Flygt Concertor halves energy use at Heathrow Airport

Flygt Concertor halves energy use at Heathrow Airport

Flygt Concertor, the world’s first wastewater pumping system with integrated intelligence, has solved chronic clogging issues at a Heathrow Airport pumping station and reduced energy use by 53 percent.

London’s Heathrow Airport is one of Europe’s busiest airports catering for more than 200,000 passengers each day, with an average of 1,200 flights arriving and departing from the airport daily. Heathrow Airport Water Services Department has an extensive network of 120 pumping stations to manage, and it has been a Xylem customer for 25 years.

The challenge: difficult to pump waste

The central Area Sanitation Unit adjacent to Terminal 1 is a receiving station for aircraft toilet waste, which contains a high level of non-biological solids including various plastic material, wipes, nappies and clothing. This stringy material can be difficult to pump since it can easily get caught on the impeller and partially block the pump. This can lead to increased energy consumption and, in the worst case, a full blockage of the pump.

This challenging wastewater application led to regular clogging and the sump requiring significant operational activity to try to keep it clean.

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“We would usually have to deal with two or three clogging issues during a three-month period,” said Ian Jolly, Systems Specialist for Water, Heathrow Airport Water Services Department. “We also used to see a shelf of fat and material deposits build up on the walls of the sump as well as floating debris. This presented a very tough challenge to our existing wastewater pumps, which we frequently had to de-clog.”

Flygt Concertor: integrated, clog-free technology

Heathrow Airport required a solution that would solve the operational costs and environmental problems caused by the aircraft toilet waste. As a loyal customer, the Heathrow team trusted Xylem’s expertise in solving these particularly challenging problems and agreed to trial Flygt Concertor, a new wastewater pumping system with integrated intelligence.

“We have used a number of Flygt technologies over the years and have found the Flygt team to be very willing to listen to our needs, always eager to find a solution to our particular challenge,” said Ian Jolly.

Flygt Concertor combines built-in sump and pipe cleaning functionalities in a single integrated solution, capable of tackling sump floating debris as well as pipe sedimentation. Furthermore, the pump cleaning function, together with Adaptive N-hydraulics, effectively detects and solves clogging from large debris.

The integration of intelligent functionalities and state-of-the-art technology makes Flygt Concertor a unique wastewater pumping system. After its installation at the Heathrow Central Area Sanitation Unit in November 2015, Ian Jolly has been impressed with the results.

“Since installing Concertor we have had absolutely no clogging and the sump remains clean, with no fat build-up,” said Jolly. “As well as peace of mind – which really is priceless – the cost savings are significant, at approximately 87.5 percent of the annual costs in cleaning and servicing.”

The pumping system aims to deliver proven reliability at the lowest total cost of ownership. In the case of the Central Area Sanitation Unit pumping station, energy savings are up to 53 percent.

The Energy Minimizer function, together with the patented Adaptive-N hydraulics and the IE4 efficiency motor, automatically ensure that all the pumps run at their most efficient duty point. Additionally, since there is no need for ventilation, cooling or heating of cabinets, customers benefit from substantial energy savings over the system’s total lifecycle.

Compact design and more functionality

Flygt Concertor is proof that new and sophisticated technologies for wastewater pumping do not require more components or complexities. On the contrary, this groundbreaking new system is user friendly, simple to install, commission and operate.

“Concertor’s compact design allowed it to fit into the existing position within the pump station, without any extra investment required to enlarge the cabinet. From an aesthetic and practical consideration, the reduced panel requirement size will be of great benefit,” said Jolly. “It was simple to install and very user friendly.”

by Chad Henderson