Tag Archives: Grundfos

ENERGY EFFICIENT WATER PUMPS SAVE COSTS AND PLANET

Energy costs continue to rise, and the pressure is on for the private sector to create a more sustainable, low-carbon economy; what better time for companies to optimise energy usage on their water pumps?

“Original equipment manufacturers like Grundfos have been working hard for many years to make our pumps more energy efficient,” says Nicolette Gomes, senior service sales specialist at Grundfos. “I am still surprised that  few pump users take advantage of the opportunity to improve their bottom line by cutting energy costs – at the same time reducing their carbon footprint.”

Doing this requires firstly a clear picture of a company’s current energy costs, says Gomes, so Grundfos offers an ‘Energy Check’ service to help establish the foundation for a considered solution. This involves a service engineer visiting the site and collecting  data from pumps and motors, as well as basic energy consumption indicators.

“From this data, we produce an analytical report that shows where improvements can be made,” she says. “Knowing exactly what our energy-efficient Grundfos systems can achieve, we can compare these expectations to the current situation; in our experience, the savings can be up to 30%.”

The information contained in these reports also includes the new system’s lifecycle costs and its return on investment (ROI). She highlights that some customers’ energy savings have paid off the new equipment in less than two years, after which the system provides ongoing and substantial savings in operational costs.

“A useful rule of thumb is to look at the age of the pumps in your existing arrangement – and if they are older than six or seven years, then an upgrade invariably makes perfect financial sense,” she says. “Where the capital outlay can be recouped in three years or less, it is usually an easy decision to make.”

Where data is more difficult to gather – for instance, where nameplates have been removed or are not legible – Grundfos can also conduct a more intensive Pump Audit. Using a range of equipment from a specialised audit kit, the service engineer will install flow meters and pressure transducers, and measure kilowatt ratings of pumps.

“This will log data for five to seven days, to create a detailed load profile for the customer,” she said. “An added benefit is that the cost of this audit is deducted should they decide to go ahead with our Grundfos  solution.”

This intervention is of particular interest to the head of engineering in a plant or facilities manager in a building, whose key performance indicators (KPIs) are often linked to the cost-effectiveness of their operations – as well as the carbon emissions generated.

“With services like our Energy Check and our Energy Audit, we can help key personnel to achieve their KPIs in relation to energy consumption,” she concludes.

MERITS OF MECHANICAL AND DIGITAL OPTIONS IN DOSING PUMPS

Dosing pumps play an important role in many industries from mining and wastewater treatment to pharmaceuticals and food production – and are available in a growing range of mechanical and digital options.

“Choosing the right pump starts with understanding the respective areas where mechanical and digital dosing pumps excel,” says Tshephang Sithole, sales engineer – water treatment at global pump specialist Grundfos. “While high flows and high pressures might be prioritised in some applications, for instance, other users need to focus on accuracy or remote-control functionality.”

Sithole points out that many industrial applications such as water treatment plants or mining will tend to need a robust solution that delivers large volumes of water at pressures of up to 150 bar. There are still certain automatic functions, though, depending on the configuration. 

“While Grundfos’s basic range of mechanical dosing pumps requires an operator for most functions, our analogue relay (AR) range has additional features such as an automatic stop when the chemicals are depleted,” he says. “Furthermore, the D-range has servomotors to automatically set the stroke length, thereby adjusting the dosing flow.”

This is done with a 4-20 mA signal that can be remotely transmitted from a SCADA system or other digital input. Variable speed drives (VSDs) can also be fitted to these pumps, and the frequency can be adjusted up or down to vary the dose.

Digital dosing pumps, by contrast, come with a range of features that make them most suitable for automated plants or where higher levels of monitoring and control are required, including remote functions. Grundfos has been a pioneer of digital dosing for over 20 years.  

“Automation functions are particularly valuable for companies who have plants in different parts of the country,” he says. “If loadshedding leads a pump to trip, for instance, an alarm will notify the user, and they can remotely reset and restart the operation.”

They are also preferred where accuracy of dosing quantities is prioritised, or where dosing volumes are very small. Some digital dosing pumps boast high turn-down ratios as low as 1:3,000, and can deliver pressures of down to 0,002 bar. 

