Removing surplus pressure and protecting the water distribution system in northern Denmark



What makes Skagen – the northernmost town in Denmark – so interesting from a water distribution point of view is the great variation in the zones supplied. The old town has a population of just 5,500 with year-round requirements for water supply summer and winter. In addition, Skagen is a tourist destination, where the summer population can swell to 65,000. Finally, the harbour is an important fishing port and also houses an industrial area servicing the fishing industry. The water supply demands when the fishing fleet is in port are substantial and immediate.

Skagen Waterworks is a large facility by Danish standards, pumping and distributing 1.4 million cubic meters of water per year. This means that even very small improvements in the distribution system can quickly lead to substantial cost and energy savings.


The situation

The relationship between Frederikshavn Forsyning A/S, the water utility serving Frederikshavn municipality, and Grundfos started in 2010, when Grundfos showed the savings potential of replacing the old, over-dimensioned pumps at the municipal waterworks with new, energy efficient Grundfos pumps. Then attention turned to water pressure. “Initially, we tried reducing water pressure at the end user as a means of saving energy,” says Kenneth Fuglsang, Operations Manager, Water Supply, Frederikshavn Forsyning. “This immediately generated complaints from consumers, especially in outlying areas, where the reduced pressure reduced their comfort.


The Grundfos solution

This and a number of other issues were resolved by Demand Driven Distribution, and the comfort level for end users was increased by ensuring constant pressure at the tap.” To start with, the water utility was not certain whether the diversity of supply zones would benefit from pressure management. However, it is precisely in an environment of variable supply that Demand Driven Distribution excels. This is because the pressure sensors are placed at the points in the system where supply requirements diverge. This is done initially based on simulations and later on from actual experience. This process has also proven that once a complete overview of the actual supply situation is achieved, the requirement is for fewer sensors, not more.

Planning for implementation of the Demand Driven Distribution solution started with the simulations of the distribution system made by Grundfos. The next step was to measure actual use and make small adjustments as to the placement of sensors in the network. An audit of the system following implementation showed that the simulation was accurate and did in fact provide a usable basis for implementation. “We found that benchmarking confirmed the benefits of the system right from the start,” explains Kenneth Fuglsang.

“Concerns about the cost of implementation cost and of possible loss of revenue from less sold water were dismissed right from the start, as the figures showed that this was substantially exceeded by the savings on energy use and maintenance.”


The outcome

In Skagen, Frederikshavn municipality, Denmark, removing surplus pressure from the system with precision daily monitoring of system pressure using Demand Driven Distribution allows for better protection of the water distribution system, fed from the pumping station at Skagen Waterworks. Following the initial run-in period, the estimated totals for reductions in energy consumption was 17% and leakage 18%, with estimated annual cost savings of around EUR 14,000 for water loss and energy for water supply.

Frederikshavn Forsyning has experienced increased reliability for operations and comfort for customers following the implementation of Demand Driven Distribution. The implementation of the system in Skagen was a collaborative effort between Grundfos and Frederikshavn Forsyning; however the payback time for installing Demand Driven Distribution has been estimated at 9 months.

“We require of ourselves that we constantly improve our service and effectiveness,” says Lars Østergaard. “Being able to regulate pressure and reduce energy use benefits our work flows, our business and our customers.” On the basis of existing flow, energy and pressure figures, the run-in period with Demand Driven Distribution installed in December 2013 and the resulting minimal pressure from January 2014, the following could be estimated:

• Energy consumption reduced by around 17%

• Leakage savings of 18%

This equates with estimated annual cost savings for the municipality of around EUR 14,000 for water loss and energy for water supply.


Developing a pressure management solution


Skagen, Denmark


Frederikshavn Forsyning A/S



If you need a similar solution, please contact us for further information.


If you need a similar solution, please contact us for further information.

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