Are You Ready for Alternative Energy?

Telecoms Cell Phone Tower Flow Monitor

With energy such a highly charged subject these days, it’s important to know how and where different forms are being utilized. Take cell phone towers — companies today are switching from backup batteries and electrical generators to longer-lasting, lower maintenance hydrogen fuel cells. While the benefits are high, hydrogen is still highly combustible and therefore equipment designers and installers must meet additionally demanding requirements. That increases the reliance on products like the High Pressure Excess Flow Valve (HPEFV) from ChemTec.

Alternative energy on the rise

Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are just one of many alternative energy sources with a laundry list of benefits. Others include biofuels, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). These alternative fuels can reduce operating costs, are produced domestically, and typically yield lower CO2 emissions than gasoline or diesel fuels.

CNG, LPG and hydrogen are all flammable gases at room temperature and any leak could lead to fire or explosion. Storage and production facilities are subject to stringent regulation to ensure the safety of those nearby. Multiple standards and codes govern equipment design, construction and permitting.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has published regulatory documents for hydrogen equipment design, installation and use. Chief among these are NFPA 2, “Hydrogen Technologies Code” and NFPA 852 “Standard for Installation of Stationary Fuel Cell Power Plants.” Every facility handling hydrogen in the US is expected to conform to the requirements in these documents.

Maximizing performance with the HPEFV

An obvious risk with an odorless element like hydrogen is undetected release. When stored at 2,400 psi as it is at cell phone towers, hydrogen will escape quickly through the smallest opening. ChemTec’s HPEFV protects against such events by shutting off gas flow almost instantaneously. It uses a magnetic piston held back by the pressure differential created in the flowing gas or liquid. A sudden change in this differential releases the piston which slides across to close off the port.

The HPEFV is made from 316 grade stainless steel and engineered to handle a maximum pressure of 6,000 psig. Actuation pressure is set via an external screw. After actuation pressure must be equalized on both sides before the valve can be reset.

Let us help you

By customizing the HPEFV, we can create a solution specific to your needs. All you need to do is ask — Contact us today to find out how we can help your business.

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