Fuel polishers gain powerful efficiency, intelligence with pumps

Overview_TEXT

Overview

The situation

 “Now imagine that on a big scale with a backup generator,” he continues. “You can’t just pour all the fuel out. That’s ten or even hundreds of thousands of litres. So we make machines that solve problems of fuel contamination in the tank.”

WASP’s units recirculate the fuel in the tank, filtering out foreign matter. “So when you want to run the backup generator, the fuel is ready to go.” Having such a fuel-polishing system is critical for some industries, he adds.

“Your backup generator is running because you’ve got no power. So if your backup generator fails, you’ve got no industry. If it’s a hospital, it’s a threat to life. If it’s a data centre, that’s no power to your computers. If it’s a bank, that’s no money moving.”
 

The solution

WASP wanted to have “the best product out there,” but it was not happy with its current pump supplier. 

“We spoke to one of our other sub-suppliers, who said they used Grundfos. ‘Why aren’t you using Grundfos?’ they asked. So we tried a unit and were so blown away by how good it was,” says Richard Massara.

With the switch to Grundfos pumps, WASP moved away from fixed speed pumps into intelligent, variable-speed pumps that were much more efficient. 

First, the Grundfos CME pumps use only a quarter of the power of the previous pumps, meaning WASP’s customers use 75% less running power.

Richard Massara shows a 26-litre-per-minute test machine running in WASP’s headquarters in Hertfordshire, UK. A small monitor screen on top shows it is using 95 watts. “Ninety-five watts. That is absolutely nothing. That’s a big cost-saver for the customer in running costs – and a big carbon footprint reduction as well.”

He adds that one of the keys for WASP filtration systems is using pumps that are not only strong enough to do the job, but also able to give a consistent flow, pressure and vacuum – to make sure the filtration stages work as energy-efficiently as possible. “Now, with this solution here, we’ve got the best of both worlds,” he says.

“We’ve got something that accelerates nice and gently, so it doesn’t force particulate through the filter. It uses as little power as possible when it runs, and it also monitors itself through the outflow censor. The pump monitors its own speed. It will gently accelerate or decelerate. That constant flow means we have the constant pressure we need to make these filters work at peak efficiency.”
 

Added value

In addition to the much lower running costs, the pump’s intelligence has added much more value for customers, he says. 

“It’s more than just a pump for us,” says Richard Massara. “We’re running all of our sensors and feedback into this unit. Although we were aware of intelligent and variable speed pumps, we weren’t aware of their capabilities. It’s a matter of how much we can integrate the pump and control system, how much feedback it can give and how much information.

“So for example current draw, or flow switches that Grundfos provide – the direct flow, straight out of the pump. Feeding that information back to the customer is a powerful thing. Now we can give full feedback.”
 

The outcome

“In the years I’ve been involved with WASP, we’ve taken the solutions from – sort of more rudimentary steps, a basic filter and a basic pump – to a far more complex and intelligent machine,” says Richard Massara.

“These devices’ primary job is to clean fuel. Their secondary job is to look after the system and feed that information back. The intelligence that’s inside the pump here, we can put up on the monitor screen. And ultimately, we can take the intelligence and refer to the customers’ Building Management System, the BMS. That’s really important. 

“What the Grundfos solution has allowed us to do is to take our filtration stages on to the next level,” says Richard Massara. “It makes the whole system more effective by making it greener, by making it more carbon-efficient. It is important not to just solve the problem, but to solve the problem well. That’s why we’re proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Topic:

Fuel polishing systems

Location:

Hertfordshire, UK

Company:

WASP PFS Ltd.

Richard Massara, sales manager at WASP in the UK, says variable speed Grundfos pumps use 75% less energy than the previous pumps the company used in its fuel polishing systems.

  

WASP hand-builds each fuel-polishing system for backup generation. Primary customers are data centres, banks, large financial institutions, factories and hospitals.

  

A 26-litre/minute WASP fuel polishing system demo unit at WASP’s headquarters in the UK.

  

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