- The energy efficiency and technology innovation workshop was held at South East Water’s offices in Frankston, Victoria
- ABB experts from various locations in Australia travelled to deliver presentations on how new technology can enhance operational performance whilst reducing energy consumption, enhancing power quality and enabling smarter decision-making with remote condition monitoring devices
- The workshop was attended by key personnel from South East Water representing divisions including Resource Recovery, Service Delivery Maintenance, and Operational Technology
South East Water is one of three Victorian Government owned retail water corporations that provides drinking water, sewage, trade waste, recycled water and water-saving services for residents and businesses in an area ranging from the south-east of Melbourne to south Gippsland in Australia. They’re helping to sustain healthy and liveable communities by delivering water, sewage and recycled water services to 1.87 million people every day and every night.
On July 20th 2023 an energy efficiency, power quality, and digitalisation workshop for water infrastructure was conducted by ABB and delivered at South East Water’s office in Frankston, Victoria.
Arvind Sharma, Business Development Manager for Drives at ABB Australia, worked with Nicholas Baptiste, Technical Director Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at South East Water to organise the event.
"Operational efficiency has become the key factor for water utilities to further reduce their carbon footprint and meet their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets."
Underscoring the importance of such initiatives, Arvind says, “operational efficiency has become the key factor for water utilities to further reduce their carbon footprint and meet their greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Events like this where we’re able to showcase advanced, modernised, electrical technology provides a direct platform for attendees in the industry to gain insight on how they can improve their processes and make them safer whilst still meet their operational KPIs.”
The workshop program included topics such as:
- The Energy Efficiency Movement: A global forum that brings together like-minded stakeholders to innovate and act for a more energy-efficient world. Participants already include DHL, Alfa Laval, Danfoss, Honeywell and Microsoft. Local businesses are encouraged to join the movement, being inspired by some of the success stories of businesses who have used technology to cut energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Synchronous reluctance motors (SynRM) and Drives: ABB drives, which control the energy used by motors to best match their power needs, have proven to reduce electrical use by as much as 80% in real-world use. They could play an important role in helping businesses decrease energy costs. Upgrading from an IE3 to an IE5 SynRM motor cuts energy losses by 40%, typically reducing energy bills by up to 25%. This packaged solution is a drop-in replacement for traditional motors.
- ACQ580 drives for water and wastewater: Features like built-in Intelligent Pump Control (IPC) enable optimal energy usage based on process demand, multiple pump load sharing, balancing the run time between the pumps, keeping each pump running optimally and redundancy to avoid unplanned breaks in operation. The Drivetune mobile app with Bluetooth connectivity facilitates the start-up, commissioning, and management of ABB drives via a user-friendly interface.
- Digitalisation and condition monitoring for powertrains: Modern digital solutions offer new capabilities that enable increased energy efficiency, reduced energy consumption, and optimised maintenance of assets. This session covered the use of new digital tools to gain insight into health signals, operational parameters, and even compare data between assets such as a drive, motor, and pump, all at the same time.
Nicholas Baptiste, Technical Director Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at South East Water says, “We were delighted to host the ABB motor and drives technology lunch and learn event, in which we explored innovative solutions to support our commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030. As a water utility, a significant portion of our emissions arises from using traditional electric motors in various applications. They’re the highest energy consumers when compared with other operational equipment and therefore present the greatest opportunity to reduce energy consumption in a plant.
The adoption of efficient technologies, akin to those found in game-changing consumer devices like the Tesla Model 3, can have a profound impact on helping us reach our carbon emission targets. Additionally, these technologies enable us to reduce our operating costs and maximise data utilisation, incorporating predictive maintenance for optimised performance.”
The event also included a special guest presentation delivered by Paris Pollock, Energy and Emissions Senior Engineer at Yarra Valley Water. Paris explained how Yarra Valley Water is supporting the health and wellbeing of their customers and creating a brighter future for communities and the natural environment.
Part of his presentation covered their road to 2050 commitments and ambitions, namely:
- Scope 1 – Net Zero in 2025
- Scope 2 – Net Zero in 2025
- Scope 3 – Net Zero by 2050
Yarra Valley Water’s Beyond Zero Carbon Strategy to achieve these emissions reductions relies on productivity and optimisation to ‘Avoid and Reduce’ energy consumption to ensure they get the most out of every unit of energy consumed while limiting emissions. They’re also working to switch out carbon intensive fuels as an energy source, working to replace then with renewables.
Paris’s presentation ended with a video testimonial about their positive experience of the recent installation of an ABB synchronous reluctance (SynRM motor) and ACQ580 ultra-low harmonic variable speed drive at their Quarry Hills Water Pumping Station in Victoria. It’s expected this technology will enable a 20% energy efficiency upgrades over an approximate 15-year period.
Recognising the substantial value of this industry co-collaborative approach, Nicholas continues, “during the event, we were honoured to collaborate with Yarra Valley Water represented by Paris, who shared YVW’s remarkable experience with ABB Motors and Drives. This collaborative initiative exemplifies the power of knowledge exchange and reinforces our collective commitment to a sustainable future.”