August 02, 2017

Conduit Energy Recovery Helps Westfield MA Pipeline Project

Kevin McKnerney

Sales Engineer

In our April 2017 blog post, we mention that we have a lot of recent history helping local utilities using conduit energy recovery systems. Although the conversion of water power to electricity is common, what is new in these recent applications is the need to retrofit existing system components with new systems that allow the water to act as means in generating electricity.
In 2011, tropical storm Irene collapsed the Granville spillway and dam which caused $3 Million worth of damage. Replacing the pipeline and installing a Hydroturbine system was another $3 Million. The newspapers reported that the water rates for Westfield, MA were predicted to rise 50-70% in the following five years as all estimated costs could reach $10 Million in total. Efforts to reducing operating costs for the operation of water treatment plants through conduit energy recovery became extremely important.

Sorensen Systems was called upon to be involved with the Granville Pipeline Project which was established to replace the aging existing pipeline and include the installation of a new Hydroturbine producing 37 kW which was roughly the plant’s power consumption. The components of the system included a skid mounted turbine/generator, a hydraulically operated turbine isolation valve, a hydraulic power unit, and a turbine generator control panel. The system has a remote OIT display panel located in the Hyrdroturbine room.

Sorensen Systems completed the design, installation, testing, and start-up of the hydropower turbine and generator system. To read more about conduit energy recovery and the Granville Pipeline Project, visit our webpage. If you have any questions or inquiries, please contact me at 508-351-1844 or by email. (

June 21, 2017

The Hope Group's One-Click eConfigurator Added To My "Helpful Tools" Page

One of the features on our website that I like to share with people is a page that contains helpful conversion tools. What I have done is taken all of my favorite online conversion calculators and consolidated them on this one page. So, instead of having over twenty links saved in my “favorites”, I have one link saved that showcases them all. (View Mike's Helpful Tools Page)

Although all of the links are helpful, the most recent link I have added is The Hope Group’s One-Click eConfigurator page. This page allows you to identify the component for your application and directs you to a configurator to help you build the correct part you need. Once you configure the component, you can download a CAD file and have someone generate a quote for you based on your configuration. This tool is powered by Parker Hannifin, but The Hope Group’s page has been designed to consolidate a list of popular components, which means, you are basically “One-Click” away from configuring your part.

Save this page to your “favorites”, like I did, for quick access to the conversion tools. I have also listed some helpful catalogs in the right-hand column. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 508-351-1814 or by email (

View Mike's list of helpful
conversion tools and more!

Configure a component
for your application.

April 19, 2017

Conduit Energy Recovery Has Implications for Municipalities

By Mike Gardella
VP Engineering and Manufacturing

Local municipalities have an increasing interest in looking for ways to save money – and if saving energy is one way to do it – all the better. At Sorensen Systems, a subsidiary of THG Corporation, we have a lot of recent history helping communicates accomplish savings through conservation. From Keene, NH, to Boston, MA, we have used conduit energy recovery systems for local utilities.

With the recent acquisition of Connecticut Fluid Power of North Haven, Connecticut, Sorensen Systems has an increased opportunity to assist local Connecticut communicates with the same sort of innovative energy recovery systems. During the upcoming Open House and Technology Seminar event on May 10, 2017 at The Hope Group Parker Store, there will be some displays in the Trade Show that demonstrate these money and energy savings strategies. Some of our sales engineers will be on hand to answer questions about this might work for those responsible for generating clean water and electricity.

You can learn more about the Technology Seminars and the Open House by visiting the website.

March 24, 2017

Power Units & Valve Stands are Pretty in Pink

Paul Daniels

Sales Engineer

Have I told you about the hydraulic power units and valve stands that we had to paint pink?

A steel mill in Argentina was about to build its largest combination and rod mill for the production of 500,000 tons per year. The new high-efficiency mill was designed to roll Special Bar Quality products for high-end industrial applications. The combination mill would produce products that range in size from 5.0- to 88.9-mm round, as well as, squares, hexagons, flats and rebar. We were hired to build the HPU’s, manifolds, and lubrication systems.

Unlike other power unit installations we’ve done over the years, this application had to be painted in accordance with international color standards known as RAL. It turns out, the reason for the odd color is for plant safety. The machinery in the plant is color coded to assist emergency personnel in identifying the types of machines during a fire or other event.

The project was a success and I can honestly say, that was the first time we had to order pink paint for the paint shop. Technically the color was called “Heather Violet”, but if you look at the photo below, it is clearly pink. If you would like to read more about this project, check out the entire story on the Sorensen Engineered website.

If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me at 508-351-1810 or email me. (

February 22, 2017

Chicago's Deep Tunnel Project Completed with the Help of Sorensen Systems

A recent project that we, at Sorensen Systems, were called upon for our engineering and fabrication capabilities was the Chicago Deep Tunnel. This project, also known as the Deep Tunnel Project, was established to decrease flooding in the Chicago area and to reduce other harmful effects of flushing raw sewage into Lake Michigan. The solution involved diverting storm water and sewage into large, deep tunnels and vast holding reservoirs.

