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Control valves are comprised of different styles, including globe, ball, and butterfly. The style of control valve is usually determined by the application, past experiences, or plant preference. Valve selection can be a tricky process, but sizing the valve can be even trickier.
So, how do you size a control valve anyway?
When sizing a control valve, the rule of thumb is to size it so that it operates somewhere between 20-80% open at maximum required flow rate and whenever possible, not much less than 20% open at the minimum required flow rate. The idea is to use as much of the valve’s control range as possible while maintaining a reasonable, but not excessive, safety factor.
Why is control valve sizing so important? An undersized control valve doesn’t have the capacity to pass the required flow. But, more often than not, a control valve is too large for the application. An oversized valve is very sensitive to operating conditions. Even the smallest changes in valve position will cause significant changes in flow. This makes it difficult or even impossible for the valve to exactly adjust to the required flow.
According to an article in Valve Magazine, “selecting a properly sized control valve is essential to achieving the highest degree of process control for the liquid, gas or multi-phase fluid”.
For accurate control valve sizing (and selection), follow these guidelines:
When sizing and selecting a control valve for your application, always consult a qualified valve engineer capable of analyzing the application to ensure the right valve is selected and sized appropriately.
And, for more information about control valves, sizing and selection, download the guide below!
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