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Case Study

Northumbrian Water

Spirax Sarco helps Northumbrian Water halve its steam raising energy

Spirax Sarco has helped Northumbrian Water to halve the energy it uses to raise steam at its Bran Sands anaerobic digestion plant. The work has been so successful that the utility company now plans to work with Spirax Sarco and apply the same approach in its new plant at Howdon.

The energy-saving project centred on solving an issue with two boilers at Bran Sands where a low-water alarm would come into operation, even though there was plenty of water in the system. Low-water alarms made the boilers cut out, reducing the time that the boilers were in action.

“The issue slowed the process down,” explains Frank Errington, Works Coordinator at Bran Sands. “We’d lose energy as the boilers were on and off constantly and were cooling down during the downtime.”

Level probes installation

LP31 Level probes

Bran Sands was also experiencing a growing issue with false alarms in its high-water control systems, although they didn’t cause the same downtime and energy losses as the low-level false alarms. So Spirax Sarco also replaced the high-water probes with its own LP31 probes.

“Both boilers are now available most of the time and we’re experiencing stable operations. The energy savings equate to about 50% of the energy needed for raising steam.”
Frank Errington, Works Coordinator at Bran Sands

Finally, the utility company opted for a Spirax Sarco service agreement to keep the boilers working properly in future. “Both boilers are now available most of the time and we’re experiencing stable operations,” says Mr Errington. “The energy savings equate to about 50% of the energy needed for raising steam.”

Northumbrian Water is so pleased with the success at Bran Sands that it has now asked Spirax Sarco to apply the same boiler controls at its new anaerobic digester facility in Howdon, which is currently under construction. “Spirax Sarco are very good at what they do. They’re very helpful and very knowledgeable and we get a good response from them.” says Mr Errington. “They’re similar installations. Howden is an enhanced version of Bran Sands and the process is the same.”

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