The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) collaboration with local butterfly valve manufacturer Paltechnologies (Paltech) has resulted in the successful development of a standard 80 mm diameter aluminium butterfly valve for use on electrical power transformers.
The Paltech valve is an aluminium valve specifically designed to handle transformer cooling.
The collaboration was done through the CSIR’s Technology Localisation Implementation Unit, which selects small, medium-sized and microenterprises that are in need of technical know-how and support to improve the quality and productivity of their manufacturing processes.
Powertech, together with State-owned Eskom, tested the valve to ensure that it met stringent industry requirements.
CSIR principal technologist Filipe Pereira said most of the transformer valves currently installed on the local electrical distribution network are imported.
"The realisation of the butterfly valve means that we are now able to source locally manufactured valves, eliminating the need to import valves and exploring other opportunities," he said in a statement released this week.
Pereira noted that an ideal situation would be that the local industry is able to meet local and international demand.
"Early estimates indicate that the manufacture of this particular valve has the potential to create a minimum of 40 new and sustainable jobs.”
To date, at least 260 aluminium valves have been manufactured and an order has been placed for 300 more.