South West Water has cut the energy and maintenance costs of variable speed drives in a series of optimisation projects carried out by ABB Value Provider APDS

series of optimisation projects that have also avoided the added expense of needing to replace drives early. Working with ABB Value Provider APDS on


several of SWW’s sites, the projects also cut energy costs by up to £25,000 per drive, per annum and reduced the frequency of filter changes. SWW identified an energy saving

opportunity at its Restormel Water Treatment Works near Lostwithiel in Cornwall. The eight drives at this site are of three ratings, 315 kW, 485kW and 523kW. The VSDs control the motors used to run the reservoir pumps, altering the speed of the motors to meet the

outh West Water (SWW) has saved up to £25,000 on the running costs of its variable speed drives (VSDs) following a

actual pumping demand. The drives operated their cooling fans constantly, even when the drive was not being used for pumping. The fans are used

to maintain various parts of the drive enclosure at temperatures within the drive’s operating range. The fans involved were the door fan, the main drive fan and the fan used to cool the LCL harmonic filters. Working with ABB and APDS, a solution was

developed using an ABB timer circuit on the internal 115V supply that would switch the fans off, via a relay, half an hour after the drive is shut down. The resultant savings in energy


UK & Ireland distributor of AVEVA software, SolutionsPT is tackling downtime in industrial settings by releasing a step-by-step guide aimed at onsite operators and boardroom-based CEOs alike. The free- to-download guide and accompanying blogs and webinars offer simple advice for any company looking to improve productivity by increasing the amount of time their facility is operational. Guided by the latest best practices for digital transformation, the guide demonstrates how the

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costs amount to around £1000 for each of the eight drives. With the retrofitted solution costing £1000, payback time for each drive is only 12 months. As well as wasting energy, this constant

operation also caused a problem with clogging of the filters on the door fan. Situated in a wooded area, cooling fans suck in the pollen and the filters become clogged with this and other biological debris, reducing the cooling efficiency of the fans. Shayne Fielding, efficiency manager for

SWW, said: “The clogging of the filters meant we had to replace them five times more often than we would expect. At £130 per filter this was a significant added expense. Blocked filters also reduce the cooling effect. Raising the temperature of a variable speed drive by 10˚C can halve its life.” Other treatment works include

Littlehempston, Tamar Lakes and Pantacridge. At Pantacridge, the drives run on a duty/standby arrangement.. By preventing fans from running on the standby drive, it was calculated around £900/year could be saved. APDS has also used flux optimisation at

most of the 120 sites were ABB drives are fitted. This technique maintains the speed of the pump motors at 44 to 46 Hz via a feedback loop to achieve the Best Efficiency Point of the pumps on the pump curve. Flux optimisation provides the motor with the optimum voltage for any operating speed and load. This reduces the flux current needed and improves the efficiency of the motor. Fielding added: “The reduced energy costs

are welcome - depending on the loading of the drive and the power rating, some drives can save up to £25,000 in energy costs. However, the major benefit is the significant reduced capital costs from avoiding early replacement of the drives. These cost savings help towards keeping customer bills as low as possible.”



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