The Blue Lagoon in Iceland as well as four district heating lines of Rejkavik are supported by KLINGER’s Ballostar valves.
KLINGER Ballostar valves are successful throughout Iceland, suitable to meet multiple specialized geothermal and district heating needs for both public and private use. Today, Iceland’s geothermal power plants produce more than 25% of the country’s electricity.
A famously busy travel destination, the geothermal spas at the Blue Lagoon near Reykjavík, Iceland, are renowned for their unique chemical composition. The milky blue water’s mineral content is said to offer restorative properties to the skin, attracting visitors from all over the globe. While praised for their effect on the body, the silica and salts of the geothermal waters create a unique challenge for the valve system that supports them.
Mixed material seats create the ideal ball valve
Geothermal water chemistry is dictated by the microelements in the reservoir rock and in the subsurface environment. In Iceland’s water supply, this results in a high concentration of silica, salt, and other hard minerals, which cause a build-up of sediment in the valves. This creates a need for more frequent system service.
Wells in the aquifers bring the geothermal water to the surface, where it is then pumped to control units that prepare the water for distribution. Within the control units are KLINGER Ballostar KHA DN25-50 valves, which feature a combination seat. On one side, a metal seat, which stands up to the rigors of the constant sediment build up. On the other side, KLINGER Fluid Control’s popular soft seat, which adheres to ensure a tight seal. As the Ballostar valves are actuated, the friction against the metal seat removes the sediment build up, allowing the system to remain in use for longer periods of time without service.
„Of course, regular maintenance contributes to a longer service life of a ball valve. But regardless, Ballostar ball valves are in service longer than any other kind of ball valve.“
Martin Sillassen, Key Customer Manager for KLINGER Denmark
After the water leaves the control units, it is pumped to 13 distribution boxes among the lagoons. Each box contains a KLINGER Ballostar KHA Stainless Steel ball valve and actuator that controls the water flow and temperature, keeping the lagoons at a steady 38 degrees while refreshing the water every 24 hours. These distribution boxes float on platforms throughout the lagoons, creating distance between the original sourced water and the mixed water, for the safety of both guests and service personnel.
District heating lines (left) and Jónas Þór Markússon (right), Operations Manager at Varma & Vélaverk with a Ballostar KHI DN600 valve
District heating: hot water for Reykjavík
The lagoons are not the only geothermal project in Iceland for which KLINGER was able to provide a superior valve product. Four geothermal lines provide heated water to Iceland’s capital, Rejkavik, in a challenging heavy-use district heating system that requires a valve capable of handling 27 bar. Veitur Utilities called on KLINGER to develop a solution that offered minimal water effect on the pipe during closing while still meeting the customer’s requirements. With the help of sales partner Varma & Vélaverk, KLINGER performed the necessary calculations to determine the appropriate product to meet Veitur’s needs.
KLINGER Ballostar KHA (left) and KLINGER Ballostar KHI (right)
The Ballostar KHI DN600 valves were fitted with a special Auma actuator setup including battery packs ensuring the correct closing time under every condition. With the completion of Veitur’s project, then, KLINGER cemented Ballostar valves as a flexible family of products achieving success throughout Iceland, suitable to meet multiple specialized geothermal and district heating needs for both public and private use.
One of many valve distribution boxes making for a relaxing swim in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Photo credit: Blue Lagoon
- Geothermal water is obtained by drilling into natural hot springs, which can be found at the edges of continental plates.
- Iceland’s geothermal power plants produce more than 25% of the nation’s electricity.
- Geothermal space heating reduces Iceland’s CO2 emissions by 40% compared to an equivalent amount of fossil fuel use.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- What sizes are available for the KLINGER Ballostar valve?
Ballostar valves are made in a wide range of sizes, from DN150 up to DN1000.
- What temperatures can Ballostar valves withstand?
Ballostar valves can be operated from -45 °C to +260 °C (-49 °F to +500 °F)
- What fluid media are appropriate for the Ballostar valve?
Ballostar valves can be ordered in a multitude of standard or specialty versions, such as oxygen and fire safe versions, vacuum versions, pre-insulated versions, and high temperature versions. Contact your KLINGER representative for further details.