Earlier this year Total Lockout was awarded the order to supply portable valve actuators for large penstocks on the new run of river hydroelectric generating scheme on the Abhainn Chia-aig river, located at the eastern end of Loch Arkaig, approximately 15km to the north of Fort William.
The project is to generate up to 3 megawatts (MW) of electricity, which is enough to meet the annual average energy needs of about 2,290 homesFN.
Part of the project involves large diameter penstocks which can be troublesome to operate. In particular, taking a long time by manual operation and having the possibility of causing strain injury.
In mid 2014 Total Lockout sent a demonstration model of the APS140N petrol motor powered portable valve actuator to the job site where engineers from RWE Innogy UK were able to field test the unit. After a successful trial dimension of the valves and input gear drives were collected to enable coupling kits to be designed and made.
The accuracy of the valve dimensions on any portable drive system is essential to ensure good fit and ease of use. Often the anti-rotation bracket (the component used to protect the operator against torque load) becomes a permanent fixture on the valve. The power tool and drive adaptors can be carried from valve to valve to speed up operation.