“They can even pick up leaks in the line, and will help prevent liquid losses by automatically alerting the operator,” he says. 

The automatic de-aeration function is another valuable element in advanced digital dosing pumps, allowing them to detect and remove bubbles from a line. This is important as bubbles will impair the accuracy of dosing. 

GRUNDFOS PUMPS KEEP UP PRESSURE IN NEW ROSEBANK BLOCKS

To reliably serve the water needs at three recently constructed multi-story apartment buildings in Rosebank, Johannesburg, ACS Consulting Engineers has installed a range of the latest pumping solutions from Grundfos.

Reaching heights between 10 and 22 floors, the three buildings required domestic water reticulation, hot water production and drainage solutions, according to Willem Strydom, senior design engineer at ACS Consulting Engineers.

“The domestic water supply throughout the buildings required pressure boosting due to the building heights and insufficient municipal pressure,” says Strydom. “A break tank in the basement of each building was used to disconnect municipal pressure – and will also limit the impact of any water outages.”

In terms of the system design, Grundfos vertical multi-stage booster pump sets were installed to transfer water from the basement tank to a secondary roof storage tank. This increases the storage capacity during water outages, while boosting pressure due to the geodetic height of the roof tank.

“A second Grundfos booster pump set – with its suction connected to the roof tank – was then situated in the basement plant room to supply hot and cold water throughout the building,” he explains.

Water heating is achieved by heat pumps in one of the buildings, and gas boilers in other two, with open hot water tanks used as ‘batteries’. For this application, Grundfos TP hot water circulating pumps – which are vertical in-line units – circulate water from the tanks through the boilers and back to the tanks.

“This keeps a constant temperature of 55 to 60 degrees Celsius in the tanks,” he says. “Water is circulated from the hot water storage tanks through heat exchangers using Grundfos TPE pumps.”

These Grundfos TPE units feature an on-board variable speed drive incorporated into the motor, says Nick Pluck, associate sales engineer CBS South Africa at Grundfos. This allows for automatic or manual set-points to speed up or slow down the motor to achieve the required pumping duty.

“If the temperature drops, therefore, the pump can accelerate to maintain the necessary temperatures in the hot water supply system,” says Pluck. “Conversely, it runs slower as the hot water supply temperature to the building rises. This increases the energy efficiency of the system by reducing pump speed during low hot water demand periods.”

Thermostatic hot water balancing valves are used in conjunction with the hot water circulating pumps to increase effectiveness and efficiency of the circulating pumps. The contract also required a solution to the risk of flooding in the building basements, in the event of heavy rain or a leak in the water storage tanks, says Strydom.

“The underground parking basements, where the plant rooms are situated, are all well below the municipal sewer lines and could potentially be flooded by stormwater runoff or groundwater ingress,” he says. “Multiple sumps were therefore built, and we fitted these with Grundfos SL pumps – one duty pump and one standby – controlled with level switches.”

If water levels in the sump rise, the pump is activated and discharges water from the sump to a sewer. He notes that Grundfos pumps were also used to supply water to hydrants and fire hose reels, a regulated safety requirement in all buildings. In the tallest two buildings, pressure boosting was also required for this purpose, so vertical multi-stage Grundfos CR90 pumps were installed to pump water from the basement break tank. Regulations specify that buildings have one hydrant per 1000 m2 and one hose reel per 500 m2 with a flow of 20 litres per second at 300 kPa for one hydrant or 1.5 litres per second for three hose reels (0.5 litres per second per hose reel). This is required at the topmost hydrant or hose reel.

Strydom highlights the reliability of the Grundfos pumps as a key factor for his choice, as well as the wide selection of pumps for various applications.

“Combined with the user-friendly interface of the Grundfos product centre and its responsive sales team, this makes the selection of pumps for our designs much easier,” he says. “Grundfos also has above-average after-sales support in the industry, and is willing to assist with any pump-related issue.”

Pluck says the engineers have to ensure that the best pump is specified to the optimal system in order to meet the client’s expectations. In high-end apartments like those in these Rosebank buildings, residents always expect a high quality of services to be reliably delivered, he says.

