Wastewater pumping with integrated intelligence

By Stefan Abelin, Director, Project Management, Xylem Inc.
Friday, 16 September, 2016

Wastewater pumping with integrated intelligence

Improved system reliability, reduced energy consumption, operational flexibility, reduced footprint, connectivity and a lower pump system lifecycle cost can all be achieved with integrated intelligence in wastewater pumping.

The word “intelligent” in wastewater pumping is a result of factors that together contribute to a new level of operational autonomy and efficiency, a pumping system designed to automatically deliver the desired performance at minimum energy consumption while reducing the total cost of ownership.

The word “pumping” is used to indicate that the affected operational area has been expanded from the pump itself to include the hardware, functionality that resides both in a wastewater pump, pump controls and external communication technology.

A typical submersible wastewater pump station consists of two pumps and a control panel that operates a sewage lift station based on varying liquid levels and an on/off controller — whereas the new integrated intelligent wastewater pump system consists of a submersible wastewater pump with integrated control, power electronics and a pump station controller unit that operates the sewage pump station.

The in-pump processor controls the power electronics to achieve variable pump performance to meet demands. A single impeller size per volute size minimises the need for multiple spare impellers and yields maximum hydraulic efficiency as the impeller is optimised for the volute. Instead of having to remove the pump to trim or change an impeller, a different duty point can simply be met by the touch of a button.

A new, simpler and more compact high-performance synchronous motor further improves pump system efficiency allowing operation at reduced pump capacity with maintained high motor efficiency. The concentrated winding synchronous motor does this and meets the proposed future super-premium motor efficiency standards (IE4).

The new system features soft-start, pump clog detection, pump cleaning, advanced motor protection and ‘always correct’ impeller rotation.

The pump station controller can handle up to four pumps and provides pump system management functions such as pump energy minimiser, sump cleaning and pipe cleaning function, pump sequencing and alternation.

The pump’s drive unit is an assembly consisting of monitoring and control circuitry, software, power electronics and a synchronous motor in a single package. By using a new motor design, the concentrated winding design, benefits such as increased motor efficiency, controllability, improved low-speed efficiency and reduced size are derived.

The pump station controller allows for data communication and analysis, providing communication to the outside via standard communication protocols. The pump station can be easily connected to remote station monitoring systems including Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Integrated intelligence creates opportunities for reduced control panel footprint, both physically, environmentally and in your wallet. Reduction of CO2 emissions will result from installations with intelligent pumps and a pump station controller. The reduced physical footprint is due to relocation of major components from the control panel to within the submersible pump as well as the compactness of new components, a result of innovation, adaptation and integration of technology.

The powerful and patented energy-minimising software algorithm assures the lift station is always operated at the minimum specific energy level (kWh/m3), given the prevailing head and flow requirements. The pumps are soft started and soft stopped; the integrated pump clog detection function will protect the pumps from clogging by triggering a pump cleaning cycle, preventing unnecessary service calls. The sump and pipe cleaning functions will assure that the pump sump is kept free of sediment, floatables and fat. Power and motor protection functions will protect the motor from supply grid issues and thermal overloads.

Additionally, the system will assure complete knowledge of what’s going on with the pumps and the system. Local and remote operational data such as pump and station status information, warnings and alarms are readily available and user-configurable to suit different system requirements.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/agawa288

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