Our roll in this project was to engineer and build a hydraulic and automation motion control system to operate a massive water control gate at the 300 foot deep Thornton Quarry Reservoir. The gates regulate the flow of water through large underground tunnels constructed to slowly feed the stored water to the Calumet Treatment Facility before being released into the Cal Sag Channel. The four stainless steel roller gates, manufactured by Steel-Fab, Inc., are powered by Sorensen Systems Hydraulic Power Units.

“We are happy to put our latest engineering marvel to work. The Thornton Composite Reservoir is the world’s largest reservoir and has drawn intrigue from across the world.” – Spokesperson for the MWRD

According to information released by the MWRD, over 500,000 people benefit directly from the protection to over 180,000 homes in the 14 communities to the south of Chicago.

To read more about this project, visit our website page that describes the DeepTunnel job in more detail. If you have any questions or inquiries, feel free to contact me at 508-351-1814 or write me an email (

Chuck Keyes, Project Engineer, looks over specifications during the fabrication
process of the control panels at Sorensen System’s Northborough location.

December 23, 2016

Sorensen Systems Provides Oil Drilling Solution to Drilling Company in Cairo, Egypt

Mike Gardella, VP Engineering & Mfg
Sorensen Systems

The Qarun Petroleum Company Relied on Sorensen Systems to Fulfill Their Requirement to Pump Crude Oil from a Drill Site to a Storage Distribution Network.

Qarun Petroleum Company was required to pump the crude oil as part of their expansion of oil production in the deserts of Egypt. As part of their plan, they needed a new onshore eight by six inch telescopic pipeline, 27 miles long, to transport the oil from their Yomna Storage location to Karama Central Processing facilities in western Egypt.

Sorensen Systems designed, developed and manufactured four crude oil pumping stations needed to boost the oil through the pipelines by using an electric motor driven series of three pumps per oil station. Two of the pumps were required to meet the boost requirement and the third serves as a back-up during routine maintenance and unexpected downtime.

Each pump was a compact design allowing for reduced horse power electric motors. Mounting multiple pumps on a single platform increased the volume of the oil that can be transferred. The skids contained motorized screw pumps, lubrication systems, large diameter piping, electronic control cabinets and complete instrumentation.

Read more about this project or read about other featured projects at

Each completed skid was 40 feet long, which was determined as a design requirement to allow the completed pump assembly to fit perfectly into a standard dry-cargo shipping container

May 13, 2016

Fresh Water Now Flowing in Kingdom of Jordan Thanks to Sorensen Systems

Written by: Mike Gardella
VP Engineering & Manufacturing - Sorensen Systems

The capital city of Amman, Jordan, faced a crisis where 40 percent of its four million inhabitants only had running water from their taps one day a week. To address this critical shortage, the United States and the country of Jordan embarked on an ambitious development plan to convert the brackish water from three large “wadis” (streambeds) near the Dead Sea into fresh drinking water. The plan utilized reverse osmosis as part of a desalinization process to recover up to 85 percent of water put through its planned water treatment plant.

Power Units

Sorensen Systems was privileged to provide six complete hydraulic power operating systems, one each for six pumping stations in series, along the pipeline to lift the treated water from the desalination plant to the National Park Pump Station site in southern Amman. Today, approximately 700,000 people, about one third of the water distributed in the Greater Amman area receive water directly from this system. The project delivers 100,000 cubic meters of water each day to the city, a distance of 25 miles.

The power units designed and built for the project provide the system with a nominal 2,000 psi self-contained, pressurized hydraulic fluid system capable of simultaneously operating the valves at the specified speeds against the specified operating head requirements. In addition, the hydraulic fluid system was designed to automatically, simultaneously and immediately close the valves upon a loss of main electrical power or emergency shut down condition.

Reverse Osmosis

The project is referred to by names of the three “wadis” in the region, Ma’in, Zara Springs, and Mujib. The brackish water available from these streambeds will be subjected to a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process, which is being increasingly used around the world as an efficient, reliable and cost-effective technology. The RO process uses the osmosis phenomenon, i.e., osmotic pressure difference between the saltwater and the pure water to remove salts from the water. To gain the effect required, there is a need for energy to operate the pumps that raise the pressure applied to feedwater. According to Mike Gardella, a 25 mile transmission pipeline conveys the potable water to Amman through six pumping stations with a total head of about 1,300 m.

An important part of the design requirement was providing the system with dual automatically alternating pumps. The pumps were arranged so that in the event of failure of one pump to generate its rated flow and pressure, the other pump will automatically start. The two pumps don’t run simultaneously. Another design specification called for all necessary controls, transformers, and components to cause the valves to perform the specified functions and operations, requiring only a single 400 volt, 3-Phase, 50 Hz electrical connection.

In addition to the needed potable water, the project had other benefits for the people of Amman. The project will reduce the over pumping of groundwater aquifers, to allow them to recover their full storage capacity as a reserve against future shortages. Also it will release water currently being pumped to Amman from other cities, in order to promote development in the outlying cities.