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Vexve and Kotkan Energia have worked together for decades. The latest joint project has been the renovation of the district heating lines next to the Kymenlaakso Central Hospital and the Hovinsaari Power Plant, where Vexe supplied the valves and advanced remote control technology.
Kotkan Energia is part of the energy group set up by the Finnish town of Kotka in 1993, to provide district heating, industrial steam, electricity and waste recovery services. In 2006 and 2014 the company gained the Finnish district heating merit award (Reilu kaukolämpö) in recognition of its high-quality district heating activities. Among the company's core business principles are actively listening to customers and developing value-added services for customers.
In its energy production, Kotkan Energia takes advantage of local fuels such as wood and peat. In 2016, renewable fuels accounted for 58% of Kotkan Energia's energy production. The company's vision is to be a versatile energy producer promoting circular economy values and utilizing innovative solutions in its energy production and distribution.
Kotkan Energia has a long-term objective to construct and modernize its network utilizing energy-saving and environmentally friendly solutions. In the spring of 2017, the heating company started the renovation of the Kymenlaakso Central Hospital’s district heating and at the end of summer 2017, the district heating line along the road adjacent to the Hovinsaari power plant. In addition to reliable and high-quality valves, the project called for compact and safe actuators for valve control.
Vexve's products, of which Kotkan Energia already had several decades of experience, were selected for the project.
"Cooperation with Vexve has worked well. We have previously used Vexve's manually operated valves and actuator equipped ball and butterfly valves as well as special purpose valves," says Kotkan Energia's district heating engineer Tero Glan.
The Vexve ball and butterfly valves installed during the renovation will serve the renewed district heating line throughout its life cycle. Vexve valves also increase the energy efficiency of the renovated district heating line. Vexve valves have a significantly higher Kv value than the industry average, which can save thousands of Euros a year in network pumping costs.
Originally, Kotkan Energia heard about hydraulic valve control possibilities at an exhibition. Finally, after thoroughly investigating the matter, many factors supported the choice of hydraulic control for both renovations.
"Underground hydraulic actuators take up little space, which was essential in both locations. In addition, the district heating line near the power plant is close to the sea level, so the actuators had to be moisture-proof," explains Glan.
The complete Vexve Hydrox™ hydraulic control solution, consisting of hydraulic actuator and control unit, is specially designed for use with valves in district energy networks where conditions can often be challenging.
Importantly, Kotkan Energia also needed the ability to control the valves quickly and easily in case of a network malfunction. For this reason, the heating company chose the hydraulic actuator control unit, HCU Remote, which allows the hydraulically actuated valves to be controlled above ground both locally and remotely.
"Valves for both locations are connected for remote control. In this way we can remotely ensure that the hospital receives district heat in all operational situations, even if we have to share the network due to disturbances," says Glan.
Hydraulic actuators and control cabinets were installed together with the Vexve valves during the spring and summer of 2017. Vexve service team was present and assisting in the installation and ensuring the success of commissioning.
Vexve products delivered to the project: