Raising Energy Efficiency of High-Head Drinking Water Pumping Schemes in Hilly India – Massive Potential, Complex Challenges

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 118-126
Thomas J. Voltz1 , Thomas Grischek1, Marcel Spitzner2, Jana Kemnitz2, Rudolf Irmscher3
1 Division of Water Sciences, University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Dresden, Germany
2 Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Dresden, Germany
3 Executive Management, Stadtwerke Heidelberg GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany

Investigations of energy efficiency of 25 pumps showed wire-to-water efficiencies ranging from 30% to 60%, with an average of 47%. Raising the efficiency of just 7 pumps to the realistic target of 60% would require an initial investment of 126 k€ and represent a net present value (profit) of 446 k€ over a 10-year pump lifetime, saving 8.6 kt of CO2 emissions. The primary measures for raising efficiency are in order of priority: 1) improving pre-filtration of raw water to prevent rapid mechanical wear due to suspended particles during monsoon, 2) providing training, improved working conditions, and better tools and spare parts among pump operators and 3) replacing aging, oversized pumps with properly sized pumps operating close to peak efficiency. As of January 2014 the results have been confirmed by a Bureau of Energy Efficiency-certified energy auditor and the extent and funding of efficiency measures implementation is in planning.

Keywords: Energy efficiency, Pumps, Drinking water, India, Capacity building, Emission reduction

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