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Thorite compressors help gauge time and tides

Thorite compressors help gauge time and tides

Monday 14th December 2015

Thorite, the UK's largest independent distributor of pneumatic products and process systems has been a regular supplier to the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) since the 1970's, providing oil-free Jun-Air compressors used across the UK Tide Gauge Network (TGN), which is maintained on behalf of the Environment Agency by the NOC, working out of two centres in Southampton and Liverpool.

The TGN was formed in 1953 following violent North Sea storms, which caused extensive flooding along the east coast of Britain, killing 307 people. This event made people realise that there was a need for a coordinated system of sea-level monitoring and forecasting around the UK coast and as a result, a number of previously unrelated tide gauges were brought together under the auspices of the TGN.

Most of the tide gauges in the current TGN are bubbler systems. These consist of a metered flow of compressed air feeding through a supply tube to an underwater cylinder located well below the lowest tide level so it can measure the full tidal range. Each quiet and compact Jun-Air compressor supplies a regulated, dry supply of compressed air to a pneumatic control panel which in turn supplies the bubbler gauge measuring point. The bubbler tide gauges are located throughout a network of 43 sites around the coast of the British Isles, helping provide long-term marine science capability by monitoring a constant flow of data on tidal movements.

Thorite recommended the Jun-Air oil-free compressors for use by the NOC as they are capable of continuous running. This is an important feature, since should a leak occur within the pneumatic system the compressor will not be damaged. The compressors have proved to be totally reliable in operation between service intervals, which is of paramount importance to the TGN as many of the locations are unmanned and visited only during annual inspections.

Les Bradley, the Head of the NOC's Tide Gauge Inspectorate based at the organisation's Liverpool centre is enthusiastic about the performance of the Jun-Air compressors and said: "Thorite not only originally advised us to purchase the Jun-Air equipment but have also delivered an excellent and reliable service over the years, providing advice, supplying parts and also running extremely useful pneumatics-based courses for our engineers at NOC."

Full details of the Jun-Air range of compressors, plus the thousands of other leading pneumatic products available as part of the company's £multimillion product stocks are available from the Thorite website, by contacting the Technical Application Team on Freephone 0800 142 2446 or by visiting any of Thorite's 10 regional Sales & Service Centres located throughout Yorkshire, Lancashire, the West Midlands and the North East.

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