Protect your pumping system from the damaging effects of water hammer

Posted by AuCom on 05/12/16 10:04

Water hammer has the potential to cause significant damage to pumping systems. Most in the pumping industry have a tale to tell about burst or collapsed pipes, or broken or damaged valves, pressure gauges and even pumps.

Solving the water hammer problem requires either mitigating its effects or preventing its occurrence altogether. To this end, there are a number of solutions to consider when designing a pumping system, including electronic motor control.

Electronic motor control devices such as soft starters and variable frequency drives can be used to control the speed of the pump during starting and stopping. This allows for a more gradual increase or decrease in pump speed, preventing water column separation, flow reversal and sudden check valve closure – a few of the primary causes of water hammer.

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Topics: Pumping, Soft Start Control, Water & Wastewater, Irrigation, Water Hammer


AuCom soft starters support excavation of extension to the Panama Canal

Posted by AuCom on 05/09/16 12:16

Running through the Central American nation of Panama, the Panama Canal has been an important conduit for international trade between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans for over 100 years. In 2016 the largest expansion of the trade route since its original construction was completed.

The capacity increase of the new canal has more than doubled, with the maximum ship size able to carry 5000 TEUs (terminal equivalent units). Vessels with capacity of more than 13,000 TEUs will be able to navigate the expanded canal system.

This feat of engineering has an overall program cost of $US 5.25 billion, and has involved shifting more than 50 million cubic metres of material (an Olympic-sized swimming pool has a 2500 cubic metres capacity).

Part of the expansion was the Pacific Access Channel, known as PAC4, which involved the excavation of some of that 50 million cubic metres in the form of a 6.1km long access channel for a set of new Pacific locks. AuCom distributer in the region, El Salvador-based Industrial Systems, has played a role in making the huge project happen.

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Topics: Water & Wastewater, Pumping, Projects, Soft Start Control


Pumping & energy savings - It's all about timing

Posted by AuCom on 01/07/16 13:52

When it comes to costs in water-related sectors such as water treatment, wastewater management and irrigation, the energy expense of pumping is a huge factor.

For some water utilities 95% of their budget is consumed by electrical costs. According to Water Online, USA water utilities consume 56 billion kilowatts costing $4 billion per annum. This equates to between 3- 4% of the entire country’s electricity consumption.

Another large pumping-related energy user in the water industry is irrigation.

As an example, analysis of data from the 2008 USDA Farm and Ranch Irrigation Survey showed that the average energy use for irrigating crops in Nebraska alone would be equivalent to about 340 million gallons of diesel fuel annually if all pumps were powered with diesel engines.

According to a report by the New South Wales Farmers’ Association, audits of Australia irrigation farms have found that energy used in irrigation can account for upwards of 50% of a total farm energy bill. Although these statistics may seem staggering, there are strategies to reduce these costs.

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Topics: Pumping, Water & Wastewater, Energy Efficiency, Soft Start Control, Irrigation


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