Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  17 Jun 2009

ENGINEERING: Cup Fans Won't Go Thirsty


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE non-stop supply of potable water for the thousands of the fans and players attending 2010 World Cup matches at Cape Town’s new Green Point stadium is being ensured by the installation of a fail-safe bank of Salmson pumps.

Three pressure-boosting pumps form the heart of the water-pumping operation for the entire stadium. Two vertical multi-stage Salmson pumps will be full-duty units, while a third will be on permanent standby. So if one pump fails for any reason, the standby duty unit will be immediately available.

But for complete efficiency, any pump can be expected to be working at any time. Paul Williams of Cape Town company Pump Control Systems, which is installing the pumps and has designed and built the computerized control unit, says the operation of the pumps is linked so that all three “get their chance to take up a working load.” This is achieved by a switching system which provides for an automatic alternation among the pumps so that no pump can ever become over-worked – or under-worked.

The Salmson MV3605 pumps, with stainless steel internals, run off 9kW motors, boosting water from a 60 000-litre tank at a flow rate of 17 litres per second to various parts of the stadium at a pressure of 7bar. Each pump can deliver over 30 cubic litres of water per hour. “The engineers wanted variable-speed drive pumps that will work and last,” Williams says. “We proposed the Salmson unit because Pump Control Systems have had extensive experience with it and have found it to be a very efficient pump, with the smooth pressure control specified as a ‘must’ by the engineers.”

While the pumps are French-made, the control system design and construction is all-South African. “This means that there is immediate local technical backup available,” says Williams.

The pumps are controlled by the Vari Flow pump control panel which ensures a smooth transition from one pump to the next. The panel has a dedicated PLC designed and programmed in-house to ensure the pumps work in the efficient area of their performance curves.

Should the design parameters change, it is very easy to reduce or increase the pressure as the systems requires. This is normally done during commissioning. The main reason for on-site commissioning is that if we can reduce the designed pressure, this results in big power savings. Savings of 4 -5 kw per hour per day is a lot of electricity saved,” Williams says.

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