Pumping station cuts operational costs by 82 percent

A major pumping station in Scotland has significantly reduced its operations costs and energy consumption, thanks to a Xylem TotalCare energy audit and equipment upgrade. The solution, which will save an estimated £239,236 per year, also won the award for “Environmental Contribution of the Year” at the 2014 Pump Industry Awards in the UK. 

South Balmossie Pumping Station is critical to the environment as it forms part of a pumping network across the area of Dundee in Scotland. The station, operated by Veolia Water on behalf of their client Catchment Tay Ltd., was becoming extremely unreliable due to blockage issues, and pump repairs were becoming unsustainable.

The reputation of the station and the client with local environmental stakeholders was becoming acutely sensitive. Veolia Water undertook a project in partnership with Xylem to try and find an engineering solution to the problem.

Energy audit leads to cost savings

A Xylem TotalCare energy audit indicated there was a great opportunity to make significant cost savings and completely transform the performance of the station. A proposed solution was prepared and presented to Veolia Group, and the project was recognized from an environmental perspective as the best way forward.

The project was deemed a difficult challenge from the development stage to implementation, since Veolia Water had little experience in this type of pumping arrangement with large pump units. Pumping experts from Xylem, therefore, were given the go ahead to design and install the system.

Veolia and Xylem engineers worked closely over a three-month period to develop a working, practical installation that would deliver the required results. 

The project had added difficulty as the station had to remain fully operational during the work, and the deadline to complete the project was set at two weeks from start to finish, since bathing season was very close.

It was vital that the project was a success as the station was close to failing and drastic measures were required to prevent this. The demands from the client, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the local water authority added additional pressure to the project. Failure was not an option, but with great collaboration between Xylem and Veolia, this project was designed and delivered to everyone’s satisfaction.

Increased reliability, reduced carbon footprint

Xylem, working closely with Veolia, was able to develop a working, practical installation that delivered the required results. The solution not only delivered a significant reduction in energy consumption and operational costs, but also increased the overall reliability of the station.

David White, Energy Manager at Xylem UK, commented, “The station at South Balmossie now operates optimally with excellent rag-handling capability and significantly reduced OPEX. Overall, we helped the client reduce the operational costs at South Balmossie by a massive 82 percent.”

The problems were solved by installing two new Flygt NT3400 250kW pumps alongside variable frequency drives, Flygt MAS monitoring and power analyzer units and an enhanced control philosophy through the existing PLC arrangement.

Environmental Contribution of the Year

A review of the pumping station’s energy usage before and after the installation shows that monthly energy bills have been reduced by approximately £3,719 (a 6 percent reduction). The overall expected savings per annum are around £239,236, which is an OPEX reduction of 25 percent, and the pumping station reduced its C02 footprint by 14.2 tonnes per month.

The success of the solution led to Xylem winning the award for “Environmental Contribution of the Year” at the 2014 Pump Industry Awards in the UK. The awards recognize outstanding achievements of key players within the UK pumping industry.

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