Katrina Zlobich, business development manager: Water treatment, Grundfos

Grundfos offers advanced water management and treatment solutions across all industries and building types. Katrina Zlobich, business development manager: Water Treatment, describes just a few of the firm’s leading offerings.

What sites has Grundfos equipped with water management products and solutions?

KZ:  There are too many to mention but I believe that Grundfos’ solutions are working all around us without us even realising it. In Mall of Africa, for example, our pumps provide perfect water pressure to the mall’s customers; if you work at FNB or Standard bank, Grundfos pumps are working to provide the optimal internal climate; if you drive past the new Sasol Headquarters, our pumps installed there use between 20% to 50% less energy. In gyms, wellness centres and spas, our pumps create hygienic pumping solutions. Our customers enjoy the flexibility of our products, the user-friendliness and accessibility of our top-of-the-range technology and the cost-effectiveness at the end.

What water management solutions does Grundfos offer for commercial, industrial and municipal buildings?

KZ: Looking into commercial buildings like hotels, hospitals, office towers and airports, they each have vastly different requirements. Grundfos offers a complete range of water pumping solutions that ensure optimal comfort and safety in any application while providing cutting-edge, energy-efficient technology.

Below, I outline some of our solution offerings. First, we provide constant water pressure for buildings. Our range of booster systems assures constant pressure regardless of flow inconsistency and fluctuations. Water demand is uneven and depends on the number of taps opened at the same time. Looking at a hotel, for example, the number of people staying at a hotel at a certain time has an influence on the amount of water the hotel will use. When selecting a system, the main thing to look at is the minimum and maximum flow rate required at a certain amount of pressure. Grundfos’ advanced systems (Hydro MPC) MPC systems can communicate via BMS, SCADA or any other communication protocol, which will allow the user to monitor and control the booster. This makes performance monitoring and system settings optimisation accessible from anywhere in the world.

Second, Grundfos designs and delivers fire systems ranging from simple pump-driver systems to highly innovative engineered and packaged systems in compliance with almost all the relevant fire standards. Buildings should be equipped with fire systems according to legislation. Different fire hazards determine whether the water supplies for sprinkler installations should run off single or multiple  pumps.

Third, as part of our Lifelink project, Grundfos offers its AQPure products, which can treat up to 2 m3/h of water. The process uses ultrafiltration technology and optional modules can be added to match clients’ specific water treatment requirements. These can include ultraviolet light and activated carbon. Solar package options can also be supplied with the system. It has a wide application range, from commercial building services, for rainwater treatment to potable water supply, to water supply for rural areas. The solution is mainly used in this latter environment, especially where there is no access to taps or a power supply. Patented, self-adaptive control software reacts to seasonal changes and maximises service intervals. Additionally, AQPure can be connected to a remote management system, which allows for easy system monitoring.

Fourth, chlorine dioxide (ClO2) systems are widely used in building services for hot- and cold-water circuits for hospitals, health centres, spas and other applications that require disinfection. Grundfos develops and manufactures water disinfection and dosing pump solutions for all types of commercial buildings. We are experts in water disinfection, anti-scaling, -fouling and -corrosion for domestic water systems, air-conditioning systems, boiler and heating systems. We use the term ‘SMART’ when referring to our dosing range, which is short for: high-accuracy, reliable and safe dosing pumping.

Our SMART digital pumps use advanced stepper motor technology; they control flow measurement while also being user-friendly. Chemical dosing poses many challenges, but the SMART digital range has been designed to solve these challenges in order to reach performance targets. Our SMART solutions provide maximum uptime with minimal operating costs. Equally important is the range’s safe operation, a vital consideration when dealing with hazardous chemicals.

Looking at rainwater harvesting, how effective have you found it to be for extending clients’ water supply and what factors or internal differentiators optimise the process?

KZ: The main challenge with rainwater in our country is the fact that it’s seasonal. During dry seasons, rainwater collection is minimal, posing an enormous problem when it comes to collecting and storing rainwater throughout the year. It’s still a viable option and definitely results in savings, but unfortunately we in South Africa will never be able to use rainwater as our only source of water supply.

That’s why process optimisation is key to successful rainwater harvesting. Installing pumps with variable-speed drive technology, i-solutions or solar functionality can significantly reduce energy consumption used on dual- or multisource systems. Additionally, control and monitoring helps with process optimisation, saving on chemicals and the various treatment options that make the water supply from such systems compliant with the relevant legal specifications.

You also provide general water treatment solutions. What technologies do you supply and why are these recommended?

KZ: Mainly, Grundfos supplies products that complement our customers’ water treatment solutions (pumps, dosing, disinfection, control and monitoring devices). Our solutions are suitable for conventional water treatment and ultrafiltration, such as lower-pressure centrifugal pumps, for example, and reverse osmosis and desalination, which require high- pressure centrifugal multistage pumps as well. Depending on water quality, we can accommodate high-salinity water (corrosive water) using different materials.

Monitoring, control and dosing products help our customers to achieve accuracy in chemical dosing. Our SMART digital dosing pumps are now available on a large scale, and we are launching the SMART XL dosing pump (up to 200 ℓ/h) in May 2017. Our control and monitoring device (DID), which can measure up to three different water parameters on a single controller, can be fitted with different sensors depending on process and customer requirements. Parameters might include free and total chlorine, conductivity, pH, ClO2, oxidation reduction potential, hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid).

One of the most important processes for potable water is disinfection. Without efficient water disinfection in commercial hot water systems, cooling towers, spas and swimming pools, Legionella and other dangerous bacteria can lead to fatalities or extreme illness. Grundfos uses a number of different chemicals in its disinfection systems, including chlorine gas, chlorine dioxide and sodium hypochlorite. The correct chemical to use is determined by various factors, such as: water quality, size of installation, logistics for chemical delivery and, of course, capital and operation funds availability.