Tag Archives: Grundfos


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.


Grundfos approved distributor ConServ Engineering Services has supplied an innovative water solution to provide sustainable employment in agriculture in rural Namibia. 

Approached by the aid project Jojoba For Namibia Trust, the company selected a Grundfos submersible groundwater pump in a water supply design for a jojoba plantation in the Omdel Dam area north-east of Hentiesbaai. 

Although the jojoba is the ideal desert plant and only requires a little water, one of the biggest challenges in the desert environment of Namibia is the lack of water. Where the plants can be successfully grown, they bear nuts once a year which can be pressed for oil of export quality. 

“In the first phase of the water supply project in October 2020, we installed a Grundfos SP7-37 pump into the jojoba plantation’s borehole,” says Mark Riehmer of Conserv Engineering Services. Drawing on renewable energy from the sun, the pump is powered by 18 solar modules which the company also installed, along with an RSI 5500 inverter. This phase will pump water about 1,5 km to the first storage tank, with a pipeline incline of a couple of metres. 

“This system has been designed in such a way that the yield of the pump can be increased in future to supply more storage tanks along a 5 km pipeline, with a total elevation of 80 m,” says Riehmer. The final layout of the system will include 36 solar modules and will have a yield of 50 m³ per day at the last water point. 

The Jojoba For Namibia Trust reported that they now have more water than they expected, and can start expanding the plantations faster than they had planned. The trust supports the establishment of jojoba plantations in the communal areas of Namibia, focusing on providing the rural population with a sustainable business model and employment opportunities. The oil that is pressed from the nuts is promoted as an antibacterial agent which is rich in pro-vitamin A, E and B. It is exported to Europe, mainly for use in the cosmetic industry.

“With this sustainable water solution, the jojoba plantation and the local community will benefit for decades to come,” says Riehmer. “A future of economic empowerment opportunities has been created for the coming generations.” 


With the launch of the Grundfos XL CR 185 vertical stainless steel multi-stage pump, customers can achieve higher flow rates and delivery heads while still achieving optimal energy efficiency.

“This extra-large addition to our well-known CR range pushes the limits of pumping capability,” says Niren Rohanlal, Senior Regional Product & Solutions Manager – CBS Advanced Core & Systems – India, Middle East and Africa at Grundfos. The model’s maximum flow rate is 240 m3/h and it can generate pressures of up to 40 bar.

“The pump’s maximum head is a remarkable 400 m, which is roughly the height of the Empire State Building in New York,” says Rohanlal. “To reach these demanding heights, it can be fitted with an electric motor of up to 200 kW in size.”

He highlights that the design approach of this robust pump is based on reliability, quality and efficiency, aiming to ensure customers a significant cost saving in terms of energy consumption, maintenance and total cost of ownership. 

“In today’s modern economy, the focus is on energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint,” he says. “We provide our own highly efficient Grundfos-branded motors up to 22 kW, while the larger motors that we use with our pumps must be at least IE4 in terms of global efficiency ratings.”

The Grundfos XL CR 185 has wide application as a pressure booster in industry, mines and commercial buildings, as well as for water utilities requiring high pressure delivery. An important advantage of the vertical orientation of this pump range is its reduced footprint, he notes. Where numerous pumps are employed in pump stations, this smaller footprint means that floor area can be made more compact. This cuts the cost of civil works in the construction of these buildings.

“The basic modular design of the pump allows stages to be increased as necessary,” he says. “The reduced design complexity means easier access to components when servicing and maintaining the equipment.”

Each component in the pump has endured extensive testing, ensuring the highest level of quality and reliability in the final product. The Grundfos XL CR 185 model is manufactured by Grundfos in Denmark, says Rohanlal, where it is thoroughly tested before being dispatched to South Africa for the sub-Saharan African market. The local ISO-certified Grundfos facility in Meadowbrook east of Johannesburg locally assembles CR pumps up to the CR 155 model.