PERFORMANCE, RELIABILITY FROM GRUNDFOS FIRE PUMPS

Installing fire protection systems in buildings should not be a tick-box exercise in compliance, but should rather be based on quality equipment and systems that meet or exceed global standards.

This is according to Mark Muller, sales engineer commercial building services (CBS) South Africa at Grundfos, who says these are the principles behind its Hydro EN fire pump systems. Muller notes that there is a growing requirement by South African customers for fire systems that align with the European EN 12845 standard. 

“We have seen local markets – as well as regions such as Asia and the Middle East – moving towards this standard,” he says. “This is where the Hydro EN gains one of its key advantages, as consulting engineers, insurers and users can rest assured of its performance and reliability.”

The offering comes in nine different variants including a single-pump, double-pump, diesel, electric, and a combination of diesel and electric power. The motors are sized to be non-overloading, providing the power required by the pump to the corresponding 16 m NPSHr value. 

With Grundfos NKF pumps known for their stable performance curve, the Hydro EN has been designed to meet the needs of both installer and end-user, he says. Among the benefits is its modular set-up and the design criteria, such as using a water heat exchanger to cool the diesel engines, making it easier to design the technical room.

“All our diesel-driven pumps are fully equipped and include a fuel tank for six hours of full-speed operation, as well as a leak tray to prevent any environmental contamination,” he says. “All systems are factory tested in our ISO 9001-certified assembly plant in South Africa, and the test report is always included in the scope of supply.”

As a plug-and-play solution, the Grundfos Hydro EN is offered standard with building management system (BMS) integration through MODBUS. This allows remote monitoring of all the system alarm and controller parameters such as fuel levels, oil pressure and revolutions per minute.

“It is also important for operators to have reliable feedback from the unit to know if, and when, it is running,” he says. “An electrical contactor can give a run signal, but to guard against a fault we provide a double-signal system of a contactor as well as a dedicated pressure switch on the discharge side.”

Muller highlights the convenience of Grundfos as a ‘one stop shop’ for this firefighting solution, as the pumping system comes complete with pump, controls and pipes all designed according to EN12845, as well as the necessary fittings and valves. 

There are also various kits and accessories available, and clear support documentation to facilitate the customer’s daily tasks – from drafting the specification to installing and maintaining the system.

GRUNDFOS RAISES THE BAR FOR WASTEWATER TREATMENT

As conserving water and maintaining high water quality become increasingly critical issues for South Africa, wastewater systems will need to perform more reliably and safely.

According to Bennie Thiart, Grundfos sales director water utility South Africa, the Grundfos SE/SL range of wastewater pumps are now fitted with the Open S-tube® impeller for greater durability and reliable performance. 

“As the level of solids in our wastewater rises, this innovative pump design can make wastewater plants and pump stations much less susceptible to stoppages and overflowing,” says Thiart. “Our design allows even stringy material like rags to be passed quickly through the pump without causing a blockage or shutdown of the motor.”

He highlights that wastewater treatment plants and pump stations operated by municipalities or industry can cause considerable environmental harm when they overflow due to pump stoppages. When there are unexpected disruptions to pumping, waste water can flow into rivers and wetlands – that leads to contamination of groundwater aquifers.

“We can expect stricter enforcement of environmental legislation, as South Africa’s water resources are currently under pressure,” he says. “Wastewater treatment plants, for instance, can no longer afford the risk of spillages.”

The Grundfos SE/SL range with its semi-open hydraulic design will equip these facilities for higher levels of performance and operational security. The first generation of these pumps has been well received in southern Africa since the early 2000s, he says, and the market is ready for these added features. 

“Our development of the latest generation technology first required extensive virtual simulation,” he says. “We then spent the past two years testing actual prototypes in the field and the results have been up to our expectations.”

Hydraulic performance tests on the SE/SL range have followed the ISO 9906 standards, among others, while clogging tests are conducted according to the methodology developed by the Technische Universität Berlin. 

Critical to the design is the quick expulsion of solid material and objects from the pump, to avoid raising the torque to levels that will trip the motor. This functionality can be enhanced by fitting a guide vane to the pump. 

