Vendor Showcase: NOLTA-NIVA
Mechanical floats are an affordable and reliable technology for liquid level sensing in pumping systems. Romtec Utilities frequently includes mechanical floats in all types of pumping system designs. NOLTA, a German company, manufactures its NIVA brand of floats. These floats are some of the best in the industry for using level-sensing controls across a wide range of pumping applications. This is true particularly in hazardous zones and divisions designated for intrinsically safe (IS) electrical circuits.
Intrinsically safe circuits minimize the possibility of an explosion in a hazardous space by eliminating electrical currents capable of generating a spark. IS circuits use very low currents of electricity to operate level-sensing devices like floats. Mechanical floats that operate on such low currents typically will experience failures from time to time because added resistance in the circuit, such as from temperature changes, can disrupt such low currents. NOLTA-NIVA floats use gold contacts which have very low resistance, making its floats better for use in IS circuits.
The quality of the NOLTA floats makes them extremely useable for pump stations that operate in a hazardous zone. Most other manufacturers do not offer mechanical floats that can operate reliably in both IS and non-classified space applications. Having reliability across these applications is very advantageous for a pumping system design. A recent project designed, manufactured, supplied, and started-up by Romtec Utilities shows how valuable NOLTA-NIVA floats are for all types of systems.
M3 Midstream LLC, also known as Momentum, needed three new stormwater pump stations for the construction of a new natural gas processing facility called the Kensington Plant. Momentum made reliability and environmental protection a priority for the design of this pumping system, including features like double-wall fiberglass vaults, leak detection, and IS circuits. The sophistication of these pumping systems was designed to handle stormwater containing low levels of chlorides and straight chain hydrocarbons. Both of these chemical compounds have explosive potential, making IS barriers and circuitry important design aspects.
The design also needed to be very reliable because of the value that Momentum places on environmental protection. With these priorities, Romtec Utilities chose to use NOLTA-NIVA mechanical floats as the level-sensing device capable of meeting the goals of Momentum. The Kensington Plant is located outside of Kensington, Ohio where annual snowfall is significantly above the national average. This is significant because cold weather can increase electrical resistance in conduit. When IS circuits are employed in cold climates, the increased electrical resistance from low temperatures can also increase the likelihood of a level-sensing device failure. The design sophistication of the NOLTA-NIVA floats provide accurate operation at very low currents, including below 100 mA.
Pumping systems at industrial applications such as Kensington are often designed to meet “worst-case” scenarios. Although unlikely, the potential exists at the plant for varying water chemistry. In certain scenarios, the water chemistry in the pumping systems has the potential to be mildly corrosive. The NOLTA-NIVA floats used on this system include a Teflon exterior to resist corrosion from the specific water chemistry potential at the Kensington Plant. NOLTA-NIVA offers a wide range of float materials to handle all types of corrosive conditions. These added benefits of the NOLTA-NIVA floats made these devices the best choice for Momentum and its Kensington Plant.
Romtec Utilities succeeded in this industrial project because of the specialized engineering of the NOLTA floats for IS circuits and potentially corrosive water chemistry, but these and other NOLTA float models work in many other different types of pumping systems. Romtec Utilities has used NOLTA mechanical floats on pumping systems for wastewater, stormwater, and in other industrial applications like this one. The breadth of its products makes using this manufacturer a perfect fit for the type of business we conduct at Romtec Utilities, where we design, supply, manufacture, and deliver pumping systems for all water types. Working with vendors like NOLTA help our customers get the nation’s best pumping systems done reliably and effectively to meet site-specific needs. For more information, read some of our technical literature on level sensing or visit NOLTA’s American website.