Rotork pipeline actuators facilitate solar powered solution for remote valve control


Rotork pipeline actuators facilitate solar powered solution for remote valve control

The Puesto Hernanadez-El Corcobo Norte Oil Pipeline traverses eighty kilometres of remote and virtually deserted wilderness in the Neuquen area of south-west Argentina, close to the border with Chile.  In this unforgiving environment – where fluctuating ambient temperatures drop well below zero in Winter – the vital provision of reliable, remote valve control and indication has been successfully achieved by the use of Modbus-enabled Rotork EH Range electro-hydraulic actuators, operated by solar powered battery packs.

The Rotork actuators provide double-acting on-off control for Wenlen 12 inch ANSI Class 600 pipeline ball valves in six locations along the pipeline’s route through the wilderness.  The self-contained Rotork EH actuators operate from a 24 Volt DC power supply, facilitating a solar powered solution that is efficient, environmentally friendly and economical, saving the potentially significant environmental harm and cost of installing mains power sources along the length of the pipeline.

The innovative Rotork EH actuator design comprises an integrated control module, a hydraulic manifold and a power unit consisting of a motor, hydraulic pump and reservoir.  Protected by a waterproof and explosionproof enclosure, EH electronic functionality benefits from Rotork’s IQ intelligent electric actuation technology, providing configuration, diagnostics, fault indication and position indication by means of a digital visual display and non-intrusive, two-way infrared communication with a hand-held programmer.  The actuators on the Puesto Hernandez-El Corcobo Norte Oil Pipeline are controlled and monitored by a SCADA system utilising the Modbus digital bus protocol.

Gabriel De Visnyey, Rotork Fluid Systems Regional Sales Manager for Latin America comments:  “The combination of features inherent in the EH design makes it an ideal choice for remote pipeline valve actuation and facilitates the use of renewable energy sources such as solar power whenever possible, as illustrated by this project.”

The Puesto Hernandez-El Corcobo Norte Oil Pipeline has been constructed by engineering contractor Arcan with procurement and construction contractor Skanska S.A. for Petroandina Resources, the Argentinian oil transportation company.  The EH actuators were supplied and commissioned by Rotork’s agent in Argentina, Industrias Metalart S.A. and the solar powered power supplies were designed and manufactured by Solartec.