The Grundfos Hydro MPC Booster system saves high-rise $40,000

The Figueroa at Wilshire is the fifth largest high-rise in Los Angeles, CA, at 52-stories and 1.4-million-sq. ft.

The Situation
Following an energy audit, building owner Brookfield Properties had cited high maintenance and energy costs, along with declining water pressure and mechanical fatigue of the old pump’s steel barrels, as problems to be overcome in the high-rise. The property owners contacted Eric Skjarstad, president of California-based PumpMan, Inc., to establish the new pump system.

The Grundfos Solution
The old 6-pump system was replaced with a 4-pump BoosterpaQ MPC. The variable speed provides power to any of the system’s four pumps, freeing any one pump to speed up and slow down as water demand changes. “The variable speed drive not only reduces energy consumption,” says Skjarstad, “but because pumps come online at full speed only when prompted, the life of the pumps is extended.”

The Outcome
Brookfield Properties performed before-and-after system monitoring of voltage and current as part of its energy audit. The “before” monitoring included a full week (24/7) of gathering data electronically from the building’s existing pump system. The same monitoring was performed on the new system after sufficient time was allowed to tune the controls. On average, the old system used 5,000 kWh of electrical power per week, while the new system used 1,350 kWh per week. With an average cost of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, the savings added up to more than $20,000 per year. The total equipment running hours dropped from an average of 184 hr per week for a six-pump system to 60 hr per week for the BoosterpaQ MPC. The installation was projected to save between $15,000 and $20,000, but during the first year alone it doubled projections with $40,000 in energy and maintenance cost savings.