Energy saving in the heart of uShaka
One of the great advantages of being a leader in the Technical Department at uShaka Sea World is that you inspire and become inspired on a daily basis. So when I was tasked with assisting the team to reduce electricity consumption in the water purification plant, it became a team project.
A drop of water travelling from the ocean into uShaka Sea World through the piping network and out again travels a distance of 33km and passes through 219 pumps. About 380 cubic meters of water pass through the pipes ever hour, so coming up with a way to increase pump efficiency while reducing the electricity consumption presented an exciting challenge.
First we needed to do an electricity audit to find out exactly how much electricity the various pumps and motors were using. This information was then presented to both my colleagues and the association’s directors as we weighed up various options.
It was decided to install 69 variable speed drives on the existing pump motors. This would reduce the speed and power consumption needed to achieve correct flow rates with the delivery valves fully open. In January 2013, the three-month project began with great enthusiasm.
The installation went smoothly, and as promised, on completion of the final installation the speed of the motors was reduced to a point where marked savings in electricity could be achieved without compromising operational efficiency.
Energy saving is now a focus in everything I do both at work and at home. Geysers can be exchanged for heat pumps, water-wise showerheads are easy to install, timers can be placed on outside and inside lights ... the list is endless. As you look around your home or work space, it becomes easier to find ways to reduce electricity consumption once you acknowledge that every watt counts.
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