Battersea Power Station is a beacon along London’s skyline, famous for supplying over 20% of all London’s electricity in the past – and as the iconic image on Pink Floyd’s Animals. Today, Battersea Shaft Pumping Station serves the Thames Water Ring Main – a critical component in London’s water infrastructure.
The Thames Water Ring Main, formerly known as the London Water Ring Main, plays a critical role in supplying drinking water to the capital. Originally built between 1988 and 1993, the structure forms a 50-mile concrete pipe ring measuring 2.54 metres (m) in diameter.
Primarily, this is used to transfer drinking water from water treatment plants in the Thames and Lea basins into the city. The main ring lies between 10 and 65 m below ground level and passes through 21 wells that serve as supply, storage and pumping stations. One of these pumping stations is Battersea Shaft.
Battersea Shaft consists of a large 30 m deep vertical shaft, containing six pumps that can supply multiple areas of London with drinkable water. However, increasing development in the city has made it necessary to remodel and re-plan the network to supply this new demand.
As development in the UK capital continues to grow, predictions suggest that there will be a significant shortage of drinking water capacity in the coming years.
To accommodate a growing and increasingly thirsty population, the station required additional pumping at a low capacity.
This necessitated new equipment in the form of a pump, pump motor and variable speed drive (VSD). With guidance from a team of experts, it was decided to replace one of the 30 mega-litre per day pumps with a new 45 mega-litre per day option – which was the maximum limit, due to physical limitations of the environment.
The real challenge of this replacement was due to the constant demand of drinking water in the capital.
To minimise disruption, the pump needed to be replaced without stopping operations.
This necessity had a major influence on the design and construction of the pump, and the overall project itself. It was decided that only the pump that needed to be replaced would be taken offline, enabling the rest of the system to continue operating as normal.
However, to achieve this detailed planning of the pumps’ removal, installation and commissioning was required. Bedford Pumps supported this entire process.
Through the company’s close relationship with motor manufacturer, WEG, the team was able to replace the pump, without having to resort to cuts in the supply to the London water network.
For this application, the team decided the best option was a water-cooled motor design.
The existing pump and motor had extensive fault detection instrumentation and a monitoring system.
Therefore, the same range and functionality was installed in the new pump. In addition, due to the uniqueness of the location, the replacement of any wiring between the electrical equipment and the pump was invasive and required downtime, so all new instrumentation had to be selected to be compatible with the existing wiring.
This further complicated the motor selection process. For this application, WEG chose a 450 kW Master Line Water Cooled induction motor.
These motors stand out for the flexibility of their electrical and mechanical functionalities.
What is more, these designs are easily customised, making them interchangeable with already existing motors. For the Battersea Shaft Pumping Station, WEG is committed to achieving 96% efficiency performance. During testing following completion of the project, this figure was not only achieved, but exceeded with a greater margin.
Following completion last year, the pump is now fully commissioned and in full service.
What is notable is that designing the new equipment to work with existing infrastructure, together with detailed construction planning, massively minimised the installation period for the project. Crucially, it also avoided pumping station outages.
WEG motors are also fitted on the largest river water extraction pumping station in the UK, as well as the largest pumping station in Ireland.
For more information: Visit: weg.net
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