • BC refinery close to financing deal
  • Manufacturing the sole industry showing job losses in February
  • FTG Aerospace to supply avionics to Rockwell Collins
  • Bombardier holds update on CSeries aircraft
  • Canada keeping up pressure on US for Keystone XL approval