- Solar water pumps
- Reducing pump electricity usage by 20%
- Harnessing IIoT in water utilities
“The theme, ‘Breaking barriers, Connecting ideas’ is an integral part of Schneider Electric’s ethos, working as we do across both the developed and developing worlds,” says Marc Ramsay, Vice President for the Industry Business Unit at Schneider Electric South Africa.
“We have adapted our systems to meet those challenges found on the ground at water utilities and further upstream. For instance, the Villaya Solar Water Pumping Solution is a fully automatic system, designed to provide water at affordable cost for people with limited or no access to electricity. It uses the most advanced solar variable speed drive to regulate the speed of a 3-phase AC motor depending upon the solar energy available from an array of solar panels. The solar drive converts the DC voltage input to a 3-phase AC output with variable voltage and frequency.
“Another often overlooked issue is the pump system at many of the older pump stations, which have not been redesigned for many years. Pumps represent one of the largest asset expenditures for a utility but also offer the greatest potential for savings. Addressing asset management, energy management and sustainability is of course crucial but our research has shown that 75% of pump systems are oversized, many by more than 20%. Electricity costs account for 40% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a pump.
“The solution for the issues lies in Smart Pumping (also termed as Intelligent Pumping) along with the use of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). These approaches result in energy savings, increased equipment lifetime and maintenance cost reductions, by providing higher quality and precise data.
“A ‘Smart Pumping’ system has the ability to combine greater efficiencies with sensors and software to regulate and control flow and pressure. IIoT incorporates machine learning and big data technology, harnessing sensor data, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and automation technologies that have existed in industrial settings for years.
“We recommend that utility owners start small, start smart and start now by introducing energy measuring devices into system architectures. They can use controllers with intelligent applications for better protection and reduced commissioning time, while following guidelines for standards as set by local and global organisations. They can replace fixed speed pumps with variable speed pumps and for ‘smart’ visibility of pumping systems, use remote monitoring for maintenance and energy efficiency.
“The smartest water utilities have figured out the power of the pump – transforming this costly and energy-intensive process can put you on the roadmap to sustainability,” concludes Ramsey.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the digital transformation of energy management and automation in homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest partner, integrator and developer community on our open platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to innovation, diversity and sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.
For more information, go to www.schneider-electric.co.za.
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