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Natural gas production, gathering, transmission, storage, and pipeline distribution is dependent on reciprocating compressors. Valves are the component that most limit reciprocating compressors’ reliability, power consumption, operating cost and production/revenue. Studies have shown that more than 36% of all unscheduled compressor shutdowns are due to issues with valves; and more than 20% of the power used in pipeline transmission compressors is lost in the valves. Improvements in conventional valve design have plateaued over the past 50 years. Conventional valve (plate, poppet and ring) designs are decades old and have reached the limit of their functional potential, with only very minor improvements being made in design; substantiating the need for a disruptive new design that enables higher efficiency and reliability.
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