In a process system, there is often a need to switch flow from one process stream to another. One of the ways this can be done is with a valve assembly called a divert valve. Understanding the details of a divert valve assembly can help ensure that you not only get the most cost-effective solution for your process, but that you also get the cleanest solution for your process.
Divert valves can be built in a number of configurations. The simplest involves a two-valve assembly. The image below shows one of these two-valve assemblies. As you can see from the diagram, flow enters a central chamber and can then be sent down one path or another depending on which valve is opened. You could also use it to merge two independent process streams or alternate the flow from two different process streams into a single process stream.
The benefits you get from using a divert valve are:
- Easy validation
- Multiple divert combinations, from two lines up
- Compact design
- CIP/SIP for repeated use during process
Because divert valves can be fully automated and are designed for clean-in-place (CIP) and steam-in-place (SIP), they are easy to use and validate.
Additionally, depending on the requirements of your system, you can make this type of valve assembly with as many valves as necessary and you can configure them in a variety of ways. This allows you to easily customize the valve assembly to best fit your processing needs. Finally, you are also able to shrink the space between valves, which can help lower costs through easier maintenance and a cleaner design.
When you are specifying a divert valve assembly, you need to let your vendor know where it fits in your system and how the assembly will be installed. This is important because the orientation of the installed assembly may have an impact on drainability, clearances with other equipment, and even accessibility.
By understanding how these valves work, where they are used, and what the costs are for each type, you can choose the best assembly for your application.