Aeration Crisis: Sulzer’s HST Turbo Blowers Fly in to Save the Day

Aeration processes in the wastewater treatment industry are essential in meeting water quality figures, so the blowers need to be reliable and as efficient as possible. For one facility in California, repeated maintenance issues led to the decision to remove the existing turbo blowers and install Sulzer’s HST units, which in turn reduced energy consumption for the site.

Equipment reliability is at the forefront of concerns for plant owners, especially when the backup machines are due for retirement as well. In this case, the treatment works had previously invested in two new 400 hp (300 kW) turbo blowers to replace aging diesel-powered units. This decision also supported the site’s objectives relating to the local Environmental Protection Agency and air-borne emissions.

Cost assessments

After an initial period of trouble-free operation, both frontline blowers experienced reliability issues following their installation 10 years earlier and eventually suffered catastrophic failures, caused by high dust levels in the local area. According to the treatment plant management team, support from the original equipment manufacturer to repair the blowers was going to cost upwards of six figures in U.S. dollars. To add insult to injury, the treatment plant was compelled to run the diesel-powered blowers to maintain the aeration processes.

This could only be a short-term solution due to the increased pollution levels and stringent Californian laws. The local EPA was already threatening possible fines for continued use of the diesel-powered blowers.

Faced with these considerable challenges, the plant management and maintenance teams made the decision to move away from the original supplier and contacted Sulzer to discuss the options and timings for replacement blowers. Sulzer’s HST product line has an excellent reputation in Southern California for reliability as well as efficiency, according to company officials.

The management team from the wastewater treatment plant — as they were doing their research and investigating a variety of options — visited another Sulzer installation site in the state that operates six HST units. The operators and management staff at that plant provided further support for the blowers, confirming their low operational costs and continued reliability.

High-speed solution

Having completed a site survey, Sulzer proposed two 250 hp (186 kW) HST30 units. This solution quickly resulted in a purchase order with the additional request of air freight for the units to minimize project timings as much as possible.

Rick Barile, Sulzer’s regional sales manager, says “Sulzer’s HST30s were able to meet the requirements of the plant’s aeration processes. Using 250 hp blowers instead of 400 hp units also resulted in a considerable energy saving for the site.”

Sulzer’s range of HST turbo blowers feature magnetic bearing technology and a high-speed motor, which provide wear-free operation with low noise levels and high energy efficiency. With a compact footprint, they can be easily installed in existing buildings and connected to the aeration infrastructure. They can be integrated with other blower designs, if necessary, to ensure a smooth transition during an upgrading project.

The HST range can be specified for a variety of different installations and control configurations that ensure the aeration process is optimized both in terms of biological efficiency and energy efficiency. Sulzer’s experts can provide customers with design support, detailed specifications and options that will maximize project savings and highlight the return on investment.

For more information about Sulzer’s range of turbo blowers and other equipment designed for water treatment plants, contact Sulzer.

Sulzer is a global leader in fluid engineering. The company specializes in pumping, agitation, mixing, separation and purification technologies for fluids of all types. Sulzer has been headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, since 1834.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.