There was a time when a driveaway incident at a retail, commercial or private service station - whether attended or unattended - could put the safety of the fueling operation at risk. If a distracted driver were to pull away from the fueling island with the nozzle still in the vehicle’s fuel pipe, it would have most likely resulted in a dislodged or toppled fuel dispenser.
A dislodged or toppled fuel dispenser could allow fuel to potentially escape and create a dangerous condition for site personnel, the driver, vehicle passengers and any other customers in the area, as well as the surrounding community. Additionally, these events can result in expensive fuel-spill cleanups and the replacement of the damaged dispensers, along with the incalculable cost of lost business while the site is shut down for repairs.
Recognizing that any operation involving the dispensing of volatile fuels must be performed in the safest manner reasonably possible, OPW Retail Fueling built the Single-Use Breakaway to help optimize the safety of the vehicle-fueling process by helping mitigate potential negative effects of a driveaway incident. The breakaway’s operation is fairly straightforward: when the hose is subjected to a designated pull force (generally 250 to 300 pounds of axial force) the breakaway separates from the dispenser, closing off the liquid and vapor paths that run to the fuel nozzle. This design provides protection during a driveaway incident so that the only piece of equipment that trails the vehicle during a driveaway is a length of hose, with the fuel prevented from flowing out of the dispenser.
Since its invention, the simple genius of the single-use safety breakaway - the technology of which has evolved over the years to include reconnectable models - has undeniably improved vehicle-fueling safety by protecting against thousands of potentially catastrophic driveaway incidents.
Residential and commercial natural gas meters suffer from their own form of separation anxiety. Be it a ground shift, distracted driver, lawn mower or snowplow, they may be at risk of falling victim to an impact incident that can create a dangerous condition. If the meter is separated from the rigid riser pipe that carries the natural gas into it, the negative outcomes can range from a leak that can pollute the atmosphere to a fire or explosion.
Using the fuel-dispenser safety breakaway as inspiration, OPW Engineered Systems, working in conjunction with GTI, has created the HaloValve Natural Gas Safety Breakaway. The game-changing innovation in the HaloValve’s design is an intentional weak point in the piping assembly, which results in an engineered spot in the riser pipe that will break when a high-impact incident occurs.
As the HaloValve disconnects upon impact, a ball inside the fitting is pushed by a force-loaded spring into the area where the valve has separated from the meter. The ball plugs the line to stop the escape of gas. Halting the gas flow provides protection against the risk of fire, explosion, property damage and serious personal injury, as well as the loss of saleable gas to the atmosphere.
All HaloValve models are constructed of corrosion-resistant 316 stainless steel with nitrile seals. General-purpose HaloValves have a pressure rating of 300 psi (21 bar), with a high-pressure version rated for use with pressures up to 1,000 psi (69 bar), making it ideal for farm-tap applications. HaloValves can be used in temperatures ranging from -40ºF to 212ºF (-40ºC to 100ºC) and are available in four-and six-foot lengths with a choice of FNPT and MNPT connections.
Visit halovalve.com for more information on HaloValve and the ways it can improve the safety of your natural gas meter setup.