Evaluation of Plunger Valves as a New Technology for Improved Water Delivery at Reclamation Dams and Hydropower Facilities

Project ID: 22004
Principal Investigator: Josh Mortensen
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2022, 2023 and 2024
Keywords: None

Research Question

Can Plunger valves be utilized for safe and reliable flow control for high pressure outlet works & piping systems at Reclamation Dams & Hydropower facilities?
- This question will be answered primarily by reviewing operational data and experience from partner facilities with a wide variety of plunger valve sizes and applications.

What are the benefits and limitations of this technology compared to traditional flow control equipment?
- This question will be answered primarily by field and laboratory testing focused on defining discharge performance (flow coefficient), cavitation & vibration limitations (restricted operations due to shaking, noise, damage, & safety concerns), and torque requirements (torque settings to open and close valve under high pressure) for different plunger valve configurations. Findings will be compared to more traditional flow control equipment (e.g. jet flow gates and fixed cone valves).

Do plunger valves provide important opportunities for cost savings and help streamline the decision-making process for replacing aging valves & gates?
- Input from Reclamation and non-Reclamation partners with experience in multiple valve technologies will be invaluable in answering this research question. Capital, operation, and maintenance costs will be considered along with hydraulic performance results.

Need and Benefit

Field and lab testing are needed to provide criteria & standards for major flow control equipment modifications/replacements. Project partners help provide lessons learned.

Other SSIP's met by this study:
Dams (close gaps between models, lab testing, and field performance) direct comparisons of field, lab, and computer model data.
Powerplants (increase operational reliability & efficiency) compare to traditional equipment
Powerplants, improve penstocks & valves

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about these documents.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20