High speed turbocompressors help one of Sulzer’s customers reduce energy, maintenance costs and improve performance

Built nearly a century ago, a Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) located in a major city in the North of the UK, is one of four in the area treating its wastewater and returning clean water to the rivers. In the recent years, when higher discharge standards, population growth, soring energy costs and asset deterioration became evident, it meant that investment was required. First of all, to reduce energy and maintenance costs, but also to meet the rising quality demands of wastewater treatment.

The latter plays a significant role in achieving sustainability goals. Efficient wastewater treatment processes mitigate the overall climate impact. Stricter quality demands lead to the implementation of better treatment technologies minimising the negative impact on local communities and the environment.

Boosting efficiency while downsizing

Energy consumption is one of the largest expenditures in a wastewater treatment plant operation. In the constant race to reduce the energy costs and improve the aeration process, Sulzer’s customer needed the equipment that would provide energy and operational efficiency with excellent reliability.

When Sulzer were asked to offer a solution, the plant was using 24 surface aerators, installed across 8 aeration lanes. After many years of operation, they had become inefficient and unreliable with constantly raising maintenance costs. The customer had to strike the right balance between efficiency and reliability. After consultation, it was decided that Sulzer was the right choice to meet their current and future needs.

Sulzer provided 4 state-of-the-art HST 30 High Speed Turbocompressors™ to replace the 24 inefficient and failing aerators, supplying them pre-installed in specifically modified containers. The final onsite installation was raised off the ground because the plant had a history of high-risk flooding.

With the changes to the economic outlook since the beginning of 2020, the project was under a great pressure. The Sulzer team worked alongside the customer’s appointed contractors to deliver the project on time and with minimal disruption to the process, despite global supply chain challenges, delivery delays and other refurbishment works taking place on site at the same time.

Securing the bottom line and sustainability goals

Since the project completion, the customer has reported a significant payback on the investment by replacing previous malfunctioning equipment with the Sulzer HST Turbocompressors™. The plant has been able to significantly reduce energy costs. This trend will continue for the years to come thanks to the guaranteed efficiency of the HST Turbocompressors™. An additional bonus achieved by Sulzer’s customer was substantial decrease in its carbon footprint.

There also have been major savings in the maintenance costs. As part of the new annual health inspection, Sulzer recommends just a few diagnostic checks and changing of the air filters. In addition to that, the quiet operation of the HST Turbocompressors™ has significantly reduced the noise levels.

The reliability of the new installed Sulzer equipment has also enabled the site operators to focus on more proactive projects rather than relentless maintenance of failing aerators and other deteriorating assets.