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Case Study: Retrofits Yield Dramatic Energy Savings at California Reclaimed Water Pump Stations

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Two large reclaimed water pump stations owned and operated by the City of Santa Rosa, California, were retrofit for improved energy efficiency. A detailed energy audit developed mathematical pumping energy models to provide a scenario evaluation platform for the retrofit design, and predict the performance of the retrofits. Three new pumps were purchased through a competitive bid process that took into account life cycle energy costs, and incentivized the pump vendors to balance pump performance and up-front cost. Both retrofits were measured for energy performance, and yielded an 875 MWHr annual reduction in electricity demand, saving an estimated 96,000 per year. The post retrofit energy performance was measured and compared to the estimates from the mathematical models. Minor variances in energy performance between model predictions and measured performance were attributed to real-world features that were not incorporated into the pumping energy models. California public programs targeting energy efficiency were vital, providing financial support for up-front engineering, a substantial cash incentive, and a loan for the capital cost.
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Keywords: Variable speed pumping; bin analysis; energy efficiency; life-cycle cost analysis; pump energy audit; pump energy modeling; reclaimed wastewater pumping; vertical turbine pumps

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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