PetrolValves has recently launched innovative pressure boundary joint assemblies, a well-proven technology that has been used in other industries for decades and is now being applied to valves.

This is a valid example of what can happen when senior engineers with different backgrounds discuss existing valves and try to imagine how to apply a technology from the world of compressors to the traditional joint system.

The idea immediately attracted the attention of the technical team, which accepted the challenge. They quickly made the first changes on an existing ball valve and began figuring out how to use the components to create a brand-new technology.

When they were done, the final result was PV BRAVA, a new valve that represents the next step in innovation in the valve industry. The new valve enables users to anticipate market and customer needs with respect to simplification, weight reduction, shorter delivery times, ease of assembly, and on-site installation and service, among other things.

PV BRAVA

PV BRAVA, which is short for 'Boltless Reliable Advanced Valve', is a stepping stone in rethinking traditional boundaries by reducing weight and dimensions to simplify maintenance and service over the product lifecycle. Compared to standard subsea ball valves, PV BRAVA delivers a 25% reduction in weight on average. The design is such that assembly time can be reduced by 30%, too.

In a difficult environment where flexibility and value-adds are paramount for competitiveness, PetrolValves is building a tiered approach in introducing technologies to fulfill and anticipate the key market and customer needs. The company is emphasizing on- time delivery, project de-risking and cost optimisation, asset lifecycle improvement, and regional touch for speed and execution.

The PV BRAVA technology is based on compression retaining ring technology (i.e., bolts and nuts are not more needed) that has been widely adopted in the most challenging applications across many industries, such as energy, aerospace and oil and gas as well.

Due to its particular shape, the PV BRAVA acts as a shoulder that retains the body closure’s lateral flanges and/or bonnet, thereby simplifying the overall architecture:

· Valve body and closure wall thickness is sized to withstand pressure loading only,

· The extra joint flange lap for bolts installation is no longer needed

· This is due to a further shim retaining system (e.g., wedges, solid, or split ring) that aims to ensure a tight fit during all valve operations.

Furthermore, through an extensive finite simulation and testing activities on prototype valves, the simplified architecture of the pressure boundary joint assembly has been optimised to provide the same high reliability within PetrolValve’s products portfolio.

The new value delivers a number of benefits to users, including cost savings at both the manufacturing end (e.g., material use, supply chain costs, and machining) and the end-user side (e.g., reduce maintenance costs)—all without affecting the valve’s functionality in any scenario or impacting material selection or sealing solutions either.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Roberto Bolzonella, a Research and Development Coordinator at PetrolValves, has a bachelor’s degree from the Polytechnic of Milan in Aerospace Engineering. You can contact him directly via email at: bolzonella.roberto@petrolvalves.it.

The concept is suitable for many general industrial and applications, such as oil and gas onshore plants, LNG terminals, offshore platforms, subsea installations, floating platforms (e.g., FPSO, FLNG, and FSRU), and petrochemical, chemical, and power.

The valve also complies with all international design standards and most common valve specifications.

Furthermore, in order to demonstrate reliability in working condition, a final validation of this technology has been carried out performing intensive testing activities on two prototypes valves:

  • 36” 600# side-entry trunnion mounted ball valve (topside) - a complete factory acceptance test (FAT) has been done after assembling the valve to verify the leakage rates from the body and the seats are within the accepted limits required by API 598. What’s more, the hydrostatic shell test has been performed exceeding the test pressure required by the standard to over-stress the joint system (1.7 x WRP) without affecting body gaskets sealing capability.
  • 12” 900# side-entry trunnion mounted ball valve (subsea) – on the second valve prototypes, PV BRAVA’s load capacity has been verified in one of the widest range of service conditions, such as qualification test program for subsea service, with pipe loads included. The valve has successfully completed all testing activities in compliance with API 6A and API 17D.

In conclusion, this optimised architecture for valves is part of a holistic integrated approach aimed to reduce the overall project CAPEX, minimise execution risks, and optimise the asset lifecycle through the adoption of a modular, integrated, and smart sensing approach that encompasses the asset’s entire lifecycle costs.

Along with the cost-cutting factor is the fact that servicing and maintenance requirements are simpler, requiring less spare parts and tools, which further reduces OPEX.