Water Connections: Keeping Cool in the Superdome

The Superdome needed a robust replacement bearing material that would easily integrate into the pump design. Thordon’s SXL pump bearings were selected as the ideal solution due to the superior dry start-up capabilities and abrasion resistance.

Thordon SXL bearings.
Thordon SXL bearings.

The Superdome in New Orleans, La., improved its pump efficiency by using SXL bearings after installing variable frequency drives (VFD) on its cooling water pumps. The abrupt start/stop was tough on the equipment, which led to the Superdome’s decision to opt for the VFDs. However, the slow start and lack of consistent shaft speed with the VFDs led to increased periods of dry running, causing the strain and eventual failure of the existing pump bearings.

The Superdome needed a robust replacement bearing material that would easily integrate into the pump design. Thordon’s SXL pump bearings were selected as the ideal solution due to the superior dry start-up capabilities and abrasion resistance.

“Keeping the pumps running consistently and the stadium cool was our number one goal,” said Jim Bright, sales manager at Thordon Bearings. “Thordon SXL pump bearings are the proven choice for new vertical turbine pumps or can be easily designed into existing pump configurations to provide end users with exceptional bearing wear life. Since it is easily machined and installed, we were able to provide the customer with our product quickly.”

SXL was installed in one of the Superdome’s water cooling pumps at the beginning of the 2018 season, and it will be installed into the remaining three pumps when they come up for scheduled maintenance.

“SXL is used extensively in over 80 countries and in a variety of industries wherever vertical turbine pumps are used,” added Axel Swanson, business development manager. “In this application, SXL’s dry start-up capability was vital. The Superdome was able to increase the efficiency of the pump with the VFDs and also lower its life-cycle costs with the SXL bearings.” WW

Thordon Bearings is exhibiting at WEFTEC.19, booth 562. To learn more, visit www.thordonbearings.com.

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