Grundfos Optimises Water Solutions

Sanjeev Sirsi
Grundfos is committed to provide optimized water solutions to ensure the reliable and efficient supply of clean safe water that households and businesses depend on. The highly variable flow rates that characterise water distribution networks are an important factor affecting cost-efficiency and water leakage loss. To be sure that consumer needs are met at any given time, a usual tendency in system design is to size pumps based on maximum demand. The pumping stations are then typically equipped with one duty and one standby pump, aimed at meeting 100% demand. However, it is never noted that far more time is spent pumping at low flows. The point to be highlighted here is that regardless of whether flow is regulated by a valve, the efficiency of single pump solution falls quickly as flow decreases. These were few concerns, but important ones, which Mr. Sanjeev Sirsi, Segment Head – Water Utility, Grundfos India, addressed in an interaction with Syed E. Hasan.

Mr. Sirsi suggests that instead of two pumps, the optimal solution would be to install multiple smaller pumps in parallel, controlled by the especially developed Demand Driven Distribution (DDD) controller. "The multi-pump controller automatically maintains the best efficiency point by cascade operation and speed control. Grundfos systems can be expected to deliver a hydraulic efficiency of more than 80%. Our experience shows that installing such a system results in a lower initial capital investment, lower energy consumption and lower leakage loss," he elucidates.

Grundfos TPE3 Intelligent In line Pump
For setting up a reliable and cost-effective water distribution network, Grundfos offers support in the planning, designing, and commissioning of pumping systems. "At Grundfos, our aim is to deliver the technology that can meet its customers' objectives.With our high-efficiency pumps, IE3 motors, and plug-and-play controls, we can go further than most to bring water to life in a financially and environmentally sustainable way. Our insight can be applied to addressing the key issues of safeguarding water resources, meeting consumer needs, besides ensuring cost-effective infrastructure," he asserts.

The company provides energy-efficient pumps and smart pumping solutions for various applications including heating & hot water service system, cooling & air conditioning systems, industrial applications, pressure boosting, groundwater supply, domestic water supply, dosing & chlorination systems, disinfection system, sewage & wastewater, etc. According to Mr. Sirsi, for designing systems to address water related issues in a country like India, Grundfos uses loadprofiles based on 24-hour consumption patterns. The load profile gives an overview of how much a pumping system operates at a specific flow rate on a daily basis, and the system adjusts its performance accordingly.

ClO2 Chlorine Dioxide Production System
"By analysing pumping needs in relation to consumption patterns and periodical variations, we can determine the optimal pump configuration to meet the utility's objectives for cost-efficiency. Our recommendations cover the size and number of pumps, the viability of frequency control, suitable motor protection, pipe materials, etc. The desired outcome is financially and environmentally sustainable energy consumption, trouble-free duty and low service costs with a minimal need for specialised knowledge," he explains.

Mr. Sirsi feels that the need of optimizing the pumping system by managing/controlling the pressure is a must if we want to control the water loss, especially through leakage. "Grundfos DDD uses pressure control to ensure constant tap pressure at the consumer as opposed to a constant pump discharge pressure. Automatic set-point reduction reduces leakage loss by up to 20%," he avers adding that the surplus system pressure that arises in low flow situations is a major cause of water loss through existing leaks.

Grundfos SE1 Single Pump
In fact, the pressure functionality built into the Grundfos DDD controller is a unique tool for reducing this surplus. The DDD controller monitors system conditions, detects the increase in system pressure and reduces the set point accordingly. For the consumer there is no change in tap pressure. But for the operator, leakage is reduced significantly, and a considerable cost saving is achieved.

Elaborating this, Mr. Sirsi, says, "In high flow periods, friction loss in the mains is relatively high. The loss is correspondingly low when flow drops in off-peak periods of the day. If the pump discharge pressure remains constant regardless of flow, the difference infriction loss will result in excess pressure in the system.This increases leakage loss during off-peak periods. The DDD system compensates for excessive system pressure by automatically adapting the setpoint to the actual flow. This is unique to Grundfos' DDD controller, and is made possible because the controller has been designed and programmed specifically for Grundfos pumps."

Over the years, Grundfos has pioneered numerous innovations through which the company keeps promoting and facilitating energy-efficiency and sustainable technology owing to its belief that these innovations will enable water distribution infrastructure to meet future challenges and regulations.
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