Energy conservation continues to be a critical focus for wastewater treatment plants. And because of this, innovations aimed at conserving energy and reducing energy costs abound. Water Online Radio recently caught up with Brian Hayes, Business Development Manager for ABB, to understand some of the areas where wastewater treatment plants are having energy-saving success.
“Variable speed drives and high efficiency motors are two inexpensive ways to cut your energy consumption by two-thirds,” suggests Hayes.
Hayes recognizes that aeration accounts for over 70% of power used within a wastewater treatment facility. He recognizes that operators are never going to manually turn a blower on and off efficiently to maintain optimal dissolved oxygen levels. This is better suited to automation and a modern, sophisticated control system not only turns blowers on and off but can ramp them up or dial them down to keep dissolved oxygen at optimal levels.
Beyond energy, manpower is usually the top expense at the treatment plant and technology can also help to reduce the amount of labor needed to run a plant. “When I first started in this industry, there would be 30 guys sitting around a shop,” says Hayes. “I was down in Houston two weeks ago and there were 6 guys in the shop … Our sensors have become very smart. They can upload information to each other and there is no human interface needed.”
To learn more about opportunities to save dollars at your wastewater plant, click on the audio player below: