Natural Gas is a hydrocarbon gas mixture that is naturally found within the earth’s surface. It is formed when plant and animal matter decompose under intense heat and pressure from within the Earth’s surface. Wells are drilled to extract the natural gas to be used as an energy source. Plunger lifts are used to help increase gas production by keeping liquids off the formation. This allows natural gas wells to continue production long past the point where they can no longer produce fluids up the well bore on their own.
Challenge: Finding a valve that uses minimal power and can still withstand extreme cold conditions.
Plunger lift applications utilize a solenoid valve as a pilot to actuate a larger diaphragm valve. These installations are remote with no access to power from the grid. In addition, the temperature can drop to very cold conditions so preventing the valve from freezing is critical.
Solution: BL Series Latching Valve
Gems BL Series Latching Valve acts like a switch, requiring only a momentary electrical pulse to open or close it, saving vital power. Whereas a normal valve requires continuous power to keep the valve open or closed. Typically, these Plunger Lift systems are run off a combination of battery and solar power, so energy consumption must be minimal.
Extreme cold can also cause the valve to freeze. However, the perceived “freezing” or failure of latching valves in extreme cold conditions is the result of increased friction or drag brought on by the inability of the coils magnetic field to cancel the opposing magnetic field completely. During extreme cold conditions, battery power can decrease, and solar production can be limited. This ultimately limits the coils magnetic field and thus can prevent the valve from opening correctly.
However, Gems unique plunger design ensures it is centered within the guide tube, reducing the amount of friction between the plunger and the guide tube wall. This helps lower the amount of magnetic field required to lift the plunger up ensuring the valves correct operation.
Features of the Gems’ BL Series Latching Valve:
- Available in 2 or 3-Way configurations
- Has bubble tight sealing capability and is designed to last for millions of cycles in general purpose liquid, gas, and vacuum applications
- Available in various orifice sizes, body materials, wattages, and coil constructions
Additional Sensor Options for Plunger Lift Applications:
- 3100 Series Pressure Sensor for monitoring system pressure