What is a Duty Cycle and How Does it Relate to Electric Ball Valves?

Posted by Daniel Pishock on Feb 21st 2017

The term duty cycle is common, but nonetheless an important term when it comes to valves, actuators, and automated systems.  It describes a particular function you should definitely consider when engineering an automated valve project, or purchasing actuated valves for an existing line, as the rate of a duty cycle will determine the rate of how quickly a media can be processed.  In other words, you need to know this.

What is a Duty Cycle?

Expressed as a percentage or a ratio, a duty cycle is the amount of time involved for a signal to complete an on-and-off cycle.  This signal is what opens and closes the valve--in this case a ball valve--controlling the flow of a given media like water, oils, chemicals, etc.  The electric actuator converts a steady current of electricity into pulses, which fire intermittently, determining how fast the valve will open and close.  This action, and the control of this action, is crucial when it comes to valve automation applications.

Duty Cycle as Relating to Electric Ball Valves

The ball valve has more than proven its worth in a host of applications since its introduction decades ago, and can be perfectly automated.  Only needing a quarter-turn, the ball doesn't need to move very far to open or close. This helps maintain high flow rates and low pressure drops.  Electric ball valves allow higher inlet pressures and higher back pressures.  Ball valves typically boast long cycle lives, maintaining a perfect seal after thousands of rotations.

Some electric ball valves are available with a visual position indicator, letting operators know whether the valve is open or closed without removing the valve.  Some have a fail-safe option, some are explosion proof, and almost all have a manual override.  Some manufacturers offer electric ball valves with current options (AC or DC), and some have an adjustable pulse width.  In comparison with solenoid valves, electric ball valves can handle heavier media and larger volumes, and are more commonly used for larger port connections.

Where to Buy Electric Ball Valves?

While not perfect for every job, electric ball valves are nonetheless an irreproachable solution for numerous media dilemmas.  Heavy-duty, reliable, and known for their longevity, electric actuators have proven themselves to be tried and true.  Several top manufacturers offer electric actuated ball valves, including Bonomi, J Flow Controls, and more. And ValveMan.com has them ready  We've been selling industrial grade valves for over 50 years. It's simply what we do, and we do it better than anybody else.