By solving the challenge of pumping boiling groundwater to surface, water specialist Grundfos has allowed a road construction to proceed through an extremely hot and dry area of desert in Ethiopia. 

The road upgrade project – conducted by Grundfos client Defence Construction Enterprise – was close to Ethiopia’s most active volcano, Erta Ale. This basaltic shield volcano is continuously active and is well known for its persistent lava lake. 

According to Grundfos Country Manager for Ethiopia, Maru Necho, the volcanic conditions heat groundwater to temperatures of 82°C – making it difficult to extract the water for use above ground. 

As there was no available surface water in this harsh desert environment, it was essential that water be drawn from underground sources to allow the road project to be successfully done. In addition, the road construction project was making use of asphalt concrete which uses far more water than the usual petroleum-based asphalt method. 

“Our customer had tried several other solutions to secure the water supply they needed, but these did not last long enough to be productive,” says Necho. “In preparing our solution, Grundfos consulted with expert engineers and considered every technical aspect of the project. This allowed us to develop a response that would be the most suitable for this challenging application.”

Necho notes that a key challenge given the high water temperature at the pumping depth of some 430 m below surface was the cooling of the submersible pump. This type of extreme heat would usually lead a motor to frequently stop and start, inevitably causing premature failure. 

“We installed a Grundfos SP60-13 six-inch borehole pump, constructed of EN1.4401 stainless steel fitted with a 26kW rated motor,” he says. “It was constructed of high-alloy austenitic stainless steel for optimal corrosion resistance, as well as fluoro carbon synthetic based rubber or FKM rubber parts which are excellent in withstanding high temperatures.” 

This configuration is able to deliver water at 5,2 litres per second to the surface. Grundfos also installed a control panel fitted with specialised temperature sensors, to protect both the pump and the motor. 

“We used a Pt1000 sensor with a soft start control MP204 motor protection unit, which was set to stop the pump, in the event that the motor temperature reaches 90⁰C,” he says. “This gives our customer a reliable water supply, while at the same time protecting the lifespan of the pump.”

Necho highlights that the customer was very happy with the result, and also with how Grundfos had been able to develop a solution in good time to facilitate the project. He says the first phase of the road project involved two boreholes, and Grundfos was also contracted to supply more application sites for the project’s next phase. There will, in time, be an added community benefit resulting from the success of Grundfos’s work.

“After the roads project is complete, the boreholes will be handed over to the communities in the area as a source of boiling water,” he says.


A Grundfos Hydro MPC-E booster pump set with four 7,5 kW motors and CIM 500 control system installed at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton is delivering both environmental and cost-saving benefits.

“The new energy efficient system has helped reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change – an important part of our social responsibility,” says Charmaine Spasojevic, chief engineer at the Hilton Hotel.

Spasojevic says the cost saving will be achieved not only through the consumption of less electricity, but through reduced maintenance. This is due to the elimination of the separate variable speed drives (VSDs), meaning fewer items of plant to maintain. Management at the 12-floor, 329-room hotel will also have real-time access to operating data from the pump set. 

“The system integrates seamlessly with our building management system (BMS), allowing us full control over our service,” she says. The Grundfos CIM 500 control system allows the hotel to monitor various aspects of the pump set, including its running hours, energy consumption and discharge pressure, as well as any power supply problems or water shortages. 

According to Errol Dobson, Grundfos SA’s team leader building service, the Grundfos Hydro MPC-E maintains a constant pressure through continuous adjustment of the speed of the pumps. 

“The system’s performance is therefore adapted to the demand through the pumps being cut in and out as required, and through parallel control of the pumps in operation,” says Dobson. “Constant pressure control is also ensured through the continuous variable adjustment of the speed of each individual pump.”

The solution was designed and supplied in collaboration with Johan Truter, sales director at API Pumps Gauteng, and installed in June 2020. Grundfos service engineer Marius van Wyk commissioned the pump set, which will be serviced and maintained through a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Grundfos.


