Friday 2 March 2012

Transducers for sea floor valve control are built for high reliability

Transducers embodied in valves used for controlling oil flow in undersea pipelines have been developed by RDP Electronics to operate with high accuracy and high reliability.

RDP’s LVDTs are supplied to several valve manufacturers for use with valves controlling the flow of oil from pipe networks on the bottom of the sea, close to the well head. The transducers are usually sealed within the valve and are required to withstand very high pressures of up to 5000 psi. One construction option is to ventilate the transducer, allowing the oil to flow freely through the transducer, providing fluids are non-conductive and non-corrosive.

Ventilated LVDT transducers are used in conjunction with sealed amplifiers and are also immersed in the oil. Alternatively sealed transducers can be provided that are manufactured with a fully welded construction. In all cases the transducers are subjected to a very high level of production testing, including pressure testing in both water and in helium, shock and vibration testing and repeated temperature cycles at many points in the production process to ensure minimal failure rates in the field. RDP’s onerous testing regime has achieved extremely high reliability rates for these LVDTs, with less than 1 failure in 2000 units per year.

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