Oxford Flow IM gas regulators (IM100) are approaching a four-year period of continual operation with no required maintenance or servicing.
Oxford Flow engineer and produce innovative flow control valves for gas, liquid, and multi-phase applications across various markets worldwide, including gas distribution and transmission. In December 2019, Scotia Gas Network (SGN) installed Oxford Flow’s 4” wafer IM100 gas regulators at a District Pressure Governor (DPG) in Ayrshire, UK. SGN owns and operates the gas network across Scotland and the south of England.
The Oxford Flow regulators were installed with their PRX1 Pilots, in both Active and Active-Monitor configurations. Unlike conventional regulators, which use a diaphragm, the IM100 utilises piston-technology which significantly reduces wear and eliminates fugitive emissions.
SGN was impressed from the commissioning experience – heavy lifting equipment was required to remove the incumbent, as is common with traditional valves. However, the IM100 being more compact in size and lighter in weight, enabled easy installation by hand.
During service, the IM100 performed excellently, operating with an intermediate to medium pressure of 7-2 bar in the SGN network. The regulators maintained a setpoint accuracy of +/-2.5%, stabilising in 5-10 seconds compared to the replaced incumbent, which depending on demand, required up to 15 minutes to reach stability. No failures were experienced throughout the more than three years continuous operation to date, with zero maintenance activity. The lock-up properties of the IM were also tested regularly, with the IMs passing at every phase.
Matthew Skeoch, SGN Transmission Maintenance Team Manager, commented: “We’re highly impressed with Oxford Flow’s IM regulator and were pleasantly surprised by their ease of installation. Operating maintenance free for over 3 years, this brings us substantial maintenance management and cost benefits, but most importantly it provides us the flexibility to adopt an asset which can be utilised as part of our responsibility in maintaining security of supply. Ideal valves are those that perform well, and once installed can be managed and maintained with less frequency, the IM valves clearly do this. They have set a high standard and we highly commend them.”
Neil Poxon, Oxford Flow’s CEO said: “It’s great news that SGN have confirmed the IM regulators are highly reliable, cost effective, low maintenance and easy to install. Hopefully our products will be adopted in other areas of their network. Our latest IM-S gas regulator revision extends customer advantages as it is even lighter in weight, has a shorter face-to-face length, provides a higher flow capacity, has a lower differential, is hydrogen-ready and provides an even greater service interval of 10 years! With our new Koso Kent introl partnership, we anticipate this revision will bring even greater customer benefits and become the regulator of choice in new markets”.