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Green efficiency in Dublin’s Central Bank



High performance, long-lasting sustainability and energy efficiency: The central bank campus in dublin unites these three aspects. Located in north wall quay in Dublin Ireland, the modern building provides a state-of-the-art workplace, facilitating open communication and promoting teamwork at every level. Germany-based technology expert Wilo has equipped the new campus with green pumps, and thus contributes to the building’s environmental efficiency.

The Dublin Docklands is spread over 520 hectares north and south of the Liffey. High employment prospect possibilities have attracted people and businesses since the late 18th century. What used to be a landscape of ship funnels, cranes, pubs and stables, has been transformed into a gleaming, modern business hub due to urban regeneration over the past years. North Wall Quay is located on the northern side of Dublin, including the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC). Since 2017, the new headquarters of the Central Bank of Ireland have been located here. The sculptural profile of the new building reflects the maritime setting and new civic identity of the Dockland area. The building is wrapped in a glass skin, which is shielded from glare and solar heat gain by an outer layer of anodized aluminium triangular mesh panels. Those panels contribute significantly to the overall energy performance by reducing the impact of solar heat and thus also reducing the energy needed for heating and cooling. The façade is broken down into a number of elements: a double glazed unitised inner skin, an outer solar shading skin, the unique glazing system and a rain screen cladding. North Wall Quay is the first office building in Ireland to achieve the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) ‘Outstanding’ rating at design stage. The building energy rating (BER) is targeted to A2, which equates to a 72 % improvement in energy consumption over previous building regulation baselines. Effective insulation also reduces the energy consumption, the environmental impact is held on a low level by using energy from renewable sources. Annual energy savings according to the BER A2 rating is 209 tonnes of CO2.

Covering the complete life cycle

Green Wilo pumps also contribute to the overall efficiency of the new headquarters – from heating and cooling to cold water supply and products for rainwater harvesting. “Central Bank campus is a green building, certified by BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment method. The bank itself had set a number of objectives when it came to the sustainability of the building – one of our main requirements was to only provide high-efficient pumps with efficiency class IE4 to ensure compliance with BREEAM criteria”, says Derek Elton Managing Director from Wilo Ireland. The Wilo-Stratos GIGA series included for example is an electronically controlled glanded single pump in Inline-design using EC motor technology for increased operation efficiency along with the Wilo-IL-E series used for pumping the heating and chilled water systems. The Wilo-SiBoost Smart 3 Helix EXCEL series are in operation for cold water applications including rain water harvesting. The compact high efficiency pressure boosting system consists of vertically-mounted stainless steel high-pressure multistage centrifugal glanded pumps for which each pump has an integrated frequency converter for maximum efficiency of operation. These packaged booster systems include ready for connection stainless steel pipework base frame mounted and an automatic control system with all necessary measurement and adjustment facility. For a reliable operation in the HVAC applications several Wilo-Stratos models are used. Recently, Wilo Ireland has also been awarded with the service contract for the new campus: “As a global specialist for pumps and pump systems, we offer a wide variety of services to help our clients optimising and securing their processes”, explains Derek Elton. “Caring about our customer is an ongoing process. It is our understanding that our services cover the complete life cycle of our Wilo products – to live up to the sustainable requirements of our customers.” The Central Bank of Ireland also takes a pro-active approach to managing environmental obligations, which results in e.g. rainwater harvesting at North Wall Quay campus. This method is a simple and smart way to collect rainfall for further usage. Capturing the water can help recharge local aquifers or avoid urban flooding and thus create a sustainable water management.

The dockland campus

The building provides a modern workplace facilitating open communication, promoting teamwork and interaction at every level. The heart of North Wall Quay is the atrium, featuring collaboration spaces. More than 1,400 people work at the eight floor building. Central Bank set a number of objectives for the design of the building: apart from establishing a productive workplace, it was of outmost importance to ensure the environmental sustainability.

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12 million benefit from ambitious water pumping project



In Brazil, the government has been looking to bring relief to a semi-arid area in the northeast of the country that is home to 12 million people. Sulzer designed and manufactured six of the largest pumps in the project, to transfer water from the São Francisco River to the drought-affected area.