Pump performance can be remotely tracked with a Grundfos monitoring and control system, which can also generate early warning signals for operators in case of any changes in the operation of the pumps. 

“With their improved durability and reliability, these pumps certainly give operators of wastewater treatment plants more peace of mind,” says Thiart. “We also have a depth of in-house expertise – both locally and globally – to assist with pump station design and pump selection to ensure fit-for-purpose solutions.”

SMART SOLUTION TO DISINFECT WATER IN FOOD, BEVERAGE SECTOR

With Grundfos pumps used extensively in breweries, distilleries, wineries and soft drink plants, it is no surprise that the company also offers leading technology for disinfecting water in these facilities.

With a heritage of serving the beverage sector for the past 150 years, the company recognises that hygiene is at the centre of this industry, according to Grundfos associate sales engineer Raymond Makgoga.

“Alongside all the quality Grundfos pump solutions that are used by food and beverage producers, our offering includes the sophisticated Oxiperm Pro disinfection system,” says Makgoga. “This is a one-stop chlorine dioxide generator that facilitates effective and efficient cleaning-in-place (CIP) solutions.”

The system creates a diluted chlorine dioxide solution from sodium chlorite and hydrochloric acid, disinfecting the water supply and allowing pipelines in a plant to reliably cleaned in between production batches. The use of chlorine dioxide is able to render the water safe and hygienic without affecting its taste or smell – another vital element for success in this sector, he says. 

Dean Naidoo, lead key account manager OEM South Africa for Grundfos, highlights that the Oxiperm Pro has been tried and tested in many food and beverage applications. It has even been used to provide high quality drinking water for corporate drinking fountains. 

“The accuracy of the dosing system supports the responsible use of water when cleaning and sanitising the inside of pipes,” says Naidoo. “By ensuring the correct chemical strength, the user can optimise the water volumes that must be passed through the plant pipelines to remove microbes.”

Water can even be recirculated through the Oxiperm Pro at a higher strength if pipeline testing indicates that the sanitation standard is not yet achieved, he says.

The componentry of the Oxiperm Pro includes three smart digital dosing pumps, a reactor and controller. Designed to resist chemical corrosion, the system includes specially selected materials like Teflon, ceramics and polyethylene. Colour-coding is used to enhance safety and ease of use, with red specifying hydrochloric acid and blue for sodium chlorite – ensuring no confusion of chemicals.

“Our capability in disinfection of water aligns well with our Grundfos value, particularly in helping to ensure water access for more people around the world and to safeguard our precious water resources,” he says. “Many of our customers in the food and beverage sector share these goals, and we are confident that we can help achieve them.”

NAFASI WATER INSTALLS GRUNDFOS PUMP IN NEW LIME SLAKER

A stainless steel Grundfos booster pump is at work in Nafasi Water’s recently commissioned lime-slaking facility in the Mpumalanga coal mining region. 

According to Nafasi Water chief strategy officer Ashton Drummond, the new facility serves an important mine water treatment plant in the area and will help the plant cut its operating costs.  

“Instead of transporting lime to site in its heavier form – as calcium hydroxide – we can now reduce delivery volumes by transporting calcium oxide and slaking it on site,” says Drummond. “The cost savings make for an attractive payback period for the investment in the lime-slaking reactor.”

Raymond Makgoga, associate sales engineer at Grundfos, says two Grundfos stainless steel end-suction pumps were supplied to the project – one for duty and one for standby.

“The stainless steel is an important requirement due to the corrosive nature of the permeate being pumped into the lime slaker,” says Makgoga. “Our Grundfos NB/NK stainless steel end-suction pumps are excellent solutions for industrial applications, including where pumping of aggressive media is required.”

The installed pump delivers 50 m3 per hour at a pressure of about 4.5 bar. He notes that the pump’s efficiency has been enhanced by an IE3 WEG motor rated at 15 kW. The WEG motor was also able to accommodate the plant’s requirement for 525 V input.

Nafasi Water’s plant treats mine-impacted water to a high level of quality, allowing it to be discharged back into the river system in compliance with environmental regulations. The quality of the water is, in fact, so good that it is also pumped to the local municipality as drinking water for the community. 

