RAS AL KHAIMAH, UAE, August 29, 2019: Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Municipality has selected Grundfos to provide an audit of HVAC, irrigation, water supply and disinfection pumping systems across 50 buildings and operational facilities, including large-scale sewage plants. Municipality and company officials elaborated on the significance and the scope of the project during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), held on August 28, in Ras Al Khaimah. His Excellency Munther Mohammed bin Shekar, Director General, Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, said: “The MOU is aligned with the Municipality’s vision to pioneer sustainable urban development and create healthy and happy communities. The audit will help us explore further ways to reduce energy costs, by working with Grundfos’ expert team on pumping systems, which drive a significant part of our energy consumption.”
The audit, which will take place in a period spanning seven weeks, will be overseen by the Municipality’s Energy Efficiency and Renewables Administration (Reem), which is coordinating the implementation of RAK’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Strategy 2040, which targets 30% energy savings, 20% water savings and 20% generation from renewable energy sources. The Strategy comprises a programme to retrofit approximately 3,000 buildings in the Emirate over the next two decades.
Discussing the importance of engaging with private entities like Grundfos in view of the 2040 targets, Andrea Di Gregorio, Director, Reem, said, “Our strategy, as is the case with other comprehensive energy programmes around the world, relies greatly on participation from the private sector. The government can provide the framework, guidance and support, but then implementation needs to rely on the private sector as a multiplier of our efforts.” Di Gregorio also elaborated on the significance of the audit initiative for Reem. “Pumps are rarely addressed with comprehensive efforts,” he said. “For example, based on our experience in the retrofit programme, when ESCOs propose energy conservation measures for a building, they rarely address pumps directly. The collaboration with Grundfos is meant to understand the potential for energy savings from a deeper look at pumping systems.”
Highlighting the important role pumping systems play in overall environmental targets, Kostas Poulopoulos, Area Managing Director, Gulf, Levant and Pakistan, Grundfos, pointed out that pumps contribute to 10% of global energy consumption. “In RAK, there are pumps in the households, in buildings, water companies – the opportunities are everywhere,” he said, adding that under the MoU, the company aims to contribute to the Emirate’s environmental targets by implementing energy checks, pump audits, energy audits and conducting training.
Elaborating on the four pillars of the auditing exercise, Poulopoulos said that an energy check is an assessment on the existing assets, where the company looks at the installed equipment and its nominal consumption and capacity. “Based on that, we have a centralised function analysing modelling opportunities, if you would retrofit existing assets with more advanced and efficient motors with controls and monitoring,” he explained.
When it comes to pump audits, Poulopoulos said that the company uses its pump audit toolbox and installs sensors in the pumping application in a bid to monitor the actual performance of the pumps. While the energy check is theoretical in nature, he explained that it is through the pump audits that the company is able to get a deeper understanding of the actual and real-time performance of the pumps, thus offering higher accuracy. “Based on that, we do the assessment and propose the energy optimisation solution,” he said.
The energy audit, Poulopoulos explained, is an assessment of the overall energy consumption of the entire application. “On top of pumps, we include the valves and everything else,” he said. “We do the same analysis and modelling for energy optimisation and retrofit solutions, but the accuracy is even higher, because we see the entire system. If you see the pump itself, it depends on the entire system and different equipment. The three levels address this – one is on pumps and is theoretical, one is on pump and is based on actual performance and the third is looking at the system as a whole.”
Poulopoulos said that three levels of audits are complemented by the fourth pillar – a comprehensive training programme. “RAK will decide which teams they would like to be part of the training and certification process,” he said. “We create awareness by training people on the pumps, and we explain and address ways on how a system can be optimised – you can change the existing one with new and more advanced technology, or maybe enhance it with controls, and you optimise operation of assets. You can go a step further and monitor the system and then adjust according to real demand.”
Poulopoulos also highlighted the important role private companies, such as Grundfos, play in the energy efficiency narrative by contributing their specialised knowledge and expertise surrounding specific applications, such as pumps. “At the end of the day, everything is interconnected,” he said. “I think private companies have a lot to bring on the table, in cooperation with end users, with consultants and contractors, and by partnering with different kind of entities. We can maximise the impact we have on energy reduction and efficient water management.”.
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Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org