Pump problems reach boiling point
The mean time between failures (MTBF) for the pump was under six months, with resulting downtime being compounded by a lack of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) spares support when maintenance was required. For example, sourcing new equipment from the OEM could take up to a year, which presented an unacceptable risk to electricity generation and profitability. Furthermore, the pump was running inefficiently. Operators calculated it was only achieving 70% efficiency and was consuming 139 kW per hour. This higher power consumption inevitably erodes the plant’s margins.
It was clear that the pump had reached the end of its useful life. Any solution to this situation needed to minimize downtime and disturbance to surrounding plant infrastructure. It needed to offer improved efficiency and reliability too. Furthermore, the plant operator was keen to secure native spares and service support going forward. With these criteria established, the plant operator invited tenders for the project.
A custom pump from an expert OEM
Sulzer’s engineers proposed a custom pump design based on a pre-existing booster pump model. The new pump would be a drop-in, one-to-one replacement for the older unit. This would reduce downtime and plant disturbance while delivering improved reliability and efficiency at the required duty point. Overall pump efficiency was raised to 81.2%, an increase of over 11% compared to the legacy unit. This figure was also above any of the competitor pump replacements, which could only deliver around 78% efficiency. The Sulzer solution was highly competitive too, with sourcing a new pump from the Chinese OEM costing 50% more than the Sulzer design. Operators also avoided a 1-year lead time from the manufacturer of the legacy pump.
Pumps made in India
The entire project was delivered within eight months. After it was delivered to the plant, the pump was installed quickly and easily with no modifications to the surrounding infrastructure. Once up and running, it soon delivered on the promised efficiency and reliability improvements.
Delivering pump reliability and efficiency
In operation, the Sulzer pump increased overall efficiency by more than 10%, while hourly power consumption was reduced by 14%. Additionally, it has lowered the net positive suction head required (NPSHr) value from 5.2 down to 4.5. The optimal value was identified through engagement with Sulzer experts, as the customer was not quite sure on the ideal figure. Operators are now benefitting from reduced energy consumption for the boiler infeed application by 16%, which has improved the cost-effectiveness of power generation.
With regards to reliability, the Sulzer pump offers a MTBF of over two years, greatly improving pump availability. If any issues do arise, the indigenous maintenance and robust spares support network available from Sulzer’s local facilities will ensure reduced repair times compared to the previous Chinese OEM pump.
Out with the old, in with the new
Beyond a one-to-one replacement, Sulzer’s OEM-X line service provided an upgraded design that unlocked the efficiency, reliability and performance levels operators desired. As well as providing an optimal solution, Sulzer is also ready to respond swiftly with native maintenance support, backed by its robust supply chain, ensuring that the power plant has access to OEM expertise and original spares for the entire pump lifecycle.
Image 1: When a major thermal power Plant in Rajasthan, India, faced multiple issues with an aging boiler infeed pump, the energy player overcame supply and technical challenges through their partnership with Sulzer.
Image 2: Sulzer’s OEM-X line service provided an upgraded design that unlocked the efficiency, reliability and performance levels operators desired.
Sulzer is a global leader in fluid engineering and chemical processing applications. We specialize in energy-efficient pumping, agitation, mixing, separation, purification, crystallization and polymerization technologies for fluids of all types. Our solutions enable carbon emission reductions, development of polymers from biological sources, recycling of plastic waste and textiles, and efficient power storage. Our customers benefit from our commitment to innovation, performance and quality through our responsive network of 180 world-class manufacturing facilities and service centers across the globe.
Sulzer has been headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland, since 1834. In 2022, our 12’900 employees delivered revenues of CHF 3.2 billion. Our shares are traded on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX: SUN). www.sulzer.com
Address: Progress House, Midland Road, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR5 1AQ, United KingdomReader Contact:Sulzer: Lucas How 陶庆樑, Marketing & Communications Manager, APAC Services
Tel: +65 6800 0179
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