Mossel Bay Water Utility In South Africa
“They are so simple but they do so much for me!” exclaims Johnny Meerholz as he proudly displays the AuCom IMS2 soft starter he has just installed. Electrical Supervisor for Mossel Bay Municipality (MBM), Johnny has worked with CHI Control's Western Cape Branch Manager, Kevin Russell, to install over 100 IMS2 starters in 60 different clean water and sewerage pumping stations since 2002. CHI Control is the exclusive distributor of AuCom soft starters in South Africa, boasting an authorised AuCom Service Centre at their Head Office in Wadeville, Johannesburg.
With requirements ranging from 55 kW in a seaside station, to 400 kW in the Kleinbrak Filter Station, MBM uses IMS2 soft starters to meet a challenging range of environments and hydraulic demands. As well as their reliability, Johnny loves the simplicity of the IMS2 – “We have occasionally taken delivery of other soft starters in the past, but you have to have a university degree to program them. The IMS2 is so simple, I wouldn’t have anything else!”
CHI’s specialist product knowledge has helped Johnny maximise the benefits of the IMS2 to provide the residents of Mossel Bay with a reliable, cost effective pumping system.
Johnny laughs that he just installs the starters and forgets about them, but he knows that CHI Control can provide full specialist back-up and support if required. Knowing that the starters are manufactured by specialists at AuCom and have full local support from a well-established company like CHI Control has given Johnny great peace of mind as he has transformed the MBM pumping controls over the past three years.
- Torque control soft starting provides near-linear acceleration during starting, eliminating pressure surges and mechanical stress. Using torque control together with AuCom's accurate current ramp, Johnny has kept starting currents as low as 200% at many stations.
- Pump control soft stopping has eliminated the water hammer experienced prior to installation of the soft starters. The benefits are most noticeable on the 400 kW pumps that push water through 10 km of pipe from Kleinbrak over the Mossel Bay Hill.
- Programmable relay outputs and analog motor current readout feed directly into the MBM Telemetry System, allowing Johnny to instantly identify problem stations from his office. Downtime and losses have fallen sharply and daily manual inspections are a thing of the past.
- User-programmable electronic shearpin and undercurrent protection provide customisable defence against problems including broken pipes or faulty valves. This protection is built into the IMS2, eliminating the need for additional relays, indicators and wiring.
- The easy-to-read feedback display provides comprehensive status information on inputs, outputs and motor operation, simplifying monitoring by MBM operators.
- Conformal coating of the printed circuit boards keeps the IMS2 reliable even in the harsh atmospheres of coastal stations.
- The adjustable busbar configuration of larger IMS2 soft starters simplified installation, allowing the soft starter to slot into existing cabling configurations.