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Valves for diesel- or petrol-driven vehicles: Reduce emissions under high pressure

Michael Balducci would like to see the end of diesel- or petrol-driven vehicles – not only due to the fact that the mineral oil resources are limited. „Whoever is willing to leave our children and grandchildren an intact environment behind has to focus on other fuels than diesel and petrol. Not only due to the high emissions but also due to the risks occurring in mineral oil production and transportation“ explains Buschjost’s Technical Sales Manager and refers to several supertanker accidents or the environmental disaster after the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

It is natural gas which the Buschjost manager estimates to be one of the most important alternatives to mineral oil based fuels. „Environmentally friendly, cost efficient, available in large quantities, safe and without notable transportation risks“, Michael Balducci names the advantages of an engine that is proven since years already: „Worldwide there are around eleven million vehicles running on natural gas – mostly in Asia and South America. We in Europe as well as the North American countries are still a bit behind in this environmentally friendly technology.

Nevertheless the network of natural gas filling stations in the western world grows continuously and Buschjost offers suitable valves to the dispenser manufacturers since 2008. „Requirements in these valves are high in regard to safety, tightness and function, as the natural gas is compressed up to a pressure of 300 bars in the filling station. In addition there is, depending on the filling frequency at the station, an enormous number of switching cycles during the filling process.

With every cycle, pressure differences up to 200 bar have to be covered“, states Michael Balducci. But with more than 75 years of experience in the manufacturing of sophisticated solenoid valves, Buschjost was absolutely predestined for a market entry into the area of high pressure valve technology. Michael Balducci: „An additional, very positive market feedback is that Buschjost is not only relying on the standard high pressure valve range but always is very open minded when it comes to customized solutions“.

Highest production quality and the best materials, especially in the long lasting sealing’s, are taken for granted in the high pressure valve range for Buschjost as well as the complex individual testing: Every single valve is tested at 350 bar and a static pressure of 525 bar before it will be supplied. The bursting pressure of these valves is above 1200 bar. All single valve components perfectly match each other to ensure a very high life time of the valves. Due to the technical layout and the used high-performance sealings these solenoid valves show a very high tightness. Precondition for this is of course the supply of particle free natural gas. Buschjost recommends to install special strainers, e.g. integrated into a solenoid valve manifold, which generally are a basic part of a natural gas filling station.

A major attribute of the high pressure valves is, next to the design according to the PED, the ATEX approval. Additionally there are solenoid systems certified for the US market (FM approved) and the Canadian market (CSA approved) with ANSI / NEMA protection classes available. Due to a very compact design it is possible to manufacture 3-fold, 4-fold, 6-fold or up to very complex 11-fold solenoid valve manifolds with integrated filters and check valves.

According to Michael Balducci many customers prefer manifold solutions not only to reduce assembly components like e.g. high pressure fittings and pipes, but also to save installation time. Michael Balducci: „Additionally, the leakage risk is reduced when using a manifold solution.“ Due to the increasing number of natural gas filling stations Buschjost of course works in an attractive, growing market segment with its high pressure valves, but Michael Balducci already thinks one step further: „When modified these valves, designed for such extremely high pressures, are also usable for hydrogen. To be able to comply with this market’s requirements Buschjost is continuously developing new high-end system solutions.“

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