Valves are used in various roles in a hydropower station: to open, close and control the bottom outlet of the dam; upstream of the turbine to connect or shut down a supply of water; to change the direction of a supply or to adjust pressure and flow. The most common designs are gate valves, butterfly valves and spherical valves (the latter two designs known as ‘quarter turn valves’). Among other considerations, the choice will be dependent on the purpose: whether to act as a flow throttle or for emergency shut-off where the near-instantaneous speed of closure is assisted by one or more counter-balancing dead weights. For bottom outlets plunger (or needle) valves and fixed cone valves are most commonly used.

Depending on size and purpose they can be operated manually by a hand wheel, worm or bevel gear, or by electric, pneumatic, hydraulic or electro-hydraulic controls; on demand or automatically.

As hydropower mechanical, electrical and hydraulic engineers, KGAL has considerable experience in providing consultancy services to manage every aspect of new or refurbished valve installation, testing and commissioning. We can manage your suppliers and contractors, and control and inspect services to ensure a timely, safe and profitable outcome for your project.

The images show the delivery and arrival of one of two 93T Voith MIVs (main inlet valves) being delivered to Scottish and Southern Energy’s Foyers hydropower station in Scotland in 2014. KGAL managed the project through the design, manufacture and delivery stages and provided planning and coordination of the site installation and testing.