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Oil-free screw blowers go to six water treatment plants

Severn Trent Water has chosen to install reliable and energy efficient ZS oil-free rotary screw blowers from Atlas Copco at six of its water treatment plants in the UK. This forms part of a major infrastructure refurbishment programme, including upgrades to its Rapid Gravity Filters (RGF) processes installations that require low pressure air for sand de-scouring duties.

 The latest phase of the project has seen ZS blowers installed at the Little Eaton Water Treatment Works in Derby, which supplies safe, clean drinking water to the growing community in the city’s North-West area. Over time, it became clear that the site’s RGF process required a significant overhaul in order to improve operational efficiency, which would require the replacement of its existing blower installation.

Taking up less land than other treatment processes, a combination of Rapid Gravity Filters and disinfection has become the most widely used method of purifying a drinking water supply. The process involves water pre-treatment in flocculation tanks to bulk up impurities and particle size. Following this, the untreated water is passed through several layers of coarse grained sand and anthracite to trap all particulates. The saturated filters are then backwashed several times a day to clean the media with a combination of treated water and low pressure air to de-scour the sand filters. Such a continuous process requires a dependable, uninterrupted supply of oil-free compressed air at 0.5 bar and relies heavily on the efficiency of low pressure blowers to maintain the required flow rate and pressure.

As one of the main contractors for Severn Trent’s infrastructure upgrade project, civil engineering company MWH Treatment Ltd took on responsibility for the entire Little Eaton refurbishment programme. When it came time to make a decision on replacing the site’s existing blowers, MWH turned to authorised Atlas Copco distributor Cooper Freer to specify, deliver and install two ZS 75+VEA-C-600 low pressure blowers, together with all associated stainless steel pipework. The blowers were subsequently positioned on a high level external site adjacent to the RGF galleries.

The ZS blower units comprise a complete, fully integrated package based on a simple internal principle: precision timing gears maintain minute clearances between two intermeshing dry screw elements that never touch. No lubrication is required in the compression space and special seals stop any rotor bearing oil from entering the compression chamber. Intake air is compressed between the rotors and their housing and 100 per cent oil-free, pulsation-free air is delivered at an output rate of up to 3325 m3h dependent upon process demand.

ZS rotary screw blowers are commonly available with integrated VSD control. However, the new blowers at Little Eaton were supplied as variable speed units linked to the plant’s own existing inverter control system.

Severn Trent Water chose MWH as one of the design and construct contractors for its AMP6 framework. MWH will work alongside Severn Trent Water’s own staff to manage the operation, supporting the delivery of its programme of work throughout AMP6; which runs until March 2020.

Apart from Little Eaton, Cooper Freer has installed four Atlas Copco 90 kW ZS variable speed blowers to replace all the existing lobe blower technology at Severn Trent Water’s Worcester treatment plant.

Atlas Copco Compressors

Atlas Copco Compressors is a leading manufacturer of energy efficient compressed air systems and vacuum pumps. In the UK the company offers a nationwide sales, service and distribution network and specialist compressed air advice and service to UK compressed air and vacuum users. Our product portfolio covers oil-free air compressors, oil-lubricated air compressors, centrifugal compressors, high-pressure compressors, vacuum pumps, blowers, engineered air and gas compressors, nitrogen generators; air treatment equipment such as dryers, receivers, and air line filters, as well as aluminium pipework for compressed air, nitrogen, oxygen and other gases.

Atlas Copco Compressors is a leading manufacturer of energy efficient compressed air systems and industrial gas generators. In the UK the company has a nationwide sales, service and distribution network to support compressed air and industrial gas users in all industries. Our product portfolio includes oil-free air compressors, oil-lubricated air compressors, air blowers, nitrogen and oxygen generators; air treatment equipment such as dryers, receivers, and filters, as well as pipework. We provide parts and service for any brand of air compressor and we can advise on energy efficiency, system optimisation and connectivity solutions.

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