Score Europe Peterhead and Brighouse Complete Unique Hydraulic Power Unit project

During the May holiday weekend a lorry left Score (Europe) workshops at Glenugie, Peterhead, bound for Teesside.

On board was the largest hydraulic power unit (HPU) ever to have been designed and built by Score Group plc. As well as being the biggest, at about 5m x 2m x 3m high, it is also Score’s first electrically powered HPU and was designed to replace an ageing pneumatically powered unit. The new HPU which has a 25-year design life, is expected to meet our client’s long-term needs for an additional hydraulic power source.

This Project Valve Management contract, was awarded to Score (Brighouse) and was a follow-up to a previous valve supply contract successfully fulfilled by Score. Detailed negotiations with our clients and subsidiaries on specifications and requirements, with large-scale involvement of Brighouse staff in particular, took place and culminated in Score Brighouse supervising the first part of the three-stage project in summer 2012. This order was for a valve supply package featuring products from Italy and comprised a series of class 900-rated ball valves (24’’, 30’’ and 34’’) constructed from low-temperature tested materials and with a special metal seat design. The second stage of the contract was for the supply of actuators, which were also sourced by Score in Italy and the UK. In the third and final stage the HPU, controls and cabinets were fully designed, assembled and tested in Score Peterhead by Score Europe’s Valve Automation Department.

The HPU consists of two electric motor driven pumps, each with individual control stations, submerged within a 1500-litre hydraulic oil tank. These pumps provide charge for six piston-type accumulators complete with individual isolation safety blocks. Each accumulator is Nitrogen pre-charged to give the required stored energy required to drive the ball valves open and closed.

The Hydraulic Power Unit

Every monitoring component is protected by an individual 2-valve manifold to allow full and easy maintenance, and hydraulic supply lines are fitted with replaceable filters to ensure clean fluid throughout. An
important safety feature is the internal bund built into the stainless steel cabinet which ensures complete retention of oil in the event of leakage of any oil. The cabinet is also fully load tested and supplied certified lifting eyes, shackles and chains.

The entire HPU can be set to run in fully automatic mode or be manually controlled. When manually controlled, safety is always ensured by the fact that the high pressure switches, which prevent over-pressurisation, cannot be overridden. Should there be any malfunction, the entire HPU is protected by calibrated and certified PSVs. As the HPU is designed with two identical electrical supply sources, one side of the HPU can be serviced and maintained whilst the other continues to perform the required function, thus ensuring no downtime. Furthermore, the electrical control circuit is designed to switch automatically between each motor on consecutive requirements, thus ensuring an even usage of motors and pumps. The three smaller cabinets, which give local control at the actuator, have quick connecting couplings to allow the supplied manual override pump to be fitted to enable operation of the individual actuators should the HPU supply pressure become unavailable.

For such a large contract, which required a variety of skills and the co-operation of individuals and teams from different departments and in different geographical locations, there were many potential difficulties to be overcome. Throughout the project, Score staff at Peterhead and Brighouse worked closely and proactively with our clients who relied on our advice on requirements and specifications as well as our active involvement in design, engineering and construction. Score, in turn, is grateful to Kestral EX Ltd for superb support, often at short notice, with some aspects of the demanding electrical work during the design and assembly phases of this large and complex piece of equipment.

Score’s rigorous checking and testing procedures ensures that everything, including all paperwork and certification, is in place and ready for final installation and commissioning around the end of May.

In conclusion, the successful completion of this demanding HPU contract is a huge achievement by our teams of sales staff, engineers and other technicians, who worked round the clock to meet the tight 42-week delivery agreement. Within this period, the 20-week completion of the design, assembly and testing of the HPU, controls and cabinets by Score’s Peterhead-based Valve Automation Department is a particularly impressive achievement.

Many congratulations to everyone at Brighouse, Peterhead and elsewhere who contributed at all stages to the success of this important project.