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issue: September 2008 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
Smart Valve

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Sensing technology enables a new valve to remove unwanted water by-products from compressed-air systems.

The new Model CRDV/S drain valves are available in ½-in. NPT and can accommodate pressures up to 180 psi.

The new condensation removal drain valve (CRDV/S) from Boardman, OH, U.S.–based Spartan Scientific (www.spartanscientific.com) is designed to efficiently remove condensation from pneumatic systems. Using a closed-loop system, the valve is designed to only eliminate condensate when it is present.

John Rasmussen, president, says this approach is more efficient than traditional time drains, which can remove too much compressed air with the condensate when the time setting is on too long. “Or they do not remove enough condensate, so the compressor cycles more than it should and condensate remains entrained in the pneumatic system,” he adds. “The CRDV/S not only removes the condensate when the condensate is there, but also conserves precious energy when it is not.”

The valve uses solid-state sensing technology, which Rasmussen says is both cost-effective and highly repeatable. “The new valve is specifically designed to remove condensate by use of the special solid-state sensor, which is coupled to a sensing circuit, which in turn actuates a large flow valve that passes many particulates and foreign matter,” he explains. The sensor has no moving parts to wear out, and the printed circuit board and components are insert-molded in Zytel nylon and then coated in epoxy.

While the sensor brings both reliability and cost savings, Rasmussen says the mechanical portion of the valve also offers benefits. “The mechanics of the valve use a high-cycle-life solenoid operator coupled with a proven diaphragm design that controls a 12.5-mm orifice, which is two to three times greater than the closest competitor,” he says.

An environment-resistant nylon shell sensor unit fits between a DIN 43650 cord set and a Spartan solenoid valve. The solid-state sensor features quick-disconnect electrical connections and has variable purge time based on system requirements, reducing unnecessary air consumption. One LED on the sensor indicates when power is attached or removed, and a second LED indicates when the valve is draining.

The solenoid valve uses Viton elastomer sealing material, which Rasmussen says was specifically chosen for condensation removal. “Our engineers thought it best to spend a bit more on the elastomer, as it has good temperature resistance as well as chemical inertness to the most common chemicals found in modern pneumatic systems,” he explains.

With its separate yet completely interchangeable components, Rasmussen says the valve can be integrated into any air system without any adjustments by the user. “It is a plug-and-play device,” he says. Applications include any appliance that uses a compressor, including HVAC and commercial foodservice equipment. 


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