Intelligent pumps bring ease to five-star hotel’s engineering crew

We’ve got more control of the pumps. They are all integrated. We can look at everything down in the workshop. We can see any faults that come. Overall, a lot more efficient.
Michael Munroe, Director of Engineering, Shelbourne Hotel

The five-star, 200-year-old Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin needed a new cooling system. The luxury hotel in the centre of the city had outgrown its rooftop chillers and pumps.

“The system wasn’t as efficient as it could have been,” says Michael Munroe, Director of Engineering at the Shelbourne Hotel. The hotel used seven chillers, and those plus the chilled-water pumps were not covered so well. “Everything was in the open air. The pumps were getting damaged.”

Furthermore, Michael Munroe’s team had no way of knowing whether there was a problem with the pumps until the hotel got a complaint. “And then we would have to come running from our workshop in the basement up ten floors to the roof to try to find out what was wrong.”

Michael Munroe inspects one of the twin-pump Grundfos TPE units in the rooftop packaged pump plant at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.

The solution

The hotel’s cooling system refurbishment not only included new, efficient chillers but also a Grundfos packaged pump plant that houses all the chilled water pumps. This container solution not only protects the pumps and controls from the weather but it also brought Grundfos pump system intelligence to the Shelbourne.

“It just increased efficiencies,” Michael Munroe says. “All the pumps are variable speed. And along with the chillers – which are more efficient – we’ve got more control of the pumps as well. They are all integrated. We have sensors on all of them. We can control the temperatures. See the flow rates. And that’s wired back now to our BMS. So if we do get a fault, we have it connected to my phone and the engineering phones, and we get a text message. If something critical happens, we’ll know straightaway. We can look at everything down in the workshop. We can see any faults that come. Overall, a lot more efficient.”

Changing the control mode on the display of a Grundfos TPE pump at the Shelbourne Hotel.

The outcome

Michael Munroe says the package solution was just right for the Shelbourne. “The pump house itself, it’s basically a big container. It came pre-done with the pumps and the pipework, so it just needed connecting to what we had on the roof. It was craned over during the evening. We had to block the road off, crane it in, set it down. We kept everything going in the hotel. It was very convenient. Easy to be done.”

He is also satisfied with the Grundfos maintenance package. “Twice a year, they’ll come, look at everything, service the pumps, gauges, make sure all the sensors are okay. Make sure it’s running properly.”

He says he is really proud of the pumps and the relationships his crew has had with Grundfos.

“We do fetch quite a few people up to the roof to look at it now. We’re not afraid to fetch them onto the roof anymore,” he says with a smile. “It’s just so good.”

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