Wastewater pump stations take Flygt across Heathrow.

Flygt Concertor intelligent pumps have become the standard design for Heathrow Airport’s wastewater management systems, following a successful trial, according to Synneve Henningson, the senior product manager at Xylem UK and Ireland.

Heathrow Airport, one of Europe’s busiest, sees an average of 34,000 flights arriving and departing every month. The airport’s aircraft toilets use a vacuum system with a fraction of the water of domestic systems, resulting in aircraft toilet waste containing a higher proportion of non-biological solids, including wipes, plastics, and nappies, compared to typical utility network flows.

This was causing chronic clogging issues in one of Heathrow’s dual pumping stations managing aircraft wastewater streams. The station required frequent reactive maintenance visits and six-monthly wet well cleaning.

In November 2015, Heathrow’s water services department, a longstanding Xylem customer, installed and trialed Xylem’s Flygt Concertor intelligent wastewater pumping system on the pump station to address the clogging problems.

The Flygt Concertor N6020 pump with the XPC intelligent pumping station control system was set to run the station, with the remaining N3127 pump as backup.

The Concertor pump’s self-cleaning functionality and ability to adjust speed and performance to remove liquid and solids using the lowest power possible virtually eliminated blockages.

The station and Flygt Concertor are monitored by Heathrow’s telemetry system and Xylem’s Avensor remote-monitoring platform.

After eight years, the original trial Flygt Concertor pump has required just one reactive site attendance, and there has been no need to clean the wet well, resulting in significant cost savings of approximately 87.5% in cleaning and site attendance. Additionally, the energy consumption of the pumping station has reduced by 53%, consistent over the eight-year period.

Impressed by the benefits, Heathrow Airport has invested in the Flygt Concertor system across its asset base, including complete XPC systems and a stock of Flygt Concertor pumps to replace existing submersible wastewater pumps.

As of December 2023, the team had rolled out the Flygt Concertor to a further eight pump station assets, replacing legacy submersible pumps.

Adaptive technology

The Flygt Concertor system comprises a Concertor submersible electric pump and an advanced panel-mounted monitoring and intelligent control system.

This system senses the operating conditions of the pump within the station environment and adapts its performance in real-time to provide feedback to station operators.

The system’s patented energy minimizer function, combined with patented Adaptive-N hydraulics and a motor efficiency comparable to IE4, ensures that the pumps operate at their most efficient duty point.

The integrated control system makes it quicker and easier to set up and operate functions that would otherwise require a very sophisticated monitoring and control system.

Given Heathrow Airport’s 24/7 operations, its water services department requires a high level of autonomy to address issues quickly. Xylem’s Flygt Concertor enables Heathrow’s engineers to deploy the Concertor Pump quickly and easily at pumping stations when needed.

Dan Young, Heathrow’s senior engineer for water systems technical services, commented, “Heathrow was an early adopter of Flygt Concertor. The original pump, installed in November 2015, continues to produce cost savings and maintenance benefits, as it did from the beginning.

We have rolled out the Flygt Concertor in a further eight stations and it has been adopted into the new standard of foul pump station design for Heathrow. We look forward to what the future brings, as larger Flygt Concertor products are released into the range, which will give us further energy and maintenance benefits, as well as reliability.”

Since running the first Flygt Concertor prototype in 2013, Xylem has received valuable feedback from its global customer base, including Heathrow Airport.

This has enabled the Flygt Concertor development team to continually evolve the technology, with new models currently in development.

Source : Xylem

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