The food industries can have many messy processes, whether it is poultry evisceration, deboned waste conveying, bottling, or sugar cake filtration. Liquid ring vacuum pumps (LRVP’s) are often utilized as the backbone of these processes because they can handle the soft solids, debris, and particles that can easily get sucked into the vacuum pump. So how does a LRVP work, why does it work in these processes, and how to make sure they keep working?
You have your equipment, everything is set up and ready to run, but what about your lubricants? Too often, lubricants receive little attention with respect to their use in rotating equipment. Even the most reliable cars in the world will encounter problems on a short commute if the wrong transmission fluid is used during a flush. The same is true with your Positive Displacement (PD) blower or vacuum booster that operates around the clock. In our experience, approximately 80% of all bearing and gear failures are the result of improper lubrication.
A small site located within a floodplain, prone to erosion, and currently occupied by an existing in-service wastewater treatment facility is not at the top of any engineer’s list for a desirable site to expand a wastewater treatment plant or reclamation facility. However, these challenges created opportunity for specialized solutions during the design of the facility expansion; in particular, in designing the aeration and digester blower system.
Many of us are familiar with sizing vacuum pumps based on throughput, process pressure requirements, chamber size, pump down times, conductance and leakage. In a lot of cases, humidity becomes an afterthought and unexpected things happen. Some of these unexpected things we learn to live with, like emulsified oil. In other cases, the unexpected things prevent the pump from performing the job it was intended for.
Deciding on the most suitable vacuum technology for an industrial application can be challenging. This decision can be relatively easy if it is simply finding a drop-in replacement for an existing pump, but if a process keeps crashing an existing pump, it can get complicated when you are tasked with re-evaluating all the available options to find the best solution. I am hoping to highlight a few key factors to consider when you run into this type of scenario.
Most electric utilities offer customer incentives for implementing energy conservation measures (ECMs) Incentive programs pay customers to use less energy. In some cases they are mandated by legislation and in others the incentives are driven by the utility’s desire to avoid building new generating capacity. Some incentives are based on reduced energy use (kWh) and some are based on lower peak demand (kW).
When the plant’s original aeration blowers became costly to operate and newer technology offered the promise of energy-savings, Fuqua took decisive action and replaced the older blowers with high-speed turbo blowers. As a result, the plant saves ratepayers approximately $30,000 per year in energy costs and bolsters the plant’s ability to maintain uptime and achieve extremely clean effluent.
Optimized intake filters can save thousands of dollars annually in energy savings and may not require construction crews, engineering bids, or grant applications. The benefits can also be realized for treatment plants of all sizes. Described below are examples of three wastewater treatment plants that upgraded filters and came out ahead: a small rural operation with positive displacement (PD) blowers, a suburban plant using multi-stage blowers and a large urban plant that had already upgraded to airfoil bearing high-speed turbo blowers.
In this article, we discuss both vacuum pump inlet and exhaust filtration and explore how protecting your vacuum pump can increase productivity and help businesses reach their sustainability objectives.
One need look no further than the treatment plant’s digester project upgrade to see the value of the plant’s forward-thinking approach at work. The upgrade involved the replacement of five Positive Displacement (PD) blowers with four, high-speed Inovair integrally geared blowers for aerating the digesters. With fewer – and smaller – blowers the plant saves tens of thousands of dollars in energy costs per year. The blowers also offer flexibility to cost-effectively adapt to the need for increased water treatment in the future.
Julie Gass, P.E., is a Lead Mechanical Process Engineer at Black & Veatch and an industry veteran with extensive experience in mechanical equipment in wastewater treatment plants. She also served on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Committee responsible for ASME PTC 13, Wire-to-Air Performance Test Code for Blower Systems, which is the performance test code published in October 2019 for all blower technologies. Blower & Vacuum Best Practices Magazine interviewed Gass to gain her views on aeration blowers, PTC 13, and the firm’s rigorous specification process to ensure treatment plants get the blower best suited for their application.