Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Wastewater

A replacement strategy for air compressors and blowers integrated into a system-level approach towards energy efficiency can deliver significant energy savings and optimize equipment performance. At the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, a blower replacement project yielded annual energy savings of more than 928,000 kWh and $98,000 in energy costs, while improving the reliability of its secondary treatment process. In addition, the agency qualified for important incentives from its electric utility — significantly improving the project economics and resulting in a 2.94-year payback.
Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine interviewed Mr. Omar Hammoud, the CEO and President of APG-Neuros. APG-Neuros was founded in 2006 in Quebec as a result of seeing an opportunity for innovation in the North American blower market. Our mission is to distribute, manufacture, provide aftermarket support and continued development of high-efficiency turbo blowers and complete Aeration Systems for the municipal and industrial markets in North America and Europe.
Every municipality and utility is facing the reality of rising energy costs. In 2010, the Town of Billerica, MA, which is located 22 miles northwest of Boston with a population of just under 40,000 residents, engaged Process Energy Services and Woodard & Curran to conduct an energy evaluation of the Town’s Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) and pump station systems sponsored by National Grid. The objective of the evaluation was to provide an overview of each facility system to determine how electrical energy and natural gas were being used at the facility and to identify and develop potential costsaving projects.
The right ingredients and processes are essential for manufacturing flavorful beverages that contribute to the company’s bottom line. But what happens to all those other “ingredients” that aren’t part of the recipe? Cleaning up those unwanted ingredients from bottling plant wastewater can consume large amounts energy, time and money—and become a distraction from the company’s primary goal of manufacturing beverages.
With the recent and future increases of the cost of energy, operating a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) as efficiently as possible has become one of the most important factors that operators and managers are facing today. The implementation of a properly designed aeration control system has been reported by the United Sates Environmental Protection Agency to reduce aeration energy by 25 to 40 percent.
In recent years, there have been many changes in wastewater treatment. Most modern processes control three cycles: DO, NH4, and NO3, and all of the processes require high volumes of air. Undeniably, the low pressure air system uses more electrical power than the rest of the wastewater treatment plant combined. The blower packages in these systems can be equipped with low noise enclosures, fixed speed or variable speed drives, and can include all the instrumentation needed for self-protection.  
Aeration systems at wastewater treatment facilities present significant, cost-effective energy savings opportunities. Aeration—the introduction of air into the wastewater stream to support anaerobic bacteria and mixing—is a key function at the majority of wastewater treatment facilities in North America. Aeration accounts for 25-60 percent of total energy consumption at wastewater treatment facilities , and a significant piece of operating budgets sector-wide.
We have industrial accounts where we mix chemicals and acids. Our favorite is blending wine and spirits using compressed nitrogen. The old way to blend was to use “air rousing.” This was done by installing rows of perforated pipes in the bottom of the tank and attaching an air pipe to this grid. Since the typical mixing cycle was 45 minutes, copious amounts of air and energy were used.
Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine interviewed Ms. Julie Gass P.E., Lead Process Mechanical Engineer, from Black & Veatch on trends in the wastewater treatment industry especially pertaining to new technology aeration blowers and energy efficiency.
Drinking water and wastewater systems account for approximately 3-4 percent, equivalent to approximately 56 billion kilowatts (kW), or $4 billion, of energy use in the United States, adding over 45 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. Further, drinking water and wastewater plants are typically the largest energy consumers of municipal governments, accounting for 30-40 percent of total energy consumed.
The Focus on Energy Water and Wastewater Program was developed to support the industry because of the enormous potential to reduce energy use without compromising water quality standards. Through the program, numerous water and wastewater personnel have learned that energy use can be managed, with no adverse effects on water quality. Most locations that have saved energy have found improved control and treatment.