Seeking to reduce its high electricity costs for pumping in water and wastewater treatment, and to boost system reliability, Saneago water company recently decided to install a wide range of ABB smart drives, motors and sensors. The company is the major water and wastewater utilities serving Goiás, the seventh largest state in Brazil, located in the south-central part of the country. Saneago treats and supplies drinking water for more than 5.7 million people and thousands of industrial and agricultural users, with the incoming water pumped to the treatment plant from several water sources.
The improvement project involved Saneago’s four inlet water pumping stations where ABB drives and motors, as well ABB AbilityTM Digital Powertrain solutions comprising remote condition monitoring for motors, drives and pumps, Smart Sensor technology and cloud connectivity, proved to be perfectly suited to simultaneously resolve numerous challenges.
Osmar Qualhato Junior, Energy Management Supervisor at Saneago, explains how the project developed. “One of our biggest overheads are our energy costs for pumping water. We knew we needed to lower electricity consumption and ABB suggested a solution that we found attractive, based on a combination of drives, motors and digital tools. We then worked together to systematically implement them.”
Energy audit showed big monetary gains
Following an energy appraisal that Saneago had commissioned from Vitalux, an engineering company specializing in energy surveys, it was clear that there was great potential for energy savings of more than 6,000 MWh per year. In financial terms this meant saving 3.4 million Brazilian Reais, or about US$700,000 annually.
To help Saneago save this energy and reduce electricity bills, ABB worked through their channel partner in Brazil, BEU Engenharia, to install high-efficiency low-voltage motors and drives to control the speed and torque of the water pumps.
“ABB provided Saneago with 15 high-efficiency motors and 15 drives for the four pumping stations, and also included Smart Sensors and remote condition monitoring tools,” says Rodrigo Batista, Technical Director at BEU Engenharia. “A key feature in the ACQ580 water-dedicated drive. Its built-in intelligent multi-pump control functionality was a big advantage. By using this function, we could program the drives to control the pumps to meet flow and pressure requirements, according to the actual demand. This now means that several pumps can automatically run simultaneously when necessary, to meet the precise water pressure and flow needs.”
The energy savings achieved were clearly a success, as Osmar Qualhato Junior from Saneago observes. “By installing the new ACQ580 drives and high-efficiency motors we have been able to reduce our energy consumption by 25 percent.”