The newly developed electric actuators are designed to operate valves in subsea production and processing systems. They are friendlier to the environment than more traditional actuators that use hydraulic fluids. Electric actuation also includes a control element that improves monitoring, reliability and responsiveness while lowering costs at oil and gas installations on the seafloor.
The Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award was handed out May 2 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. It recognizes "a product, device or system displayed at the OTC Conference, which best reflects innovation and/or practical use of mechanical engineering in solving problems, improving design or maximizing performance."
"Electric control of subsea infrastructure will enable a more cost-effective, dynamic and sustainable development of subsea oil and gas fields," said Chief Technology Officer Hervé Valla at Aker Solutions. "We are honored to be recognized for our work in this area."
The new technology is part of Aker Solutions' El-drive program, which aims to develop a configurable set of building blocks for electric actuation to use in products for subsea production and processing. The first stage of the program is now completed with the release of two electric actuator types, a high duty and a low duty. Both are reliable designs that can be installed by a single remotely operated vehicle in vertical or horizontal configurations.
The industry is increasingly focused on finding electric solutions for subsea developments. Tying in with this, Aker Solutions and ABB last week formed a collaboration to build on their combined strengths in subsea, power and automation technologies to bring customers globally more effective, reliable and flexible production solutions.