For decades, work has been going on to improve the water supply to the northeast region of Brazil that is equivalent in size to France. Over the past 10 years, the government has brought together designers, engineers and manufacturers to create 600 km of canals, 9 pumping stations, 27 reservoirs and all of the associated infrastructure.

The extraction point for the Northern section would require two of the largest pumps ever manufactured by Sulzer, and some of the pumps would require electric motors rated over 5 MW.

The challenge

This massive project involved extracting water from two points on the São Francisco River; the first pumping it to the North and the second pumping water to the Northeast. In both cases, the designers had to overcome a number of challenges, especially the variable height of the São Francisco River and the huge distances that the water had to travel.

As one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers, Sulzer was involved in this project from the early stages, offering technical advice on what could be achieved with modern pump designs. This led to Sulzer being awarded the contract in 2007 to design and manufacture six enormous pumps that would help make this concept a reality.

In the North, BKn 1800 vertical pumps were proposed, with a flowrate of 45’000 m3/hour (26’500 cfm), they would weigh almost 100 tonnes (110 tons) each and require an electric motor rated at 5’500 kW (7’300 HP). Each pump would discharge the water using two-meter pipework with a head of 36 meters (118 feet). For two of the pumping stations on the Eastern section, they would be equipped with BK 1870 pumps and BKn 1470 pumps with flowrates of 25’000 m3/hour (14’700 cfm).

Modelling performance

All three of the pump models selected for this project had known hydraulic profiles, but they had never been manufactured for such large flows with the associated power requirements. Bruno Antoniassi, Head of Sales, Brazil Energy Business for Sulzer, explains: “It was essential that we create scaled-down models to validate the suction well geometry, the hydraulic performance and the mechanical structure of the pumps.

“Due to the dimensions and the weight of the proposed pump designs, it would not be possible to test them on a commercially available test stand. Fortunately, our designers were able to overcome this and several other challenges that arose during this project. Using computer modelling as well as scaled-down pumps, we resolved all of the issues.”

One of the main complications concerned the river levels, which can vary considerably, depending on the rainfall in the area. The design of the suction layout and the pump itself had to accommodate this variation and still deliver the required flowrate, especially when water levels were low and demand in the arid areas was at a peak. The solution was to create pump designs that could operate at different suction levels, with the flowrates and power demands matching the changing situation.

Maximizing efficiency

Of course, with such large power requirements to drive these pumps, efficiency was one of the major challenges for Sulzer. Since the running costs make up 90% of the overall expenditure of each pump, creating a design that delivers optimum efficiency was a major priority for the project.   Overall pumping efficiency is calculated from mechanical, hydraulic and volumetric efficiencies, all of which are determined by the engineering design of the pump components. Sulzer refined the design of each pump to ensure it precisely matched its role and provided the customer with a guaranteed efficiency at the rated point.

Having finalized the design and tested the models, manufacturing could begin. With such large castings and a considerable amount of machining to be done, the build time for the six pumps was estimated at 12 to 15 months. All of the work was completed in Sulzer’s Brazilian facilities, which enabled the customer to monitor progress easily.

Completing the grand plan

Bruno Antoniassi continues: “Sulzer was chosen to deliver this contract for a number of reasons, not least our expertise in pump design, but also because of our extensive facilities and labor resources in Brazil and within our global network. These have allowed us to complete the installation and commissioning of six pumps for this project.”

The installation process was a challenge in itself; the size and weight of the components, combined with the remote locations of the pumping stations and the lack of any infrastructure meant the field teams had to be properly equipped to complete the task. The Sulzer engineers completed the commissioning on time and, more than 10 years on, the pumps continue to supply water to the North Eastern region.

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Global push for net-zero recovery from COVID-19



In the largest ever UN-backed, CEO-led climate advocacy effort, we join other multinationals in reaffirming science-based commitments to achieving a zero carbon economy and calling on governments to match the ambition.

