About Us

Kirk Engineering History

While working as Senior Corrosion Engineer for Florida Gas Transmission Company (FGT) in the mid 1960's, Earl L. Kirkpatrick continued to experience the effects of Induced AC (IAC) Voltages on very well coated natural gas pipelines installed close to high voltage alternating current (HVAC) power lines installed in high resistivity soils.  He began experimenting with various grounding techniques to bleed off the induced currents without overburdening the cathodic protection system.

After leaving FGT and settling in Oneonta, Alabama  in 1971 he formed Kirk Engineering Company and began experimenting with wet polarization cells as a means of creating an effective cathodic decoupling device (CDD) for pipeline applications.  These experiments lead to the development of the K-5 Kirk Cell rated for 5,000 Amperes AC for 1/2 second and 10 Amperes steady state AC flow.  The first Kirk Cell sale occurred in 4/81975. Further experimentation and product improvement efforts led to the development of the K-5A Kirk Cell, with a first sale in 4/7/1978. The company was incorporated in 1975.

"Polarization Cells - a Versatile New Tool For The Corrosion Engineer" was presented to the industry at the National Association of Corrosion Engineers conference Corrosion/74 in Chicago, Illinois in the spring of 1974.

Initially, it was thought that one or two K-5 Kirk Cells would be adequate for any pipeline applications; however our involvement in servicing the pipeline industry led to new findings and broader opportunities for further research.

Representatives of the Pipe-Type Cable (P-TC) industry approached us about developing much larger units, capable of discharging a 40,000 to 50,000 Ampere fault current to protect their circuits.  Further experimentation lead to the development of the K-25 and K-50 Kirk Cells capable of discharging 25,000 and 50,000 Amperes respectively.  As overhead HVAC power lines have increased in size and capacity, IAC Voltages and currents in nearby pipelines have steadily increased to the point where both K-25 and K-50 Kirk Cells have found numerous pipeline applications.




  202 C Street North
  Oneonta, Alabama 35121 USA
  Phone : 205-274-2221
  Fax : 205-274-7644
  eMail : kirkengineering@otelco.net