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Vaal Triangle wastewater treatment plant first recipient of IE3-compliant DRN motors
01 March 2017
Vaal Triangle wastewater treatment plant first recipient of IE3-compliant DRN motors

A major wastewater treatment project in the Vaal Triangle has become the first recipient in South Africa of the new IE3 compliant DRN motors from SEW-EURODRIVE. The new energy-efficient motors were introduced at Electra Mining 2016.

The initial order is for ten complete units, with gearboxes and motors (six 45 kW motors and four 55 kW motors), Head of Projects Rudi Swanepoel comments. These specific units will be used for aerator applications.

“With aerator and mixing applications, our projects and engineering teams have to double check all of the loads and bending moments. These loads are supplied to us by the client, based on their designs. We then have to ensure that the gearboxes that have been selected are suited to the application at hand,” Swanepoel explains.

“Our calculation program has been designed specifically to determine if the gearbox selection is adequate, based on the loads and bending moments. This is particularly important when it comes to aerators and mixers. Thus these are not off-the-shelf products, but have been selected specifically for the system in question.”

SEW-EURODRIVE also had to comply with stringent specifications in terms of these motors, due to the arduous conditions on-site in the wastewater treatment plant. These included the addition of auxiliary instrumentation such as PT100s (to measure temperature) and thermistors (a cut-out failsafe when the motor temperature reaches a set high point). Other additional accessories included strip heaters for colder conditions, and rain canopies.

Swanepoel reveals that, following this initial order, SEW-EURODRIVE has received a subsequent order for another major wastewater treatment in the Eastern Cape. “These two major orders in quick succession represent a foothold for us in this industry, which is definitely picking up in terms of business.”

SEW-EURODRIVE now offers its energy-efficient DRN motor series as standard across its entire product range. “The main benefit for our customers is that it reduces the total cost of ownership over the long term, which means the payback period is much quicker, and also the return on investment is that much higher.”

European regulations introduced at the beginning of 2016 meant that all two-, four- and six-pole asynchronous motors with a power rating of 7.5 kW to 375 kW have to meet the requirements of energy-efficiency class IE3 in the European Union (EU). In 2017, IE3 is now mandatory for all asynchronous motors with a power rating of 0.75 kW to 375 kW.

“SEW-EURODRIVE has always remained at the forefront of new technological and regulatory developments, and keeping the South African industry up to date is important to us and to our customers. The first successful order of these latest-generation motors for the wastewater treatment industry is testament to this approach,” Swanepoel concludes.

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