More than 155 companies — spanning 34 sectors, headquarters in 33 countries and representing a combined total over 5 million employees — have signed a statement urging governments around the world to align their COVID-19 economic aid and recovery efforts with the latest climate science. Grundfos is one of them.

“In spite of its severity, the current health and economic crisis should not lead decision makers across the world to lower their climate ambitions and slow down the green transition. For all of us to truly recover better, we need the very opposite. This means massive investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy production and green electrification,” says Mads Nipper, Group President & CEO, Grundfos.

As debates on recovery packages around the world gather pace, the companies, which are all part of the Science Based Targets initiative, are calling for policies that will build resilience against future shocks by supporting efforts to hold global temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in line with reaching net-zero emissions well before 2050.

“Green investment is not only necessary for reaching the 1.5 degree climate target. It is also a far better way to kickstart the economy during a crisis, as investments in green technologies create more than three times as many new jobs as fossil fuel equivalent investments per million USD invested. Green business is good business. Not just in times of high growth, but especially in tough times like now,” adds Mads Nipper.

By signing the statement, the companies are reaffirming that their own decisions and actions remain grounded in science, while calling on governments to “prioritize a faster and fairer transition from a grey to a green economy.”

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New pumps paid off in two years



Power generation plants rely on boiler feed pumps to deliver a reliable and consistent flow of water to the boilers, which create the steam that powers the turbine, which creates electricity. After 45 years in service the boiler feed pumps needed to be replaced and Sulzer managed to achieve an impressive return on investment of just over two years.

Reducing the amount of waste that goes into landfill is an important environmental consideration and one that is being supported by waste-to-energy plants, which use the material to create electricity. These plants help to increase sustainable energy production and they are supported by Sulzer, which offers many products and services that can improve efficiency and reliability.

Rising maintenance costs

A major UK waste-to-energy plant was experiencing considerable reliability issues with its six boiler feed pumps. Routine maintenance involved a complete refurbishment every two years and the costs for this work were increasing. Sulzer only became involved after one of its turbine specialists was discussing current issues with the maintenance manager.

Dale Jarvis, Business Development Engineer with Sulzer, explains: “I had been working with this plant for some time, providing support for the steam turbine, and during one visit the discussion turned to the boiler feed pumps. Knowing that Sulzer has considerable expertise in boiler feed pumps, I invited one of my colleagues to visit the plant and see what we could offer.”

The plant has six boiler feed pumps that have been operating since the site was commissioned over 45 years ago. Over the years, the pumps have been regularly maintained, but more recently, they have required major refurbishments to keep them operational.

Turnkey solution

As a pump manufacturer and independent service provider, Sulzer was well-placed to deliver a turnkey solution that would include the removal of the legacy equipment and the installation and commissioning of new pumps. Having established the specifications of the old pumps, it was possible to source new pumps that would exactly match the original performance characteristics of the old pumps but with improved efficiency.

Sulzer’s proposal was to replace two pumps each year, allowing the plant to spread the cost of the project and also appreciate the benefits of the new pumps before committing to the next stage of the installation. The financial benefits were obvious from the outset. The cost of each new pump was only marginally more than the refurbishment costs of the equipment it replaced, giving a return on investment of just over two years.

Dale continues: “Our site services team only needed ten days on site to remove the old pump, modify the pipework slightly and install the new equipment. This ensured that the plant always had sufficient capacity and no downtime was associated with the project. After the first two pumps were installed, the plant manager decided to continue with the project and four pumps have now been replaced. The installation of the remaining two will take place next year.”

Tailored performance

Sulzer has so far installed four of its MBN50 high pressure 9-stage pumps, which are primarily designed for power generation applications and provide efficient and reliable service in this demanding environment. The performance of each pump has been tailored to the application to ensure optimum efficiency and reliability.

Dales concludes: “The plant manager has immediately seen the benefits of the new pumps. The annual running costs have dropped dramatically, and the maintenance team is now able to spend more time looking after other important equipment. The whole project has been completed on time without any disruption to the operation of the plant and is on target for completion next year.”

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