Derby Sewage Treatment Works handles wastewater for a population of 440,000, processing an average of 1’000 liters and a maximum 2,300 liters of effluent every second. After water has passed the inlet and mechanical screens, it gravitates into the primary settlement tanks, where solids settle as sludge at the bottom. The sludge is drawn off and anaerobically digested to produce renewable fuel, but liquid flows onto the activated sludge plant.
Weftec 2023, a leading event for industrial and municipal wastewater treatment facilities took place October 2-5, 2023 at Chicago's McCormick Place. The objective of this article is to provide readers with a sampling of aeration blower technologies on display at the show. We regret not being able to include all exhibitors or visits made due to article length considerations.
High levels of reliability can be achieved in two ways. First, by design – employing quality materials, proven components, and simplified mechanisms. Second, by incorporating advanced monitoring techniques that identify abnormal operating conditions, provide notification to operators, and initiate equipment shutdown before catastrophic failure occurs. Modern positive displacement (PD) blower packages use both techniques to improve system reliability.
When a facility plans for a wastewater treatment plants, they typically design based on population and industry growth twenty to thirty years into the future. Regulatory requirements often dictate designing the activated sludge process equipment based on future-state influent flow and loading conditions, resulting in decades of constrained, inefficient, and suboptimal operation.
Supplying air to process equipment necessitates a system approach. Selecting the blowers is a critical design step, but far from the final one. The layout of the blower room and ancillary equipment is just as critical to project success as the blowers themselves.
Single-stage centrifugal blowers are a proven technology that have been around for many years and will probably be here for many years to come. A well maintained machine can last for decades and will likely outlast its original control system. Even if the control system is still in good working order the components might already be end of life and hard to replace if any of them fail. If you are thinking about modernizing the hardware (PLC / HMI / Instruments) this is also a great opportunity to make the system a little smarter and user friendly.
Positive Displacement (PD) blowers have been a workhorse for wastewater treatment for over 150 years. They are robust and simple to operate. They are often the first choice for small facilities and for applications with wide variations in discharge pressure. When combined with variable frequency drives (VFDs) they provide operational flexibility in flowrate across a wide range of discharge pressures.
One definition of “calibrate” is “to determine, rectify, or mark the graduations of something”. An ammeter is an instrument for measuring electric current. Therefore the simple definition of a calibrated ammeter is a current measuring device marked with units of measure, presumably amperes. In the blower industry, however, the term has developed a specific meaning. A calibrated ammeter is an instrument that measures a blower motor’s current draw and converts the measurement to a display of blower airflow rate.
The plant recorded another win in its long list of accomplishments when it replaced aging multistage blowers with high-speed integrally geared blowers in 2020. The new blowers with Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) control are credited with a 40% reduction in energy consumption for aeration. This results in an annual savings of $35,000. The blower upgrade, which also helps protect the safety of employees, is expected to deliver a payback of less than five years.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) released their Wire-to-Air Performance Test Code for Blower Systems in 2018. Designated PTC 13-2018, it has rapidly become a standard for inclusion in blower specifications.
The EXPO & Conference focuses on “Optimizing On-site Utilities Powering Automation.” Experts from all over the world convened to discuss compressed air, pneumatics, motors and drives, vacuum, aeration blower and chiller/cooling and water treatment systems.
Held November 2-4, 2021, this 3rd installment of the event continued to provide continuing education, certification and networking opportunities to equipment sales engineers, engineering firm and manufacturing plant personnel.