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Hermes Award 2021: Bosch Rexroth is electrifying the process industry

Tuesday, 13th April 2021

Lohr am Main/Hanover - In recognition of its contribution towards greater sustainability, Bosch Rexroth’s SVA R2, the world’s most compact electrical Subsea Valve Actuator, received the Hermes Award 2021, the greatest international industry prize, at the Hanover Trade Fair.

The disruptive innovation is helping to significantly reduce not only CO2emissions from process systems but also environmental risks. The SVA R2 marine submersible is also suitable for use in future process systems, to produce green hydrogen and for carbon capture and storage applications.

“When it comes to sustainability, innovations play a crucial role in achieving disruptive progress. With the SVA R2, Bosch Rexroth offers a completely new solution for the process industry. For the first time ever, users can replace conventional hydraulic cylinders with electrical actuators with field-proven safety systems and take up no extra space,” said Thomas Fechner, Senior Vice President Product Area New Business at Bosch Rexroth. 

The SVA R2 Subsea Valve Actuator opens and closes valves in process systems. Up until now, this task was usually performed in subsea factories by hydraulic cylinders which had to be supplied by hydraulic lines several kilometers in length. Previous attempts to replace them with electrical actuators failed because they required more space, the emergency power supply using batteries was too expensive and it was not possible to integrate field-proven safety systems.

A team of developers at Bosch Rexroth rose to these challenges with a disruptive innovation. For the first time ever, the SVA R2 Subsea Valve Actuator combines an electrical drive, field-proven safety systems and a motion control system and takes up no more space than the hydraulic cylinders normally used. The module is designed for subsea use at depths of up to 4,000 meters.

Agile development methods for futuristic applications
The electrification of the actuators significantly improves the CO2 footprint of process systems. After all, the hydraulic pipes with several kilometers in length along with the central hydraulic power unit are no longer required. The currently available power supply for sensors can be utilized in addition to power the actuators. With a space-saving design, the safety systems which have proven themselves in hydraulic cylinders for decades, could now be integrated what was not possible in all previous approaches. In addition, the motion control system allows the operating states to be monitored. This condition monitoring further increases safety in delicate ecosystems. 

The Subsea Valve Actuator team at Bosch Rexroth uses agile development methods and works closely with operators, suppliers and international universities. One of the first intended applications is the electrification of subsea production facilities for energy production.

Thanks to the Subsea Valve Actuator SVA R2, the procurement and operating costs for these facilities are lower and they are more energy-efficient and safer than ever before. Other areas of use include future process systems for the production of green hydrogen where for example offshore wind energy plants generate renewable energy and hydrogen on site which is then transported ashore via pipelines. The actuator also plays a role in the initial plans to use carbon capture and storage to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it under water in previous subsea production facilities. 

Bosch Rexroth tests the full-scale prototypes on a specially built test bench in accordance with the most stringent international standards for subsea applications.

Compared to other applications, they lay down the very highest requirements in regards to the functions and safety of the components and modules used. The first pilot tests are due to start in the third quarter of 2021. 
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