Water Treatment Efficient Water Treatment and Distribution

Author / Editor: PRADEEP KARNIK / Dominik Stephan

The ever increasing cost of electricity and scarcity of water in most countries are forcing the utility operators to optimise their plants with the aid of modern technology. Industrial electronic devices, intended for control and monitoring – such as starters and electronic variable speed drives, can lead to 25 to 30 percent of energy saving in terms of electricity consumption. High time to take plant sophistication to water treatment and management systems...

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FIG. 2: Liquid cooled drives for efficient heat abstraction of electrical rooms
FIG. 2: Liquid cooled drives for efficient heat abstraction of electrical rooms
(Picture: Schneider Electric Industries)

Reducing the cost of electrical energy has become an imperative for managers and operators of water distribution systems and treatment stations. Industrial electronic devices, the use of which is growing in this sector, offer a practical solution to these requirements, and one that has already been proven in numerous installations. In India, with the introduction of PAT (Perform, Achieve, Trade) scheme, energy management in distribution and treatment of water is now a key buzzword.

Electricity, Treatment Agents and Delivering – Key Assets of Water Management

It has been found that water management involves the control of three key balance sheet items – which, according to the country, are divided more or less equally. These items are: electricity consumption (Fig. 1), purchase of treatment products (production and sewerage) and the personnel delivering the services. And electricity consumption often accounts for 30 per cent of the total cost.

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Reducing this item has therefore become an imperative for operators and managers of water distribution systems. Within this context, industrial electronic devices are increasingly being used in this sector:

  • to adjust the power factor to avoid penalties from the electrical utility and to reduce initial investment (size of equipment)
  • for management purposes, to reduce billing costs
  • to control motors (on pumps, agitators etc.) as a means of reducing consumption and extending the service life of equipment
  • to replace traditional control methods like motor-driven valves that lead to unnecessary energy consumption by pump motors.

In each of these cases, the savings, depending on the load level and the size of the installation, can be substantial. Motor control offers particularly great potential – as it allows a direct reduction in consumption (or in the number of kVAh to be paid for). In a pumping station, for example, the requirement is to start up the motor in the evening at full load and to stop it at dawn, for this purpose a simple starter is sufficient.