Oxford Flow’s SGN field trial to improve performance and reduce costs for gas sector

First live hydrocarbon trials of gas pressure regulator demonstrate success

Oxford flow, Pressure regulation

Oxford Flow, a pressure regulation equipment specialist for the gas, water and industrial process industries, announces the success of its gas pressure regulator field trials with gas distribution company SGN, which distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across Scotland and the south of England, helping to reduce maintenance costs and improve performance.

The field trial for the world’s first diaphragm-free gas distribution pressure regulator began in January 2019 in Oxfordshire, to test the capability of the new valve. Typically, conventional gas pressure regulators operate to within +/- 5% of the intended gas pressure, but the trials of Oxford Flow’s regulators demonstrated performance within +/- 1.5%. This will enable SGN to provide more accurate and stable gas pressure to their customers, even where consumption rates vary significantly.

Where most valves of this nature can have up to 100 moving parts, Oxford Flow’s gas regulator only has one. It is also diaphragm-free, reducing wear and therefore maintenance costs, and improving network efficiency, performance and reliability. The service interval is expected to be much longer therefore providing further cost savings. It is also much lighter, removing the need for expensive lifting equipment during installation and maintenance.

Mark Skerritt, Innovation Project Manager at SGN states; “At SGN, it is important for us to use innovative technology that can safely and reliably improve productivity. This project has demonstrated Oxford Flow’s expertise in not just controlling pressures, but their ability to tailor technology to our requirements.”

Neil Poxon, CEO at Oxford Flow comments; “This is a hugely exciting time for Oxford Flow and we are proud to be collaborating with SGN for the development of this pressure regulating valve for the gas distribution sector. We aim to improve the reliability and efficiency of all gas networks and reduce operational costs.

“We also aim to help the sector transition to a lower-carbon future, as our diaphragm-free design helps future proof infrastructure for the potential introduction of hydrogen to the network.”

Oxford Flow’s technology was originally developed at the Osney Thermofluids Institute research facility at Oxford University. This disruptive, patented technology is used in water and gas distribution networks, oil and gas systems, and industrial processes.

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