With access to water resources becoming scarce in some regions of the world, efficient and sustainable irrigation is becoming more and more important. It’s all about supplying enough water to get maximum crop yield without using more water and energy than absolutely necessary. Danfoss AC drives adapt pressure or flow rate to the actual need. And integrated application software functions help to both protect the pipe system by limiting pressure boost and cut energy consumption.
The ultimate solution, and a very fast-growing trend, to reduce energy consumption is to use solar-powered pumps. Danfoss Drives has developed a dedicated inverter series exactly for this purpose. The VACON® product range includes a specially designed encapsulation for this environment and advanced software, meaning that operation is possible even when clouds are partially blocking sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic panels.
The latest buzzwords in wastewater treatment plants are ‘Bio refinery’ and ‘Water Resource Recovery Facilities’. These cover the general acceptance that wastewater has to be considered as a resource from which both energy and valuable resources can be gained. In some of the most advanced cases, energy production has now (even without adding external carbon resources) got to a level where the energy recovered from wastewater treatment process not only covers the plant’s own needs, but also the energy needs for drinking water production and distribution as well as wastewater pumping. In other words, the whole water cycle can be considered energy neutral.
A precondition for energy neutrality is a control handle in the form of an AC drive available for all rotating equipment, so that the fully computer-controlled facility can adapt to the changing load. Typically, 30–60% of energy is used in the biological process; AC-drive control can usually cut energy consumption by 20–40%. Sludge age control by control of the RAS pumps is similarly important to both limit energy consumption and also avoid ‘burning’ carbon, which is needed in the digester for generating gas for energy production. The VLT® AQUA Drive has been chosen for some of these most advanced facilities, where high installed efficiency of the drive and greater reliability and ease of operation have been key selection criteria.
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