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The Biogas Lifecycle

Bedfordshire based Flow Components has been involved in a number of Anaerobic Digestion & Biogas projects and supplied ATEX approved Electric Actuators, Pneumatic Actuators, Ball Valves, Butterfly Valves and Solenoid Valves from stock. This is a look at the Lifecycle of a Biogas Power Plant:

  • Waste food from households and cooking fats are fed in to the plant
  • Grass, corn and other organic matter is added which acts as food for the micro organisms
  • Animal wastes such as slurry, manure and dung are also added. It’s far from glamorous!
  • The fermenter is heated up to 40 °C and the mixture is decomposed by the micro organisms within. This process happens with no light or oxygen.
  • Once the mixture has been fermented it is transported to storage tanks
  • This residue can be used as a high quality agricultural fertiliser both wet or dry
  • The Biogas generated is stored and burned to generate electricity and heat
  • Some Gas is sold as fuel for use in service stations or industry
  • Electricity is then sold and returned to the Power Grid
  • Any heat generated is used to warm buildings or to dry harvested crops / timber

These Biogas plants are a great way to make money from waste and are very popular with Farmers and local councils.

Butterblumen Meer auf einer Wiese


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What is a Solenoid Valve

We have many years experience with Solenoid Valves and wanted to answer this basic but often asked question

A solenoid valve is an electromagnetically operated valve. As a current is passed through the coil, the plunger is lifted up and out of the valve seat, thus opening the valve and allowing fluid pass through. When the current is stopped the plunger drops back down into the seat therefore closing the valve. Solenoid valves come in normally open and normally closed versions and they come in 2-way and 3-way options. They are also available in manifolds to allow for many more inlets and outlets. The valves rely on the electro-magnetic field created by the solenoid coil to draw the plunger out of its seat. Direct acting solenoid valves are where the plunger directly opens and close the valve, pilot operated solenoid valves are where the solenoid controls a pilot orifice which then opens and closes the valve. Pilot operated valves have a diaphragm with two small holes on the diaphragm one in the centre and one the outside (the pilot orifice). The hole in the centre allows the fluid above the diaphragm and whilst the outer hole is blocked which builds up pressure and as a result it keeps the valve shut. When a current is passed through the coil the pressure from above the diaphragm is released which allows the valve to open.

Watch this short video on how they work: Solenoid Valves




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Bedford Businesses – Free Social Media & Networking Event

Here at Flow Components we are passionate about  working with local businesses, we pride ourselves on knowing our customers, and giving expert advice. In the modern day we, like other businesses, rely on Social Media to connect with, advertise to and advise our customers. It is another side to your business which is often so easy to get wrong.

We are running an event to network with other local businesses and learn about Social Media Marketing from two local experts.

Social Media Strategist, Emma Garrett from Kiosk at The Park and Ben Searle, Owner of Socialmediagency will discuss the following topics:

  • Why do you want to use Social Media?
  • Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, You Tube… Which is best for you?
  • How to increase your number of re tweets
  • Grow your number of followers and likes
  • Use Social Media to find potential new customers

This will be an informal event aimed at local Bedford businesses in a relaxed environment. The presentations will take approx 35 minutes then plenty of time for a beer / wine and a catch up with industry peers and other local Bedford business people.

Whether you are new to Facebook & Twitter or an old hand this will be a fun and interesting event.

We look forward to meeting you there.

Click HERE to register for Free

Social Media

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Flow Components Competition Winners – Kiosk at The Park

Last month saw the Flow Components Twitter competition where lucky winners Kiosk at The Park won £70 worth of vouchers for popular Bedford eatery, The Embankment. The Kiosk has become a social hub in Bedford, particularly now summer is here! They sell a range of home made cakes, snacks and sandwiches and also a range of Barista style coffee at a very reasonable price.



The Kiosk is located in Russell Park Bedford. They are more than just a cafe and offer activities for children, mini golf, book readings and more. We would like to say well done to our lucky competition winners and we hope to see you soon!

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Parker Pneumatic now in stock at Flow Components

Flow Components is pleased to announce we are distributors for the Parker Pneumatic and Parker Legris range of products. We hold a massive amount of stock and a full list can be found here: Parker Pneumatic

Parker Pneumatic Cylinder Repair Kit  Parker Pneumatic Air Sets  Parker Legris Stainless Steel Coupler  Parker Legris Safety Coupler  Parker Legris Fitting


We keep a stock of Parker Pneumatic Studs, Elbow Studs, Y Pieces, Banjo Bolts, Connectors and Tees. We also stock various cylinders, cylinder rods and mounting kits, solenoids and push button valves. If you need spares for any Parker products, we stock them including repair and tool kits so visit our web shop!

Parker Hannifin is a $13Bn Global organisation with en emphasis on innovative quality products that are well known for reliability. Buying from Flow Components you get the quality and reassurance of a global product with the customer service and personal touch of a local company.

Parker Pneumatics Video

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Drallim Fittings now in stock at Flow Components

Drallim Industries is a leading innovator in technology and quality. They provide engineering skills, manufactured equipment and custom built systems for the Aerospace, Industrial and Utility sectors. Flow Components has been a partner of Drallim Industries for over 20 years and we are proud to offer their range of fittings and components for various pneumatic and hydraulic applications. We will shortly be extending our range of Drallim Fittings and offering a larger selection to the UK Market. The Drallim and Flow Components partnership works well as both our organisations are based on quality, innovation and customer service.

For enquiries about Drallim fittings or any of our products please email or call 01234 832837

L20-D - Iss 01 L60-B-1 Iss 01 L70-R-5-NP Iss 00 L90-B-NP Iss 00 M120-D Iss 09 TC105 Iss 01

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Free Meal for Two at The Embankment Bedford

Embankment Bedford

To celebrate the launch of our new web site we want to send two lucky people for a meal at top Bedford eatery, The Embankment.

Flow Components have been in business for over 20 years and have recently joined “The Digital Generation” and got ourselves a nice shiny new web site designed by local firm We Can Creative. You can view our selection of Pneumatic Fittings, Air Compressors, Safety Gear, Valves and other products here:

Now to the interesting part. The competition. Next Friday 17th May we will randomly select one of our Twitter followers to win the meal for two. If you don’t follow us on Twitter we are @FlowComponent. The rules are that you must be following us on Twitter and must have Re Tweeted our Tweet about the competition.

Terms and conditions: Must be over 18, meal to be redeemed before 1st August 2013, you must book directly with The Embankment, meal not to exceed a total of £70.00 unless you want to pay extra yourself, there is no cash alternative and no money will be paid if you don’t spend £70.00, you agree to let us write a short story about you as our competition winners for use on our web site.

Good luck!

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