Industrial valves' various uses in a power-to-gas plant
Power-to-Gas is a process by which through the electrolysis of water, renewable energy is turned into a flammable gas. Industrial valves like the ones from NieRuf, for example safety valves and ball valves, ensure a safe feed of the gas into the public gas network. The final product is often called windgas or solargas, depending on the source of energy. But why the expense? In contrast to regular energy, energy can be stored in the gas network for a very long time, making it easily accessible when needed.
So what's the role of industrial valves from NieRuf in this process?
When distilled water is being fed into the plant, ball valves from NieRuf, either with an electric or pneumatic drive are employed. This allows the water input to be regulated with a remote control. To ensure a continuous water input into the electrolyzer, pressure regulators control and adapt the back pressure of the water.The only byproduct in this power-to-gas process is oxygen. This can be released after the electrolysis, unless it is being used otherwise. The hydrogen that is required for the electrolysis however, needs to be stored in pressure vessels. Safety valves from NieRuf ensure a safe storage, until the hydrogen is transported through the pipeline system. Obviously, ball valves, butterfly valves and stop valves like those from NieRuf are being used within the pipeline system.
Additionally, overflow valves protect the entire plant and ensure that when a certain pressure is exceeded, the hydrogen continues to flow, so as to prevent accidents. Whenever industrial valves come into contact with hydrogen, special seals, such as FKM, NBR oder EPDM are required. Sight glasses, whether receiver sight glasses or flow sight glasses, allow for safe and easy control of the process throughout the plant.
During the methanation of the hydrogen, pressure controlled carbon dioxide is being fed to the hydrogen. Here again pressure regulators, several other valves from NieRuf and butterfly valves with electric or pneumatic drive are implemented. Since hydrogen explodes easily, every valve (safety valves, pressure regulators, overflow valves and ball valves) needs to underlie explosion protection (EX Schutz or ATEX). Equally, valves that control the input of carbon dioxide should be equipped with NBR, FKM or PTFE seals. Once combined, hydrogen and carbon dioxide react and synthetic methane results.
The synthetic methane can be fed into the gas network and be stored there. Synthetic methane comes under the DVGW requirements for gas. As a result, all industrial valves participating in feeding the methane into the gas network should come DVGW gas approved. Once in the system, the gas can be accessed easily. It can be transformed back to power in a communal power station, or used as fuel in a natural gas car. This smart and efficient way of producing energy is supported by NieRuf's industrial valves.