Transfer Valves

For the twin arrangements, a two-way, six-ported, continuous-flow valve will be required. If it is a tapered plug type, a means of lifting the plug will be required. The purpose of the tapered plug valve is to provide a tight metal-to-metal seat to prevent or at least minimize leakage on reseating after a transfer. Cylindrical bore valves of the two-way, six-port type valves are available. These valves use O-rings to act as seals to prevent leakage. Another arrangement, particularly well suited for use with coolers, is the dual three-way valve arrangement. The valves are oriented so that the stems face each other. The stems are connected by an extension shaft. For smaller sizes, a simple handle will serve as an operator. On the larger sizes, a geared operator may be required. Regardless of construction, under no circumstances should valve failure block oil flow. Valve body materials should be steel with stainless steel trim.

The most versatile arrangement, from an operations point of view, is individual transfer valves, one for the twin coolers and one for the twin filters. The use of one valve for both the filter and cooler results in a loss in flexibility, as the cooler maintenance interval is usually somewhat longer term than a filter changeout. Should one cooler be out of service, and the filter that is paired with the operating cooler be fouled, the compressor will have to shutdown. Each user will have to review the extra cost of a second valve against the operation limit.

Some transfer valves block flow better than others, making it necessary to evaluate the design chosen. Valve design and manufacturing technology has improved to the extent that leakage should not be the problem it once was.

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