The company’s treatment plants apply its proprietary HiPRO™ technology (Hi recovery Precipitating Reverse Osmosis), allowing up to 99,5% water recovery from complex waters emanating from mining areas. 

The relationship between Nafasi Water and Grundfos goes back many years, says Drummond, with its water treatment plants making extensive use of Grundfos pumps. He notes that Grundfos is exceptionally competitive when responding to market requests for pump packages. Its wide range of pumping solutions also allows Grundfos to offer technically compliant solutions that meet customer needs.  

GRUNDFOS SAVES ENERGY FOR GROUNDWATER PUMPING

With greater volumes of groundwater being pumped to meet rising global demand, energy efficient pumping technology is increasingly vital for utilities and companies aiming to reduce energy bills and meet carbon reduction targets. 

Groundwater provides drinking water to at least 50% of the global population and accounts for 43% of all irrigation water, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. 

“There are cities and even countries that depend entirely on groundwater for their water needs,” says Feroz Khan Mohammed Jaffer, Grundfos regional market development manager for groundwater. “This means a lot of energy is consumed extracting groundwater every day.”

Mohammed maintains that any initiative to reduce this power consumption will assist in decreasing the carbon footprint of the groundwater being used. 

As a company that is constantly innovating to makes its pumps more energy efficient, Grundfos has recently taken another step significant step forward with its SPE range of groundwater pumps. The new range was released to the global market recently in an online virtual launch. 

“The efficiency and reliability of the Grundfos SPE range makes it a best-in-class groundwater pumping system,” Mohammed says. “Lower running costs and lower maintenance costs mean even more economical cost of ownership for municipalities, utilities and other users.”

Kim Jensen, Grundfos senior vice president for water utility solutions and marketing, highlights that the company cares about water and the climate. With its understanding of local regulations and international standards, Grundfos has long been a trusted partner in the market. 

“It’s the first time we have introduced permanent magnet (PM) motors to our submersible pumps,” says Jensen. “This allows customers to save on energy consumption and to conduct smarter asset management.”

The inclusion of PM motors in the Grundfos SPE pumps means significant energy savings into the future, according to Jakob Overgaard, Grundfos global chief product manager for water utility and submersibles.

“Our field trials show that customers have experienced energy savings of 20 to 30% and even more,” says Overgaard. “This means a payback time as short as one to two years.”

Grundfos has extensive experience in the use of permanent magnets in its smaller solar pumps, where this technology has been employed for 20 years already, says Mohammed. The company’s SQF solar pumps have been well proven in community water supply, for instance, including remote villages where grid power is not available. This range only goes up to 1,4 kW, however the Grundfos SPE range extends from 7,5 kW to 45 kW.

“There is a significant efficiency gain in the SPE range, with a 90% plus motor efficiency in the PM motor compared to the 80% plus of the standard asynchronous motor,” he says. “Remember that this comparison is between Grundfos asynchronous motors, so the gain would be even more when compared to other asynchronous motors in the market.”

As solar power becomes more popular as a renewable power source in remote areas, the efficiency of the Grundfos SPE range brings further savings in the number of solar panels required and the space necessary for solar facilities, he says.

The Grundfos SPE pumps are available in nine nominal flow rates – SPE 17 to SPE 215 – allowing a maximum flow rate of 300 cubic metres per hour and a maximum head of 670 metres. There are three material variants for different applications – SS304 for drinking water, SS316 for slightly aggressive water; and SS904L for aggressive water. The pumps can withstand liquid temperatures of up to 60⁰C.

“The SPE system includes a variable frequency drive (VFD) for operating the PM motor, adjusting the speed of the motor to control its performance and run it at close to its best efficiency point,” Mohammed says. “This optimises not only the energy consumption but also the reliability.”

VFDs also allow for smooth start-up and slow-down, reducing motor stress and protecting against over-load or under-load, as well as over-voltage or under-voltage. 

INTELLIGENT WASH-AND-CLEAN SOLUTIONS FROM GRUNDFOS

Industries in South Africa today need more than just a robust and powerful washing and cleaning solution; they need one which will support companies’ efforts to conserve energy and water while protecting the environment.

