Friday, 14 July 2017

Martin Richardson, ABB's Water Framework Manager, writes: It seems that every day we hear about some new smart device – a new tablet or phone or even a car or TV that seems to know more about what we want than we do ourselves.

Today’s variable speed drives (VSDs) are no exception and when it comes to those for the water industry, they are packed full of smart features that can help to improve reliability and efficiency and extend the life of pump systems.

One of the bug bears of the water industry is ragging. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to clear this fouling automatically, avoiding the need to raise the pump? With the pump cleaning function, also known as anti-ragging, there is. When a blockage is detected, the drive automatically runs the pump back and forward rapidly to clean the impeller, quickly returning flow rates to normal and avoiding any interruption in service.

Another clever energy-saving feature is sleep boost. Just before the pumps shut down, this function runs the pumps to boost pressure or water level, extending the pump’s sleep time and so saving energy. It also avoids unnecessary starting and stopping of the pumps, while also helping to flush the pipelines.

Need to balance the operating times of your pumps? Pump priority control is your friend. It can be a great help in planning maintenance and can boost energy efficiency by operating pumps near their best efficiency point - in a system where the consumption rate is greater during the day, the drive can be programmed to operate higher capacity pumps during daytime and smaller units at night.

Smart functions enable the VSD to make other assets in the pump system work better. Overall, it’s a smarter way to operate.

To discover more ways to improve the performance of your pump system, visit ABB’s dedicated reliability webpage - click here

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