Over the last five years, Rockwell Automation has been working with Intermerc Ghana in supplying medium-voltage motor control and automation technologies to some of its recent pump upgrade and rehabilitation projects for Ghana Water Company.
By upgrading and adopting modern pump and control systems, Intermerc has been able to improve the performance, efficiency and reliability of water treatment works across the country. In so doing, it has helped Ghana Water Company increase access to water for many Ghanaians.
At the Daboase, Inchaban and Kpong water treatment works, new high lift pumps have been installed and are being controlled with the IoT-ready Rockwell Automation Bulletin 1503E SMC Flex medium-voltage soft starters.
At the Daboase High Lift Works and Apparatus, Intermerc identified the possibility of expanding pump capacity by 15% without any civil or other mechanical requirements. This would allow Ghana Water Company to increase the penetration of its bulk water supply to the greater Takoradi region. The solution required the supply of two new higher rated high lift pumps, paired with the Rockwell Automation soft starter.
The extra volume of water this added to the bulk water supply of the region also necessitated a pump upgrade at Inchaban pumping facility, and Intermerc specified, supplied and installed three new high lift pumps to achieve the additional volume requirements.
At Kpong, Intermerc was tasked with rehabilitating the feeder pumps that elevate the treated water from the Volta River to feed the high lift pump that then transports the treated water to Tema and some other parts of Accra.
Optimum soft starter technology
“The Rockwell Automation Bulletin 1503E SMC Flex was the optimum soft starter technology for these pump applications,” explains Michael Klugey, technical manager, Intermerc Ghana. “Together with its intelligent autotransformer starter capabilities, it also delivers significant energy savings with an efficient motor control framework, and also helps optimise pump performance for an extended product life.”
The 1503E SMC Flex provides microprocessor-controlled starting for standard three-phase squirrel-cage induction motors. This feature-rich technology delivers electronic motor overload protection and built-in DPI communications, includes four programmable auxiliary contacts and self-powered current loop gate driver boards.
The motor control panels were assembled by Rockwell Automation sub-Saharan Africa with a local panel manufacturer.
IoT-ready control framework
Employing the advanced analytics and diagnostics capabilities that come standard with the new-generation Rockwell Automation equipment, Intermerc and Rockwell Automation are currently piloting a remote monitoring and live data system that will provide Ghana Water Company with a full real-time representation of the Daboase, Nchabang and Kpong pump works. This will enable operators and technical teams to respond almost instantaneously to plant and equipment events, with an in-depth analytical understanding of plant performance.
Rockwell Automation and Intermerc Ghana have an established relationship that also includes low-voltage solutions for the water treatment industry.
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