Innovative thinking

Home-grown technology boosts efficiency of pumping assets

For infrastructure owners, responding to the global demands of water, energy and urbanisation in challenging economic times, requires imaginative thinking.

"This is particularly true for water utilities, where around 80 percent1 of energy consumed in treating and distributing water is through the process of pumping water," says Matthew Bowler, GHD's Commercialisation Manager.

"To assist pumping system operators, who often lack the tools, data, or know-how to determine if pumping systems are operating at their optimal performance levels, GHD has released PumpCheckrTM, a real-time energy monitoring and alert system."

The technology was created by a team from GHD's Cazenovia office with support from our global Innovation group. With a patent application pending in the USA, PumpCheckr can be integrated into existing monitoring systems to provide essential information. Matthew explains, "It provides owners and operators with the ability to deliver timely maintenance and optimise operations as well as measure immediate benefits. The potential savings in energy costs over time are significant.

"For example, according to GHD's modelling, PumpCheckr has the potential to save operators between AUD4000 and AUD42,000 in energy costs per pump, per year. We further estimate the payback period for the technology to be between 8 months and 3.5 years, depending on the environments pumps are exposed to."

Interest in PumpCheckr is gathering momentum since it was successfully implemented on a full-scale pilot at a site in Skaneateles, New York last year. Another trial is currently under way in Victoria, Australia for a global malt producer, while three more trials for water utilities have been earmarked for this year. In addition, GHD is establishing partnerships with leading pumping and control manufacturers to maximise the efficiency of PumpCheckr's sensor elements.

1 Water Research Foundation

For more information, contact Matthew Bowler on +61 3 8687 8780 or email matthew.bowler@ghd.com