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Understanding the functions of valves in dams

economy business
Photo Credit: lilcrazyfuzzy

The current state of the nation is in need of additional natural resources to extend the means of renewable energy. This became the eye-opener of the people how the supplementary factors like dams and valves play an integral part in their daily lives. Dams hold the water source. They are surrounded by a huge built face of concrete holding them all together and installed with valves for regulating and halting water distribution.

Different gate valve types and sizes provide services especially in large dams who cater to hydroelectric power services. They require industrial class ball valves, gate valves, butterfly valves, check valves, globe valves, and other valves specially designed for the industry involving water reclamation. To have a better view, know how dams work and how important is the role of valves in their operations.

How Do Dams Work?

Before determining the significance of valves in dams, the main purpose of dams should be identified. Dams play an important role in the distribution of energy and water resources to people. They are known to store water compensating for the rise and fall of the demand in energy and water. Moreover, they are also known to increase the level of water upstream. They enable the water to increase the hydraulic head.

As simple as storing water, the dam is able to generate electricity with the idea that hydropower energy is considered as the fifth source of the world’s demand for electricity. The water stored supplies the need for water in the field of agriculture, households, and industries. They also control the possibilities of flooding assisting the navigation of the river to provide regular flows and rapids. Large dams are also known to cater to fisheries and different leisure activities.

Hydropower energy maximizes the presence of dams because peak hours or not, they are able to regenerate. Compared to other means of energy, dams can generate electricity because reservoirs are able to store water even if there is a low demand for energy. They quickly regenerate to support the peak hours of the utilization of electricity. Compared to thermal powerplants, they do not have to consider the conditions to start up.

How Are Valves Involved?

By simply looking at the operations, it’s easy to say that any type of shut-off valve would work. But digging into how the systems work, dams need something better than that considering the operating conditions. Operations involve regulation of water in relatively high volumes, pressure, and velocity. Combining all three conditions can damage the root system if not supported by shut-off valves which best fit water operations in dams.

When valves do not best fit the required parameters in dam operations, they tend to weaken the inner operating system. Even engineers highly suggest conducting several tests and evaluations to ensure suitability. Valve selection and piping design as a means of transport should be powered with quality-based shut-off valves and accessories from the largest valve manufacturers. The operating conditions in dams are more comprehensive than it looks.

When discussing the responsibility for flow control, standard valve types used in the early 2000s were globe valves and gate valves. With the years of experience, they have a low resistance to cavitation which alarmed the whole operations. Engineers seek for new and improved designs of valves. One of the innovations is the Learner Johnson needle valve. They also sought for long-time solutions to the regular valves like forcing airflow into the standard valves to prevent cases of cavitation.

The flourishing of the design of valves alleviated the possibility of cavitation leading to damage. The choices for the best valves which best suit in dam operations are gate valves, globe valves, and ball valves.

What Do You Need to Consider in Choosing the Right Valves?

Choosing the right valves is as important as choosing the right valve manufacturer. There are factors that need to be taken into consideration to ensure that they fit dam operations. The required valves will cater to a huge operating system. It is just right to closely evaluate what these valves can do and how far can they endure. Prior to purchasing, know more about their type, suitable application, and maintenance and repair requirements.


Know more about the different types of industrial valves. They vary in terms of parameters, design, and way of regulation. Five of the most recognized industrial valves are gate, globe, ball, butterfly, and check valves. They play different significance in the industrial field but with the same goal of controlling the flow of media.

Suitable Application

The best industrial valve in operating dams would be the one which can keep up with their required parameters. Which one works best in high pressure and high-temperature conditions? Can they support throttling services? What are the types of media they usually serve?

Maintenance and Repair Requirements

When valves are not maintained as it should be, they tend to wear out easily. This affects their lifespan too. Conduct research on the processes of maintenance and repairs of the potential industrial valve. This will not just save you the time but the costs as well.


A dam is a large water source that requires numerous means of control to provide smoother operations. Knowing how important water operations are will provide the idea that they should be empowered with quality-grade components. The components are expected to withstand different environmental conditions as well as different required parameters.

augusta free press
augusta free press