Case Study by: Chuck Peterson, Peterson Predictive Maintenance
Reducing energy usage at a water treatment plant in the Colorado Springs/ Ft. Collins area
It was determined that pumps, which were gravity fed by a 24″ main from the reservoir, were not running at maximum speed. The reservoirs were backed up, forcing pumps running elsewhere to use more energy, creating a domino effect. Less water was being circulated to appropriate areas and more in areas where there wasn’t a need. In addition to wasting energy, this caused shortage issues in some areas and overflow in others.
Mr. Peterson used an ultrasound instrument to detect premature cavitation in several pumps that were the cause of the minimum output issue. Once identified and corrected, flow from these pumps increased to meet their specified requirements. Pumps that had been previously used to accommodate the backup of water were no longer needed for that task.
Due to the way in which this problem produces inefficiencies and drag on energy, the cost could build up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over time if not properly inspected. By using ultrasound inspection to identify the source of the problem, the subsequent repair provided the client with a substantial decrease in energy waste while dramatically improving plant-wide efficiencies.