Keeping London’s water supply running
Posted on 08 May 2021 and read 493 times
While Battersea Power Station has long been a beacon on London’s skyline, famous for once supplying over 20% of all London’s electricity, the Battersea Shaft Pumping Station serves the Thames Water Ring Main and is probably not so well known.
However, it is a critical component in London’s water infrastructure, and motor manufacturer WEG — together with Bedford Pumps Ltd
— recently supplied new ‘motor technology’ to power the ‘colossal vertical turbine pump.’
The Thames Water Ring Main, which was formerly known as the London Water Ring Main and plays a key role in supplying drinking water in the capital, was built between 1988 and 1993. It forms a 50-mile ring of 2.54m-diameter concrete pipe that lies between 10 and 65m below ground level and passes through 21 wells that serve as supply, storage and pumping stations.
One of these pumping stations is Battersea Shaft, which comprises a 130m-deep vertical shaft containing six pumps that can supply many areas of London with drinkable water. However, increasing development in the city has made it necessary to remodel and replan the network to supply tan increasing demand.
With guidance from a team of experts, it was decided to replace one of the 30 ‘mega-litre per day pumps’ with a new 45 ‘mega-litre per day’ option (the maximum limit due to physical constraints).
However, to minimise disruption, the pump needed to be replaced without stopping operations, a requirement that dictated the design and construction of the pump — and the overall project itself — with the pump that needed to be replaced taken offline while the rest of the system continued operating as normal.
Bedford Pumps supported this entire process; and through the company’s close relationship with motor manufacturer WEG was able to replace the pump without having to resort to cuts in supply. For this application, WEG chose a 450kW Master Line water-cooled induction motor.