Renewable Power with Rotary Lobe Pumps

This pump, used as a turbine, converts reduced pressure energy to electricity.

Written by:
Marino Curati, Vogelsang, & Sandra Walker, Zeropex U.S.
Published:
April 1, 2013

The municipality chose a system that used a generator and rotary lobe pump. The entire system was able to be installed at ground level, and because of its operation, it could generate renewable electricity. The system also maintained a minimum pressure on its outlet, which allowed water to enter the elevated tank. The turbine controlled the raw water flow into the treatment process by controlling its speed to match the desired flow. To provide seamless operation, the turbine was equipped with a load bank that allowed it to continue running even when the electricity supply from the grid failed. This allowed a controlled shutdown, which would prevent any hydraulic issues.

The system has performed well during since commissioned in December 2011. It has been in constant, 24-hour operation. It has exceeded its net water-to-wire efficiencies relative to performance trials.

The municipality is satisfied with the system and has subsequently purchased additional units. Image 2 shows the installation at Welsh Water, in which the generator/pump system operates to provide pressure control in and produce electricity for the plant. P&S

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