Aker Solutions, a Norwegian oil services company, won the Woelfel Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award (BMEA) for its El-drive subsea electric actuators at the 2016 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston on Monday, May 2.
Aker Solutions’ newly developed electric actuators are designed to operate valves in subsea production and processing systems. The company claims that the electric actuators are more compact, effective and environmentally friendly than traditional actuators since they don’t use hydraulic fluids. The company went on to state that electric actuation improves monitoring, reliability and responsiveness while lowering costs at oil and gas installations on the seafloor.
“Electric control of subsea infrastructure will enable a more cost-effective, dynamic and sustainable development of subsea oil and gas fields,” said Hervé Valla, Chief Technology Officer at Aker.
The new technology is part of Aker Solutions’ El-drive program which, according to the company’s statement, aims to develop a configurable set of building blocks for electric actuation which will be used in products for subsea production and processing. The company added that the first stage of the program was completed with the release of two electric actuator types, high and low duty. Both designs are claimed to be reliable and can be installed by a single remotely operated vehicle in vertical or horizontal configurations.
The award itself was handed out by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The BMEA award is given to “a product, device or system displayed at the OTC Conference, which best reflects innovation and/or practical use of mechanical engineering in solving problems, improving design or maximizing performance.”