Case

Smart pressure boosting for modern living in China

Located in the heart of Suzhou Bay, stands a recently built high-end living compound, with 18 ultra high-rise apartment buildings exceeding 100 metres.

The smart pumping station built by Grundfos’ pressure boosting solution has also become a demonstration project of Wujiang Hua Yan Water Company

Qiu Lingfeng, Vice Manager of the Wujiang Hua Yan Water Company’s asset management arm

Overview

Sitting on the eastern coast of China, the Tai Lake has nurtured local lands and culture for more than a thousand years. In recent years, the surrounding areas of the Tai Lake have been undergoing a transformation that creates a high-end living resort destination, improving the living standards of residents. Amongst them is Suzhou Bay, a national 4A level scenic spot sitting at the south tip of the Tai Lake.

Located in the heart of Suzhou Bay stands a recently built high-end living compound, with 18 ultra high-rise apartment buildings exceeding 100 metres. Looking out from the apartments, a panoramic view of the Tai Lake can be seen. Inside the compound, the natural scenery blends well with the everyday bustle, providing a luxurious experience for its residents. To complement the high-end living standard, the availability of safe and stable water is of course non-negotiable. 


Status of pressure boosting for high-rise buildings

Traditional water supply networks only take water up to seven floors, meaning higher buildings need a pressure boosting system. As such, pressure boosting is often called the ‘last mile’ of the local water distribution and is key to residential water experience. In 2015, four ministerial administrations released documents encouraging more professional and regulated management of the pressure boosting industry. Since then, professional water companies have been taking over the design, construction and management of pressure boosting facilities from property managers.

Wujiang Hua Yan Water Company is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the pressure boosting in Suzhou Bay Jingyuan West Community. As a professional water supply and water management company in the region, Wujiang Hua Yan Water is currently responsible for managing 145 communities that require pressure boosting, including 156 pumping stations, covering a total of 142,000 residents. It started managing the pressure boosting pumping station in 2013, gradually promoting the standardised construction of pumping stations to adhere with higher unified corporate standards.

“Pressure boosting systems applied in ultra high-rise buildings are not commonly used and it’s more difficult to design than traditional pressure boosting projects.” Qiu Lingfeng, Vice Manager of the Wujiang Hua Yan Water Company’s asset management arm said.

He explained, “Because the project is quite complex, the safety of water supply is the major consideration for the project. This neighbourhood has 18 ultra high-rise buildings, with the average height exceeding 200 meters. If we pressurise the water from a main pumping station, the pressure will reach 220 metres. If a leak occurs, it will have a big impact on the residents and the entire pipeline facilities. That’s why we need to use a multi-stage pressurising method for the building.”

According to the plan, the main pumping station covers a total of 1,296 households and involves multiple forms of water supply such as box-type superimposed dual-source switching water supply, direct water supply, midway transfer water supply and roof pressurised water supply. Qiu Lingfeng explained, “The energy consumed by so many devices is also a major factor to be considered and controlled.”

He continued, “Apart from that, we also need to make sure the water supply is stable. For a project this size, it requires a high precision level. Once there is a malfunction, it will trigger a water cut in several pumping stations,” adding, “Another concern is noise and vibration, because there are several sub-pumping stations in the middle levels. Noise and vibration from those pumping stations can lead to a poor living environment for the residents.”


A smart, efficient and digital solution

To provide a better water experience in the Suzhou Bay Jingyuan West Community, Wujiang Hua Yan Water Company adopts a pressure boosting solution from Grundfos.  The project used a total of 25 sets of Grundfos hydro boosters, meeting IE5 efficiency standards. At the same time, the overall system efficiency of the pump units meets the IE2 efficiency standards, which brings a better solution for the reduction of energy consumption of pressure boosting equipment.

Grundfos uses factory prefabricated pipes instead of on-site pipe welding to ensure the installation quality. “This has made our design so much better,” remarked Qiu Lingfeng, “It also lowers the complexity of the installation and shortens the time of the construction. For this project, the installation took a mere one week, a far cry from our estimation of two months.”

Grundfos’ pressure boosting solution also enables a smart management using the Internet of Things technology. The digitalised pump communicates not only operational data, but also its maintenance requirements to the platform. “It’s much easier for us to monitor and maintain the operation of the pumps,” Qiu Lingfeng explained, “We can see properties like the pump’s historical curves, its alarms and its settings. Our staff can learn all about the pumps remotely.”

According to Qiu Lingfeng,“In terms of energy efficiency, compared with commonly used IE3 motors, the current products can save up to 29 per cent of energy consumption every year.”


Safe and stable model project with exceptional quality

Since it was put into operation in June 2019, this pumping station integrated with Grundfos’ smart pressure boosting solution has been operating safely for more than a year and the overall equipment is very stable. “The pump units have extremely low operating noise and low vibration. It is completely invisible in the daily life of residents,” said Qiu Lingfeng, continuing, “Our customers around the middle-level water pumping station haven’t filed a single complaint and the noise detection is also in line with national standards. The overall project met our brief and fulfilled all our expectations.”

Due to the use of energy-efficient variable frequency motors, the energy consumption of the pressure boosting pump room is more economical. “In terms of energy efficiency, compared with commonly used IE3 motors, the current products can save up to 29% of energy consumption every year,” said Qiu Lingfeng .

The smart pumping station built by Grundfos’ pressure boosting solution has also become a demonstration project of Wujiang Hua Yan Water Company. “The digital pressure boosting pump room in the Suzhou Bay Jingyuan West Community is the latest example of a smart pumping station and we have accumulated valuable experience for our company’s future management. This has become an exceptional case study for the company,” concluded Qiu Lingfeng

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