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MDA Technologies 3/2016

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MDA Technologies 3/2016

COMPRESSED AIR NEWS WWTP

COMPRESSED AIR NEWS WWTP gains turndown capability and saves energy with hybrid blowers Nestled in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico, the Los Alamos Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) serves a community of about 12,000 residents. The plant has a design capacity of 1.4 million gallons per day (MGD) with a peak of 2.8 MGD, but actual demand falls well below those limits. Faced with aging, chronically overheating equipment and inefficient blower operation, plant superintendent Jeffery Ayers was in search of a better alternative. The plant’s existing 11-stage centrifugal blowers produced a much larger volume of air than the process required, and the blowers’ limited turndown capability meant that operators could never run them at less than 80 percent of full power. Even with that small reduction, which operators achieved by closing back the inlet valve, and despite the plant’s evaporative cooler, the blowers would overheat, forcing the municipality to purchase and run large external fans to cool the outer case of the machines. “Like many municipalities, we see a big surge in the morning, a small surge after lunch, and a larger one after work, with a big dropoff after midnight,” Ayers said. “Unlike a larger plant with multiple shifts, we only work one eight-hour shift, so we don’t have anyone there to turn down the air at night.” While the over-aeration led to wasted energy and low operational efficiency, the continual overheating took a toll on the equipment, leading two of the three multistage blowers to break down. New hybrid technology offers ideal solution Los Alamos officials initially considered replacing their old multistage equipment with an energy-efficient turbo blower. However, at the suggestion of Henry Hervol of Advanced Process Technologies, the authorized Aerzen representative for the state of New Mexico, the municipality turned its attention to new hybrid technology. An independent analysis by Aqua Engineering, Inc. of Bountiful, Utah, confirmed that a hybrid blower was indeed the best choice for the Los Alamos plant. After providing their design criteria and conditions to three manufacturers through a standard RFP process, Los Alamos selected the Aerzen Delta Hybrid. “Aerzen came out on top in terms of horsepower, turndown, price, and maintenance requirements, all of which equal cost savings for our utility,” Ayers said. The Delta Hybrid offers superior turn-down and achieves power savings comparable to turbo blowers; yet, because it uses positive displacement rather than centrifugal technology, it is better at handling the extreme high-altitude conditions and thinner air of the Los Alamos plant. “We’re enthused about hybrid technology because often with these facilities, the range can be 16-1 between the full build-out