Innovative Solutions Dubai’s Dewa to Replace Pump, Valve Bearings

Editor: Ahlam Rais

The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) has plans to replace all industrial pump bearings at its facilities across Dubai with grease-free Thordon water lubricated bearing solutions. With the installation of these solutions, DEWA aims to reduce downtime as well as the costs associated with grease and spare parts procurement.

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Since DEWA began operating their vertical pumps with the Thorplas-Blue bearings, there has been zero downtime or increased vibration.
Since DEWA began operating their vertical pumps with the Thorplas-Blue bearings, there has been zero downtime or increased vibration.
(Source: Thordon Bearings)

Ontario/Canada – Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is a step closer to replacing its industrial pump bearings with grease-free Thordon water lubricated bearing solutions, following the installation of the Canadian company’s pioneering technology to desalination plants across the United Arab Emirates.

In the first six months of this year, Ocean Power International (OPI), Thordon Bearings’ Dubai-based distributor, supplied Thorplas-Blue and SXL bearings for installation to 20 butterfly valves and 7 brine recirculation and vertical pumps, respectively.

For quite some time now, DEWA has been systematically replacing its traditional bearings with Thordon products at facilities across Dubai. The first retrofit was carried out more than 25 years ago.

OPI Managing Director, Rafid Qureshi said: “After hearing about the issues that DEWA was having with the original bearings, we proposed a solution that included Thorplas-Blue. After checking load calculations and ensuring operating pressures did not exceed the bearing material’s 45 MPa (6,527 psi) tolerance, we machined and fitted the Thordon bushings. Since that first installation, we have replaced pump and valve bearings at several power generation and desalination plants across Dubai.”

“The bronze bushings originally installed in the vertical pumps were wearing out and causing frequent breakdowns every 6-8 months,” said Qureshi. “Unfortunately, there were multiple components that failed as a result of the bushing failure, forcing DEWA to find a longer lasting, more reliable solution.

“As the medium in these pumps is seawater, the new bearings had to be corrosion resistant, and capable of withstanding high operating speeds and temperatures up to 80°C (176°F). Thorplas-Blue was deemed the ideal bearing grade for this kind of application.”

Since DEWA began operating their vertical pumps with the Thorplas-Blue bearings, there has been zero downtime or increased vibration, Qureshi said.

“By installing Thorplas-Blue, DEWA has saved about 50,000 dollars in downtime, eliminating unplanned maintenance and the costs associated with grease and spare parts procurement. Similar reductions in operational expenditures have been experienced across all of the company’s facilities following the Thordon installations,” he said.

The Thorplas-Blue bearing can be used in all types of industrial pump applications and is an ideal replacement for bronze and other non-metallic bearings, states the company. Developed as a maintenance-free alternative to greased bronze bearings, Thorplas-Blue is a proprietary engineered thermoplastic bearing capable of dynamic operating pressures up to 45 MPa (6527 psi) and can easily be back fit into virtually all applications where greased bronze is currently installed. Higher pressures may be possible following a Thordon engineering review.

“The elimination of grease not only offers obvious cost benefits, but the bearing material is much safer and cleaner to operate than other conventional pump bearings,” added Thordon Bearings’ Strategic Account Manager – Vertical Pumps, Keith Brand.

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