Valves are used in different applications from simple garden hose down to complex hydroelectric generation systems and other fluid flow circuits. They are used in different industries and are integral to its operations especially in water or fluid control. However, there can be accessibility or logistic problems when valves are located in inaccessible locations, harsh environments or when the valve is too large and heavy to be operated manually. Valve actuation also becomes and operational issue when a valve has to be opened and closed during times when a plant or installation setting doesn’t have manual operators. As a solution, motorized valve actuators are installed in such settings. A motorized valve actuator works like manual valve actuators with the only difference of the former being operated by an electric motor rather than done by hand or simple machines such as hand wheel. A motorized actuator can be operated remotely which is advantageous to settings where manual operations is impossible or just too difficult to handle.
In motorized valve actuators, an electric motor is used to drive the mechanism to a gear train to open or close the valve. There are different types of motorized valves and some of them are as follows:
- Vertical travel valves. Common types like gate or sluice valves employs lead screw system that lifts or drops the gate plate. This type of valve is used in large installations such as water mains.
- Globe valves. This type of valve is used as a screw advance mechanism to put the tapered plug in the right position to control the water or fluid flow in high precision metering systems.
- Rotary or quarter turn motorized valve. This type of motorized valve uses a central spindle advance mechanism or a cam during operation. It has the fastest actuation time and the most common among motorized valve actuators. The mechanism includes butterfly and ball valve as varieties. Rotary valves are not suited for flow control but they have the most excellent sealing capacities compared to other valve types. This type of valve is commonly used in aircraft deicing systems and on high pressure fuel lines.