Monday, 16 May 2016


John Guthrie, Energy Efficiency Manager, ABB writesIf you’re a golfer looking for advice on your drive technique then I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. In this post I’ll be talking about a different kind of drive; one that could get you on course for substantial savings in both energy and money.

Despite the amount of rain that we get here in the UK, keeping the course’s greens and fairways well watered and maintained is one of the biggest challenges facing any golf club operator.

Your average golf course will typically have three or four pumps feeding the sprinklers that water the grass. In the summer months these pumps will often be running for some hours every day, consuming large amounts of electricity. If a pump malfunctions or fails it can be enormously costly to fix, as well as potentially damaging the course, and if drought restrictions come into play it can send a golf club’s already high operating costs spiralling.

The nature of golf clubs, with their emphasis on tradition and conservatism, can make it difficult to implement new technologies. Golf committee decision makers are often golfers rather than engineers, so there’s a tendency to stick with the old methods rather than seek out ways to improve them.

However, with energy costs rising, particularly during those hot summers when the reservoirs are depleted, the industry increasingly has to look at ways to save money.

One of the best ways to do this is by fitting pumps with variable-speed drives (VSD). These enable the pumps to only use the energy that they need at any given time and no more, so at periods of low demand they can be run at a reduced capacity whilst still maintaining the correct pressure. This could potentially cut energy bills in half – a pump running at 80 percent capacity consumes just 50 percent of the energy that it would at full power. The pumps can be programmed to deliver the right amount of water when it’s needed to keep the grass green and healthy whilst preventing water logging.

What’s more, VSDs can be easily retrofitted onto existing pumps, so installation costs can be kept to a minimum with a typical payback time of one or two years. And once you factor in the money saved from reduced water wastage this figure could potentially be as little as six months.

So if you’re looking for a drive that can get you onto the green, contact ABB to see how much VSDs could save you.

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