This is where Grundfos iSOLUTIONS can help ensure reliable, efficient and safe operations, according to Grant Cannon, sales engineer in industry water treatment at Grundfos South Africa. The conditions in which washing and cleaning pumps operate are often harsh, and can include humidity and high ambient temperatures. Many facilities also demand a compact physical design so that the pump and motor can be fitted into a cabinet or be mounted onto a cart to be moved around the site to where it is needed. 

“This means that the pump design must be small enough to fit into a confined space or allow easy mobility,” says Cannon. “We achieve this by using an oversize motor which runs at 6,000 rpm, allowing use of a smaller pump size.”

He highlights that if a similar pressure had to be required from a conventional pump, the pump itself would be about 1,2 m in height. In Grundfos’s design, the pump height can be reduced to less than 40 cm.

“In addition to delivering high pressure reliably and efficiently, our solutions are also intelligent so they can be easily integrated into an existing SCADA system,” he says. “The system is closely monitored, intelligently adapting to changing production demands and reducing excessive energy use.”

This monitoring and optimising of performance saves energy, water and chemicals, while also generating the required operational data for the customer’s purposes. 

The pump solutions are fully assembled and tested before delivery, so no on-site wiring or programming is required. All that is needed is for the water and electricity supply to be connected, and the system is ready for action.

“The result is a compact and robust system that is customised to the application, saving the customer considerable installation and engineering time,” he says. 

PUMPING RESPONSIBLY THE ONLY WAY TO CONSERVE GROUNDWATER

As South Africa increases its use of boreholes to meet growing water needs, users must pay more attention to monitoring and controlling how much groundwater they pump or these resources could be rapidly depleted.

This is according to Stephan Venter, Grundfos product manager water utilities for India, Middle East and Africa, who has been extensively involved in providing pumping solutions for borehole users. 

“The main risk when municipalities, businesses or households make use of groundwater resources is that their extraction from boreholes could exceed the recharge rate of the aquifer,” says Venter. “To avoid this, users need to gather a great deal of information from the start – it’s more than just drilling and pumping.”

An important aspect of ensuring the sustainability of a borehole, he says, is the correct sizing of the pumping infrastructure. This requires data including the borehole’s safe yield, the dynamic water level, the required lift above ground, discharge ratio, friction loss in piping, flow demand and well size. 

He notes that while larger water projects will usually employ the services of a qualified hydrogeologist to generate the necessary data on the aquifer, many smaller users simply proceed with minimal information. 

“This makes it difficult to put the borehole on a sustainable footing,” he says. “Lack of investment in the monitoring equipment also creates challenges in controlling the water abstraction adequately.”

He highlights the importance of taking a conservative view on what levels of extraction the aquifer can accommodate. Even when yield testing is conducted, for instance, there could be other users of that particular aquifer who are not pumping at the time of the tests – leading to an over-estimation of yield capacity.  

“Just to be safe, I tend to advise the user to size their pumping equipment at only 50 to 60% of the borehole’s safe yield,” he says. “This reduces the risk of over-pumping, through which they could possibly even lose this valuable groundwater source altogether.”

There is no substitute for constant monitoring, however, and Venter emphasises the value of digital technology in collecting and transmitting data to keep users informed. Many users still use a manual inspection method to check the level of the borehole and the condition of the pump, but the most effective way is through electronic equipment linked to online platforms.

“This provides updated information at the click of a button, either through a SCADA system for larger users, on a standard computer or even on a mobile phone,” he says. “Monitoring and measuring our groundwater resources is vital in a dry country like South Africa, especially as we work towards becoming more responsible water users.”

Further challenges for borehole users include the unreliable power supply and the rising cost of the electricity required to pump water. Fortunately, solar power generation technology has improved in leaps and bounds, says Venter, and has been well leveraged by borehole pump manufacturers. 

“Solar power now allows water to keep flowing even when mains power goes down,” he says. “The development of high-efficiency pumps – combined with technology like permanent magnet motors and variable speed drives – can reduce pumping costs and ensure constant supply.”

He says that specialised software developed by Grundfos – the world’s largest pump manufacturer – even allows users to go online and select the ideal pump model to suit their borehole specifications, helping to make the most responsible use of the country’s scarce groundwater resources.