Danfoss solutions to help countries, municipalities better meet water challenges
Danfoss has announced solutions to help countries and municipalities save water and energy in water supply, wastewater treatment and irrigation of farming areas.
Oct. 15, 2015 -- Danfoss, a global supplier of technologies for infrastructure, food supply, energy, and climate, has announced solutions to help countries and municipalities save water and energy in water supply, wastewater treatment and irrigation of farming areas.
For example, the company has supported Denmark in becoming one of the pioneering countries in the water and energy field. The country has grown its economy by 80 percent since 1980, while reducing water consumption by nearly 40 percent and keeping energy use at the same level. Structured water management and innovative technologies have contributed to this decoupling of economic growth, water consumption and energy use.
In municipalities, water and wastewater facilities account for the largest consumption of electricity, typically 25 to 40 percent of the local authorities' total power use. In the Danish city of Aarhus, a local water company has managed to transform a wastewater facility from being just a wastewater plant into also functioning as a combined heat and power plant, delivering an energy surplus.
The plant produces 90 percent more energy than it consumes. The excess heat is led into the district heating system in the city, thereby reducing its carbon footprint. This is feasible thanks to advanced process optimization and by using more than 140 variable speed drives from Danfoss as control handles on almost all rotating equipment. Done optimally, this also creates the maximum amount of sludge and carbon. In a digester, it is transformed into gas used for both electricity and heat production.
The vision for Aarhus Water is also to extend energy generation to achieve so much surplus energy from its wastewater treatment plants that it can meet the energy requirement of the city’s total water and wastewater cycles. This goal is expected to be reached in 2016. If the Aarhus case were replicated on a global scale, the energy saved would be equivalent to the current electricity production from all renewable energy sources combined (excl. hydropower).
Globally, focus on the high energy consumption in the water and wastewater cycles is also increasing and local regulations are starting to further the use of energy-efficient solutions. One example is EU's Ecodesign Directive. In the US, the Department of Energy is also proposing minimum efficiency regulations for clean water pumps. Regulations like these are necessary to speed up the realization of the enormous potential.
When it comes to water supply and irrigation of farming areas, another huge potential is the reduction of water losses in pipework due to leakage. According to the international consultancy firm McKinsey, $167 billion is wasted every year due to leakage in cities around the world. The UN highlights that leakage rates of 50 percent are not uncommon in urban distribution systems. However, they can typically be reduced by 30-40 percent using technologies like variable speed drives and sensors, which control the pressure in the pipes to avoid water flooding out of holes. At the same time, the drives typically save 20 to 50 percent energy.
Besides saving water and energy in countries and municipalities, Danfoss is also helping produce drinking water in remote locations like islands, drilling platforms and cruise ships. Here, the company takes part in efficiently turning seawater into drinking water using advanced high pressure pumps and energy recovery devices for desalination systems. The solutions save up to 50 percent energy, which is important for the deployment, because at least 70 percent of the total costs in desalination systems are related to energy use.
Danfoss products and services are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. The company is also active in the field of renewable energy as well as district heating infrastructure for cities and urban communities. Its innovative engineering dates back to 1933 and today Danfoss employs 24,000 employees and serves customers in more than 100 countries. It is still privately held by the founding family. For more information, visit www.danfoss.com.