Helping calm Northumbrian waters

The client

Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) operates in the North East of England, supplying an impressive 650 million litres of water daily to people and businesses in the counties of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and parts of North Yorkshire.

The challenge

To tame the pressure in a demanding District Metering Area (DMA). The DMA exhibits very high demand at peak usage periods during the day, falling to minimal demand during the dead of the night. Oxford Flow had to provide a valve that managed water pressure effectively during peak and low periods to help manage leakage and provide a reliable service. 

The solution: Oxford Flow’s IP series PRV valve

Our unique IP Series PRV provided the answer. Smaller and lighter than traditional PRVs, the IP Series was supplied along with a matching spool to enable quick and easy replacement of the existing PRV without the need for pipework modifications. Fitting of the PRV was complete in just 20 minutes. Weighing just 4 Kg means manoeuvring the valve into position required just one hand compared to the three technicians it took to lift the existing PRV from the pit.

To closely monitor the performance an enhanced logger was deployed with the monitoring turned to the maximum 60Hz. This enabled a greater visualisation and highlighted what a tough job this PRV needs to manage. Christopher Leonard, Business Development Director at Oxford Flow explains; 

“Thanks to the IP series’ innovative design, the piston actuator delivers precise, stable control across the entire operating range. When in use, the piston moves inward, reducing the size of the cavity when the downstream demand increases and the pipeline pressure falls below the required outlet pressure. As a result flow increases and maintains a stable outlet pressure. The reverse operation occurs when pressure increases downstream as demand falls and the piston moves to the closed position to maintain a stable downstream pressure.

The results 

The results of the Oxford Flow IP Series PRV trial are very encouraging as it appears that the valve is also mitigating the pressure transients and protecting the downstream system from further shock and stress. Peter Wilson, Network Performance Co-ordinator of Northumbria Water explained: “Like many other water companies, we are faced with maintaining steady supply pressures in our network whatever the customer demand, a big challenge.

This site is particularly demanding due to the significant difference between peaks and lows making it difficult to optimise. The valve from Oxford Flow seems to have resolved this problem and should give us another tool to help us in our goals of maintaining customer supply while reducing leakage”.

For full details on this project take a look at our in-depth case study. [LINK to PDF]

Benefits:

  • Lightweight - manufactured using WRAS approved Acetyl resin and weighs a 1/10th of competitor PRVs
  • Streamlined operation - includes quick release connection to enable rapid deployment
  • Precision control - reduced hunting, flow turbulence and head-drop
  • Power - just one PRV can handle flow rates that previously required two PRVs to achieve.
  • Flexible - suitable for a range of customer equipment
  • Cost-effective - minimal labour costs and set-up time.

Talk to our experts

If you would like to learn more about the solutions Oxford Flow can offer your business, please get in touch. Speak to our pressure and flow control experts to discover elegantly engineered solutions for high-pressure gas and fluid control applications that will increase reliability and reduce costs.