March 17, 2010
Each year billions of litres of pure drinking water pour out from leaking pipelines long before they reach the consumers. Grundfos technology can reduce the waste of water.
”Water resources are under pressure, and the pressure will rise because the amount of water cannot be increased.”
Mr Dan Rosbjerg, lecturer at The Technical University of Denmark and water resource expert makes himself very clear when he explains some of the challenges of the future water supply situation. But in many places there are plenty of water resources – for example in North America and in Europe – but they are not utilized in the most appropriate way.
One of the big problems in many European countries is the fact that old, leaking pipelines pour huge amounts of pure drinking water into nowhere. In some European countries as much as 50 p.c. of the drinking water is wasted long before it is used for anything at all.
”If a more intelligent control of the water pipes is put into service, it will be possible to keep an eye on the problem areas and reduce the waste of water at almost nothing, “Mr Rosbjerg says.
And Grundfos has the technology to be part of that.
> Grundfos Water Utility
Grundfos has a solution
The solution Grundfos has made works with pressure control. The higher pressure in the pipes, the more leakage from the leaking pipes. And the other way around; less water will leak if the pressure is reduced.
To obtain less pressure Grundfos will leave the traditional solution with one big pump that keeps pressure constantly at a high level to a solution with more pumps arranged in parallel to keep the pressure in the water pipes. The clever thing about this model is that the pumps can be turned on and off as required, and in that way the pressure in the pipes will never be unnecessarily high.
”As a matter of fact we can reduce waste of water by 15 p.c. And we are talking about pure drinking water,” Mr Jim Rise from Grundfos says; he has been closely involved in the water reduction project since its beginning.
Fully automated, ready-to-start system
To adjust pressure Grundfos has developed a control system for the pumps. After the system has been given the information about the general consumption of the water supply, it can “decide” the number of pumps needed, and it can turn them on and off as required.
”Our control system has been designed specifically for pump control. Therefore it is very easy to have a smooth interaction between pump and control. We have the technology, and we have 60 years’ experience in water supply”, Mr Rise says, and he continues:
”In fact, the control system makes it possible to remote control pumps. If there are problems at a water supply in for example Sofia, it is possible to take control from Bjerringbro of the pumps of that supply for a period. In that way the system can run in the most appropriate and economic way all the time.”
Besides, the software of the pump supply can be continuously updated; in that way the best product will be available all the time, and the supply will always be at the best possible level.
The project is based on existing technology and products, and therefore it is very accessible for water supplies all over the world.
Pressure regulation by means of pumps arranged in parallel can reduce waste of water and energy consumption by up to 25 per cent.
A town with 35,000 inhabitants has an annual water consumption of about 5,000,000 m3 of water. In Denmark it will mean an annual waste of 500,000 m3 of water.
It can be reduced by 15 p.c., i.e. 75,000 m3 per year – 75,000,000 litres.