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Performance Test on Fire Fighting System Deluge Valves for U.A.E. Oil Platform

In June 2015 Pump Group were contracted to carry out Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) by a valve manufacturer on a batch of deluge valves prior to their installation on an Oil Platform situated off the coast of Abu Dhabi (U.A.E.).

Deluge valves are an integral part of Fire Protection Systems located in high risk areas such as Offshore Platforms and Oil Refineries. They are designed to be installed into the Deluge Sprinkler System and as soon as a fire is detected the deluge valve actuates and allows a massive volume of water to surge through to the sprinkler heads. The deluge valves are unlike normal mechanical valves in that they use pressure differentials across the valve and the flow of water to fill a kevlar bag inside the valve which then, due to the unique shape of the internals, uses the water pressure to hold the valve shut.

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Cross Section Showing Deluge Valve Internals

The Platform Operator specified that full performance testing of the valves had to be carried out at substantial flowrates across a range of inlet pressures replicating any possible site conditions that the valves may be required to operate under. The valves had to be tested to check that they could fully actuate open and closed at pressures of up to 15 bar. In addition to this, hydrostatic tests were carried out on the valves to ensure the integrity of the units.

A test system was designed using our 250kW 2900rpm motor and a suitable split case pump was selected – capable of 19 bar pressures at flows in excess of 300 m3/hr. Valves were required up & downstream of the deluge valve being tested to allow engineers to carry out hydrostatic tests directly after the hydrodynamic flow tests.

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Piping & Instrumentation Diagram

Representatives from both the Valve Manufacturer and the Platform Operator were in attendance for the testing of the valves – 6″ and 8″.  Pump Group Engineers performance tested the 8″ valve first: pneumatically actuating it open and closed at a range of pressures up to 15 bar, and then hydrostatically testing the valve to the required 19.5 bar.

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Using variable speed inverter drives in tandem with an additional gate valve downstream of the deluge valve, Test technicians were able to achieve a range of pressures from 5 – 15 bar all at the same flowrate by adjusting the pump speed and throttling the discharge valve. The 8″ valve was then replaced by the 6″ valve and the same scope of work carried out.

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Following satisfactory testing the valves were removed from the test cell & shipped to the clients Abu Dhabi factory for assembly into the Fire Deluge Skid before being transported to the platform.

Pump Group’s Performance Testing Facility, using state of the art technology & equipment, is able to carry out Factory Acceptance Testing, Performance Testing & R&D work to the required standard for any industry – Nuclear, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Pharmaceutical etc.

For more information on our Performance Test Cell, or to discuss how our test facilities can be of use to you, please contact our Test Manager, James Pendleton-Briers, on +44 (0) 161 864 4678 or via jamespb@pumpgroup.co.uk

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