Pump retrofit cuts energy use by 60% for Dubai Tower

Replacing old and inefficient pumps with the latest high-efficiency Grundfos models has more than halved annual electricity costs for Dubai’s Green Tower, a 17-storey commercial building in the City’s Deira district.

Built at the height of Dubai’s construction boom in the late 1990’s, the Tower’s chilled water system had become very energy hungry and expensive to run. Heeding the City’s call to improve sustainability, therefore, engineers called in Grundfos to carry out an Energy Check to identify where savings could be made.

Working alongside Dubai-based Energy Consultants, TAKA Solutions, Grundfos energy specialists found that the old pumps had become increasingly inefficient to operate and were not able to react to changes in demand, so were overflowing and wasting energy. It was estimated that a change to modern high-efficiency Grundfos pumps and controls could halve electricity demand, reducing the building’s total energy.

In addition to cutting energy use, the challenge for the team was to cut system operating costs and reduce the very high level of pump maintenance and associated costs, so it was decided that a total replacement was necessary.

In order to ensure a seamless changeover, the work was meticulously planned on a step-by-step basis, with Grundfos partner, M.A.H.Y Khoory, ensuring all material deliveries to site were precisely scheduled to support the sequenced shutdown.

The project was completed without problems, with the new pump system achieving the same output as the previous network, using much less energy. The annual saving of AED 116,000 meant that the new installation paid for itself in just 9 months.

After completion, it was found that that the new pump system more than matched the target, cutting annual energy consumption for the building from 51.6 kW to 21.3 kW, a reduction of 60%. By reducing stress on the system using the latest Grundfos Smart pumping systems, the team also achieved major savings in maintenance time and costs.

Grundfos’ Lead for Energy Optimisation and Retrofit, Tolga Candan, who led the project, said, “We estimate that 90% of the pumps installed across the Middle East are old and inefficient, and Grundfos is helping to address this as part of our support for the United Nation’s SDG6 and SDG13 goals covering sustainable water supplies and energy reduction.

“Dubai, in its aspiration to become one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable cities, has set itself a target of retrofitting 30,000-plus old buildings. Green Tower provides the template for others to follow – and a great example of what can be achieved.”