Ensuring the right pressure and volume of water in a building today calls not just for a reliable system but one that is energy efficient, according to Grundfos external sales representative Nick Pluck.

“Electricity costs are an increasing concern for owners and managers of buildings, and this is from residential and business blocks to hotels and industrial facilities,” says Pluck. “This is where the Grundfos MPC booster systems offer enhanced value.”

Known for their high performance and reliability, the Grundfos Hydro MPC booster systems also offer an advanced, intelligent cascade controller to further improve energy efficiency and ease of operation.

“Over time, the CU 352 smart controller develops its own patterns based on its understanding of a building’s daily requirements,” he explains. “It will register and remember how the water demand changes over the course of a day and ensure the pumps meet that demand without running unnecessarily when demand is low.”

Equipped with this controller, the Grundfos Control MPC can monitor up to six connected identical pumps, each driven by motors with variable speed drives (VSDs).

“We incorporate the VSD so that the controller and MPC can change the speed of each individual motor based on the demand requirement,” he says. “A four-pump system, therefore, could have three pumps running at full capacity while the fourth runs at just 60% – saving energy while still meeting demand.”

As the system’s algorithms calculate patterns, it can trim off waste energy consumption when less pumping is required. The controller can also alternate the starting sequence of the pumps, resulting in more even running time and less wear and tear across the pumps. This allows more accurate and economical service planning and scheduling.

High-efficiency IE3 motors further enhance the Grundfos Hydro MPC’s energy efficiency while maintaining a constant pressure during changing flow demands. With a user-friendly interface, the systems offer ease of installation and commissioning, along with long-term value for money.


The surge in new data centres being built in South African cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg is highlighting the importance of reliability and energy efficiency in air-conditioning systems.

According to Nick Pluck, external sales representative from Grundfos, data centres rely on accurate and continuous cooling of their server rooms to ensure optimal uptime and performance from their core systems. As a leader in sustainable water solutions, Grundfos has been providing pumps and controller solutions to local data centres as part of its extensive offering for heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) applications.

“Our pumps have long been at the heart of air-conditioning systems for a range of building types,” Pluck says. “They ensure accurate and controlled circulation, which is the key to user comfort and system efficiency.”

He highlights the leading technology that Grundfos has developed for intelligent control and monitoring of its pumps. While most HVAC applications depend on tried-and-tested end-suction pump technology, the Grundfos single stage inline pump is a proven alternative in this application.

“Our TP pump solution delivers great efficiency and importantly has a smaller footprint which is a major advantage as well,” Pluck says. “The trick is to couple this with the correct motor, controller and variable speed drive to deliver the efficiency, reliability and controllability that today’s customer demands.”

Pumps affect the performance of other components in a circulation system, so pump selection is vital when designing or maintaining a commercial air-conditioning installation. Data centres are a prime example of how Grundfos products meet the performance requirements of exacting applications, he says.

“With our solutions, you get pumps and pump systems that deliver maximum efficiency with minimum energy consumption,” Pluck adds.

The HVAC market is becoming increasingly energy conscious, argues Pluck, especially as electricity prices climb relentlessly. Both for the designers of new buildings and retrofitters of older buildings, the focus is on better efficiencies and energy savings for the end-user.

“This is where Grundfos excels, using premium efficiency motors with high quality drives,” he says. “We also ensure the software through which drives communicate with the motor is constantly extending efficiencies for the customer.”

Grundfos CUE frequency converters offer speed control for almost any Grundfos pump, regardless of size, power range and application area. As one of the latest speed-controlled pump systems, it is designed for a range of applications including commercial HVAC systems. The converters reduce the system’s output when demand drops, by changing the frequency at which the motor runs.

There are also mechanical efficiencies derived from the design and construction of physical elements of Grundfos pumps, from volutes to impellers and bearings.

“By combining mechanical and electrical efficiencies with bespoke controls we are able to deliver a solution that will provide optimum performance, and reliability,” Pluck concludes.