Energy saving of 20% for utilities company

  • National utilities company

Peak Technology Solutions was approached to investigate how to improve the aeration lane air control at the Sewage Treatment works site to reduce consent incidents and improve operational costs.

History

The aeration lanes at the Sewage Treatment Works (STW) are fed via large air distribution blowers.

Actuated valves regulate the distribution of air to each independent area to achieve aeration process requirements. Consent failures through lack of blower supplied air or controlling valve inefficiencies can lead to substantial fines from the Environment Agency (ammonia consent failures), and due to the amount of air required for distribution, the electrical consumption of maintaining the air blower’s operation is substantial in cost.

Peak was approached to investigate how to improve the aeration lane air control – to reduce consent incidents and improve operational costs.

Solution

Peak’s solution was to upgrade the blowers and convert manual valves to automated actuators via an upgraded PLC – allowing for optimised process control and operating efficiencies.

Peak upgraded the legacy site PLC to a new F24 compliant ControlLogix PLC with 512 I/O points. All enabling works including PLC code & SCADA modifications were rewritten and optimised prior to site commissioning to ensure smooth changeover. Full testing was completed offline via IFAT/QFAT/CFAT. As such, by the end of day 1 commissioning, the blowers & aeration lanes were fully operational via the upgraded equipment (limited operational downtime).


Peak deployed the innovative utilisation of pontoons for access/egress to mechanical and electrical engineers on the aeration lanes – with
significant time and cost savings circa £36k compared to a scaffolding solution.

 

Result

By making sure that all enabling works including PLC code and SCADA modifications were rewritten and optimised prior to site commissioning, and full testing was completed offline via IFAT/QFAT/CFAT Peak ensured a quick and smooth upgrade.

Careful planning meant site downtime was limited with the full changeover completed in just 8 hours downtime, with the blowers and aeration lanes fully operational after day one commissioning via the upgraded equipment.

The client expects the upgrade to have an expected energy saving of around 20% once fine-tuned.

“We saw a reduction in air demand from around
35,000m3/h to 28,000m3/h which gives us a saving of
20% air flow. It’s also given us much more accurate average DO levels rather than the previous ‘safe’ setpoint of over aerating 24 hrs/day.

Once the control philosophy with the new turbo blowers is fine-tuned, we are expecting to see energy savings in the region of 20% each year.’’

 

Project Delivery Manager, Utilities Client

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