IQ valve control upgrade for historic waterway lift lock


IQ valve control upgrade for historic waterway lift lock

Rotork Site Services has successfully completed an unusual retrofit and upgrade project on the historical Peterborough Lift Lock, the main tourist attraction on the Trent Severn Waterway in southern Ontario, Canada.

Built in 1904, the Peterborough Lift Lock claims the world’s highest hydraulic lift.  The 65ft (19.8 metre) lift, which takes approximately two minutes, is in continuous use from May to October each year, serving the mainly recreational and tourist boaters who comprise the majority of today’s waterway users.

As Regan Bull from Rotork’s Mississauga Office explains, the lift operation is elegantly simple: “the lift relies on gravitational forces and the counterweighted actions of its basins.  Two massive 7ft (2.13 metre) diameter rams rest upon a granite bedrock footing and support steel-girded basins weighing 1,300 tons each.  Each basin is capable of carrying a craft up to 40 metres long.

“Once the uppermost basin reaches its top elevation it uses a series of hydraulics to add more water, so that the additional volume offsets the weight of the lower basin, pushing it up as the upper basin descends.  At the base of each ram are two 12 inch (300mm) Class 600 gate valves which control the first lift of the day and isolate the rams when they are in their extended position.”

After more than 30 years continuous service the two Rotork ‘A’ range 40A Syncropak actuators that controlled these valves were in need of refurbishment, but the decision was made to use this opportunity to upgrade to the latest IQPro control and diagnostic technologies.

Regan continues: “Amidst the ice and snow of March 2009 staff from Parks Canada and Rotork Site Services moved in and the retrofit was swiftly completed. With the ice now gone the busy boating season is underway again and, with the help of Rotork Site Services, Peterborough Lift Lock is ready to continue its distinguished history for years to come.”