“It gets pretty cold here in the winter; because the equipment is critical to this operation, it has to be properly protected.” That’s how Randy Cunningham described one particular safety valve at a Midwestern natural gas transmission compressor station. “This particular location is critical to the flow of natural gas to the Chicago market and because it is elevated off the ground, it is difficult to maintain in the case of a frozen vent. Now, should any problems occur, they have a safe environment to work in.”
This particular ball valve rotates in a vertical position and acts as the emergency shutdown valve for this facility. Temperatures in the area can fall to -10° in the winter months. When the valve is called on to move, the actuator vents a small amount of gas. If the vent should freeze, it may hinder the valve from moving, which would put expensive equipment at risk and potentially hinder the flow of gas. This could compromise the entire facility, which is why the equipment is now protected with the Shelter Works fiberglass enclosure.
Shelter Works custom-engineered compressor station equipment protection has been made specifically to cover and protect this critical safety device from the worst weather challenges that arise in that area. It has been designed for maximum functionality and minimum maintenance. The building has large skylights to provide light into the building and entry doors above and below. Shelter Works built the skirted enclosure on an elevated, galvanized steel platform so that workers are able to walk around the actuator without stepping on the pipes. For the most part, workers are using the entry door above. However there is an alternate access panel to the pipes below, in case someone needs to service any of the pipes or electrical connections in the crawl space.