Continental Controls Corporation (CCC)
Continental Controls Corporation (CCC) engineering offers a unique blend of talent in mechanical design, electronic and software design, along with application knowledge for reciprocating gas engines and gas turbines. Using these skills, CCC develops safer and more effective fuel controls that reduce emissions and fuel consumption, and often extend engine life. Providing a bridge to the future using innovative and effective fuel control for ultra low emissions with natural gas. Natural gas is the perfect bridge energy between traditional fossil fuel technologies and the future of renewable energy. With over 30 years in natural gas control, mixing and measurement, Continental Controls Corporation is an innovative leader in the efficient and low emissions use and control of natural gas now, and in the near future. CCC can provide worldwide directly or indirectly through a diverse group of locally-based technicians.
Find locations served, office locations
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
- Year Founded:
- $10,000,000 US - $100,000,000 US
This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
Please, visit the following links for more info:
Working to optimize control, mixing and efficiency of natural gas for any application, while minimizing emissions.
Our vision is to treat every customer, large and small, as though their success is our success. We learn through every customer or application interaction. Our pragmatic approach to serving our customers will result in winning applications, which will benefit both the customer and CCC.
Ross Fisher and George Mansfield are responsible for the development of the earliest electronic fuel control valves for CCC. In about 1969, CCC had taken on a new project to redesign “Black Boxes” for Solar Gas Turbines to improve reliability in the boxes. Ross’ long time friend and brilliant electronic engineer, Bill Pickett, was also instrumental in the design of the Black Boxes. Also about this time, George Mansfield began working on a liquid fuel metering valve that was actuated by a primitive solenoid with very crude approximations in its magnetic design. The black box array, along with the solenoid actuated valve, comprised the first step taken by these two gas turbine control pioneers.
Designed and prototyped a liquid control valve with features including a built-in metering valve that was actuated by a primitive solenoid, using crude approximations in its magnetic design. This, with the Black Box controls, provided a complete turbine control system.
Around 1972, Ross and George again collaborated to develop a new electronic valve with much more precise magnetics. This solenoid had four times the force of the first design in the same package size. This new valve design and the recently completed analog, black box series, provided a complete system for startup, and designed and produced a much more advanced liquid valve. More precise magnetic analysis produced as solenoid with 4 times the force of the first design for the same power and package size. Overall packaging made the valve much smaller and compatible with engine manufacturers fuel systems. Valve and analog electronic modules provided a complete system for control of startup, acceleration, governing and shutdown of the wildly successful, Solar standby power generator (“KS Sets”). This valve was in production throughout the 70s by CCC and beyond well into the 80s after being CCC was acquired by Bendix Corporation.
CCC extended the stroke of its seated solenoid for use as drive of a large, balanced double poppet valve as the heart of a new gaseous fuel valve for gas turbines in the 500-3000 HP range.
CCC engineering also made its first steps in developing digital computer-controlled valves. However, the primitive embedded hardware of the time made its response too slow for handling rapid engine load transients.
Bendix South Bend Fuel Controls Division acquired CCC to expand its aircraft product line, adding CCC’s proven industrial fuel control product line. Ross Fisher stayed on for Bendix as the VP/Chief Engineer of CCC/Bendix Industrial Controls Division. Bendix engine ignition hardware also became part of the product mix with a complete ignition package for industrial engines known as the BASIC system.
Bendix decided to sell off the group in San Diego and it was split between Ross Fisher and Precision Engine Controls, with Ross Fisher keeping the CCC name and the Black Box products.
George Mansfield was “rehired” as engineering design consultant.
The first prototype gas valve used a “Welker” pressure actuated elastomeric sleeve valve with voice coil driven flapper pilot valve to provide sleeve-valve “squeeze “pressure on the Welker sleeve to control its metering area.
This was CCC’s first use of voice coils, using at first, commercial units, then designing their coils own based on more advanced magnetic analysis software which was unavailable in the 1970’s.
Several additions were made to the CCC staff. First hiring son David Fisher, who had pragmatic experience in embedded systems from designing for Tektronix in Oregon. David moved south to San Diego to join the team.
George had become a professor at SDSU in Mechanical Engineering and he would help steer some of his best students to CCC. Upon graduation, Kris Yates (one of George's top students), came on board and with Ross, George and Dave, designed CCC’s first computer-controlled fuel control gas valve with built-in flow measurement, the AGV-10. It featured a voice coil/flapper valve pilot controlling pressure on a large diaphragm-operated poppet valve. Kris became CCC’s Chief M.E. until retirement in 2019.
The AGV10 was followed by the AGV50 for large engines.
Voice coils became the actuator for all CCC valves. The primary advantages were that they offered much longer linear stroke (which provides more precise control), required less power and provided more force in comparison to any solenoid actuator. Also advanced finite analysis software plus availability of high force rare earth magnets made it possible to design the very powerful direct-drive valve actuators used in CCC’s governor valves, electronic carburetors and the massive AGV100 gas valve for 50,000 HP engines.
In 2008, CCC was invited to head up a research program funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). For three years, CCC provided products, personnel, and testing for the project. This research uncovered specific requirements to effectively control, over an extended time, emissions reduction for Natural Gas Engines.
The project with CARB concluded in 2012 with a long list of significant findings necessary to reduce emissions on large gas engines. These concepts included, more complete mixing of air and fuel, use of higher quality oxygen and NOx sensors in the control, the use of fast and accurate pressure control valves for varying AFR mix, venturis designed to create a proportional mix of fuel to air and many other advanced control concepts.
CCC’s new emissions control systems would be widely adapted for use on engines trying to meet rigorous emissions compliance requirements. In areas and states with very low emissions requirements, CCC’s products were often the only ones that could meet the more strenuous requirements.
By 2016, CCC expanded its control product line to include very precise measurement of natural gas in a small package which included a venturi for a true mass flow calculation. The FM50 was the right product at the right time and has become widely adopted by gas utilities and pipelines for measuring fuel consumption on their individual engines and turbines.
About the same time, CCC introduced the Cat Monitor products, which interfaces with the O2 and NOx sensors and communicates the data to the ECV5 to provide a complete AFR system. It also monitors and stores data related to the health and operation of the Three Way Catalyst used to eliminate most emissions: NOx, CO, and non-methane hydrocarbons.
More than 30 Years
Continental Controls has been making turbine and natural gas fuel control products for more than 30 years, giving us real-world experience in designing our products.
Insights into Customer Needs
The key has been to keep close touch with aftermarket customers and how to provide upgrades without requiring complete replacements of older systems.
For gas engine AFR controls, we were the first to standardize on wideband UEGO oxygen sensors, improving linear control using the same sensor for rich or lean burn operation. This combined with improved mixing of air and natural gas gives us the capability to meet the most stringent emissions requirements. The system can also close the loop on a (patented) post-catalyst NOx sensor to dynamically adjust the O2 sensor set point.