PR 19 – Using Drive Technology to reduce energy costs

OFWAT’s PR19 requires water companies to reduce bills by 12%. Is energy saving the key to achieving this and if so, how can this be done without affecting performance levels?

Water companies rely heavily on pumps and motor applications to keep both clean and waste water running smoothly. Turning pumping applications off is not an option for reducing energy consumption as these processes need to operate at their optimum 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How can energy saving be achieved without processes be affected?



APDS has built a reputation for helping industries across the South West and South Wales reduce their annual operating costs by thousands of pounds, with energy saving and process improvement initiatives.

If efficiency is to be achieved, motor processes need to be controlled. Historically this control has only been possible by using dampers. Although this provides a quick solution for changing the motor speed, it comes at a cost; the motor speed is reduced, but the amount of energy consumed is not. A damper open halfway still uses 100% electricity supply.

What is the alternative to using dampers to control motor speed?

Enter ABB Variable Speed Drive (VSD) technology. ABB Drive technology gives you total control over your motor and pump applications – not only will it automatically vary the speed of your processes according to usage and demand, it will also reduce the amount of energy consumed.

We carried out an upgrade at a Bristol Water site, replacing their 5 old 40 litre pumps with a specifically designed turnkey solution. We installed two transformers, three new pump ends with ABB Eff1 high efficiency motors and three 400kW ABB industrial drives. Not only was the site able to reduce from 5 to 3 pumps, power consumption reduced from 560kW to 240kW, with an improvement in efficiency from 68% to 87%.

Average payback on VSD installations is less than 18 months, however the long-term energy savings will continue for many years.
Water companies will be able reduce their running costs, which can in turn be converted to a reduction in household bills to meet the requirements set out in OFWAT’s PR 19 guidelines.

Try before you buy

An energy audit with APDS allows you to “try before you buy” with our on-site real-time trial drive – see the energy saving and process improvement potential first-hand. To find out more contact