Reduced water equipment friction gives an energy bonus
Thames Water says it can make energy-efficiency savings of £375,000 a year by switching from oil to a grease-like synthetic product when lubricating aeration machinery at its 250 sewage works.
A recent trial at Beckton, Britain's biggest sewage works, yielded a 6% improvement in operating efficiency by reducing the friction on equipment bearings and gears. Because Thames has 273 similar aeration plants across its 250 sewage works, it believes cash savings from the switch could be worth £375,000 a year due to reduced energy costs, resulting from the smoother running of the relevant machines. In terms of its carbon footprint, the company says its savings potential is 2,500 tonnes a year.
The new product, one of a wide range of synthetic lubricants produced by Mobil, is still under trial at Beckton. Its success to date, however, means the company is already planning a 250-works roll-out in the future although no timescale for that programme is currently available.
The product used at Beckton has been available since 2010 and is already in use across many other industries according to Mobil's UK industrial manager, Nick Smith.
"The early numbers in this trial look very successful," he told edie, adding that Mobil were working closely with several other utility companies to highlight the benefits of this and similar synthetic products.