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H2020

HYDRACTVAL Report Summary

Project ID: 666698

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HYDRACTVAL (Low-energy leak-proof double seat control valve based on a water hydraulic actuator system)

Reporting period: 2015-12-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The HYDRACTVAL project is the fourth step in the development of the water hydraulic technology called HYDRACT. Starting in 2008, in the previous projects we developed and demonstrated a water-based actuator – the market launched was in 11/2015.

HYDRACTVAL will focus on the development, test and demonstration of a sanitary double seat process valve with full regulation capability and sealing solutions with significantly longer life time than the current solutions in the sanitary industry. The main objective is to design a complete valve system that will meet the highest hygienic standards to guarantee food and beverage safety and take advantage of the following features:

- Energy efficiency and reduced CO2 emission: Reducing electricity consumption and carbon emissions by >65%
- Precision: Accurate positioning of valve position allowing any valve to be used for regulation besides fully open/close position
- Hygiene: Leak free and sterile hydraulic system prevents spread of air borne bacteria, oil, etc., reducing the risks of food and beverage contamination
- Reliability: Reducing waste by avoiding unintended opening of valves and leaks. Avoids cavitation
- Cost: the outstanding controllability of the process flow in the novel valve will allow new process control functionality to the end users. Reduces the number of valves needed for a given process in a dairy/brewery and pharmaceutical plant, reduces the cost of production and installation of valves, and allows smaller and more flexible plants

Until now the market has divided process valves into on/off valves with one seat/seal, mix-proof on/off valves with two seats/seals for extra safety, and regulating valves that can regulate but not keep closed. The actuation principle in these valves has been a combination of steel springs and compressed air. By taking advantage of the HYDRACT actuator it is possible to develop a double seat valve that besides keeping closed when it is supposed to, can also regulate with better precision than existing regulation valves with pneumatic drives.

In the project we will design the seat area in the valve house, design the seat pistons, and defined the ideal sealing solution (design and material selection). Later, the current prototype will be tested and optimised (regulation capability, sealing, etc.), before it goes into a full-scale demonstration at Carlsberg.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project implementation from June to November 2015, followed the work planned without significant delays, except the reporting. Between December 2015 and May 2016, the project implementation (practical work) was severely delayed, while we focused in clarifying and validating all the concepts around the novel valve.

The overall progress on the specific objectives is good and the results have confirmed that the overall objectives is realistic to achieve within the projects budget. But, the reallocation of resources forced us to request an extension of the project deadline to 08/2017, and to restructure the project timeline. It has been a challenge keeping the allocated resources focussed on the project, especially from the beginning of the first reporting period and during the second period because of growth in other areas of KMR’s business. Therefore, the resources were mainly focussed on the technical activities and defining the valve design and materials. The resource situation has been solved and the project will be back on track during the next period.

The team has not identified any other risks requiring implementation of mitigating actions apart from allocating the necessary resources. As planned, we organise a workshop involving all project team, including KMR's board of directors and Carlsberg. In this workshops and subsequent discussions we clearly defined the user needs and valve specifications requirements, as well as the valve concepts for take advantage of the high precision and repeatability of the HYDRACT actuator. An unexpected new valve concept has been identified opening a new range of possibilities that will allow us to design a valve that will exceed the original expectations.

Preliminary tests of the actuator in combination with a traditional valve and a modified/optimised software showed that the precision and repeatability is better than expected regardless of the process valve design. This opens up a range of possibilities to design a valve that is using precision control to be kept closed.

We confirm that is possible to manufacture the novel valve at the targeted costs, as defined in the DoA. We have also define the best manufacturing process and materials for the seals. All this information can be found in the deliverables and confidential periodic report. In the next phase we will test and optimise the current prototype before the full-scale demonstration at Carlsberg and product certification can occur.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

As mentioned above a new valve concept has been created – described in the deliverables and confidential periodic report. The combination of hard sealing materials and precision control allow the team to consider a design with identical regulation characteristics both up- and downstream. This has a potential above and beyond expectations. The impact has not yet been quantified because the prototype testing and demonstration is still ongoing work.

At this moment, the benefits foreseen in DoA seem reasonable and can even be exceeded. Summarising, when installing the new control valve the end-user will be able to:

- Radically minimize investment in valves, hardware, and space
- Reduce time and cost in switching and cleaning between two products
- Increased run-factor in the entire production process
- Reduced energy cost and CO2 footprint
- Minimize risk and cost of quality contamination and environmental pollution

Quantification of the HYDRACTVAL will be continuously assessed in a later stage of the project. ProLeiT, leading supplier of software for breweries in Europe, is working with KMR in identifying and quantifying the benefits of using HYDRACT technology.

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