An Australian company that specialises in both on-site and off-site pump refurbishment is finding that energy efficiency is an important driver in its refurbishment packages – and has included Vesconite bushings as part of its energy-reducing refurbishment package.
FITT Resources’ Daniel Hechter says that electricity costs in Australia, at 25+ AUS c/kWh, are among the highest costs globally.
As a result, when the company retrofits 30 to 35-year-old pumps, besides increasing the life of a pump, there is a focus on increasing the energy efficiency of the pump. The company’s retrofitting is programme orientated and includes a number of interventions to in-crease energy efficiency by ensuring that flow is better and that less electricity is used.
One of the retrofitting tasks is to typically install Vesconite bushings as interstage bushings in the multi-stage high and low-pressure pumps that it repairs. The pumps that it repairs have used bronze bushings historically and this has been expensive and caused damage to shafts. The Vesconite bushings, in contrast, offer the advantage of being able to run with small clear-ances, which causes less recycle, or less movement of pressurised water from the previous stage to the next stage.
Hechter notes that it is difficult to determine the exact energy savings that can be attributed to the bushings, but energy consumption is reduced in general following a refurbishment package: “Capital and labour are expensive in Australia, so it is important to use retrofitting to return original equipment manufacturer (OEM) equipment to its original if not better state.”
Water utilities in the region continue to rely on the pump refurbishment firm, which is also a supplier of OEM pumps, seals and filtration systems, to refit their multi-stage pumps, and in the last four years several multi-stage pumps have been retrofitted with either Vesconite Hilube or Vesconite bushings.