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ABB has been awarded a contract for a range of drive and motor products and services as part of Sydney Water’s Prospect South to Macarthur (ProMac) water and wastewater infrastructure project.

With Greater Sydney’s population expected to reach ~8 million by 2036, the city’s existing water network will be stretched beyond capacity. Via the ProMac project, Sydney Water will upgrade and expand Sydney’s water and wastewater infrastructure to service development in the South West Growth Area and future growth in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. This includes construction of a new reservoir at Liverpool and two new reservoirs at Oran Park, to allow for a total of 100 million litres of additional reservoir capacity.

An aerial view of the area in Sydney where the project will be taking place. Credit: Sydney Water.

Sydney Water is also building 15 km of additional pipework and three pumping stations and augmenting the existing network to transfer water to the new reservoirs and to service growth. Construction began in September 2020 and the project will be delivered in stages over two years with the new assets to be commissioned in late 2022.

ABB’s products and services will form part of the project’s water pump station upgrades. The equipment will be installed to power and control nine pumps across the various locations in this project.

The contract includes ACS580MV medium-voltage drives, ACS880 ultra-low harmonic single drives, spares and commissioning. These advanced technology drives have been engineered to operate without disrupting the power network due to harmonics, which pollute the electrical network and make equipment connected to it behave erratically. Harmonics can also cause damage to sensitive electronic equipment and interference in communication equipment and give false readings on measurement devices.

Sydney Water recognised that the ACS880 drives were naturally designed to reduce harmonics in the network and could easily integrate into their existing system without concerns of wider disruption. This meant there was no need to oversize the electrical system or account for higher investment costs in additional infrastructure. By using clean technology such as this, the need for any additional filters or power quality equipment is eliminated.

Like all water utilities, Sydney Water must sometimes connect to residential power networks. Standards that regulate interference by industrial equipment require stringent levels to be maintained so that these connections don’t interfere with everyday devices like mobile electronics and televisions, for example. ABB’s ACS580MV and ACS880 drives are category C2 rated for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), which gives Sydney Water compliance to operate their pump stations with shared networks so that the drives can be run on residential networks without any concern of interference to the general public.

Sydney Water also purchased ABB’s AMI 450 high-voltage modular induction motors and M3BP low-voltage process performance motors with IE3 premium efficiency. About 80% of energy usage at water plants is attributed to the operation of motors for pumping. ABB’s high-efficiency motors can deliver significant energy savings because they use less energy at the same power output, which concurrently lowers CO2 emissions.

The AMI 450 motors are packaged to fit precisely with ABB drives and are optimised for variable speed control to deliver an energy-efficient solution for Sydney Water. These modular induction motors will also be customised to meet the needs of Sydney Water to offer them a low-loss, high-power-density solution that is more efficient, yet smaller and lighter when compared to other alternatives on the market.

M3BP cast iron motors provide protection against the harsh environmental elements found in water applications and will also afford Sydney Water lower running costs, low noise levels and low maintenance costs all in a smaller footprint.

Mike Briggs, Head of Motion for ABB in Australia, said, “Thanks to the ProMac project, Sydney Water will now secure future water sustainability for even more residents in Western Sydney and ABB is proud to be a part of supporting that investment.”

ABB’s solutions offering and design framework surpassed others that were put forward for the project, and demonstrated ABB’s ability to confidently stand by a complete performance guarantee. ABB’s ability to manage the product lifecycle of the equipment by assuring service, parts and labour, combined with full load testing facility capability all with a guarantee of 24/7 support via ABB’s global network, is expected to extend the lifetime of these products for up to 20 years.

Image caption: Liverpool Reservoir upgrade - part of Sydney Water’s Prospect South to Macarthur (ProMac) project.

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