04 Dec Getting the most out of belts and drives in tertiary wastewater treatment
Tertiary treatment is the final stage of the cleaning process undertaken at a wastewater treatment plant, improving effluent quality before it is reused, recycled or discharged into the environment.
This stage of treatment removes remaining inorganic compounds, organics, turbidity, nitrogen, phosphorus, metals, and pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. The process usually involves physicochemical treatment such as coagulation, filtration, activated carbon absorption of organics, reverse osmosis, and additional disinfection.
The pumps that control the movement of water through the wastewater treatment systems, filtering the water with chemical treatments, are run by electric drive motors. Belts made from a rubber compound serve as a connection point between the motors and the pumps.
BSC is an experienced distributor of belts and drives utilised in the tertiary stage of wastewater treatment. According to Mark O’Brien, BSC Product Manager for Belts, the Carlisle range of belts are an exceptional choice for the treatment environment.
“The pumps can be running for 24 hours a day in some cases, so the life and longevity of the components running them is extremely important,” O’Brien said.
“The Carlisle V-belts have a long lifespan, which makes them an economical choice, as replacements are less frequent and maintenance and downtime are also reduced.”
The Carlisle V-belt range includes the Wrapped V-Belt and the Raw Edge V-Belt. O’Brien said that the latter is particularly advantageous for wastewater treatment applications, lasting three to four times longer. “When you factor in worn sheaves and under-tensioned belts you could see up to a 4.5 per cent greater energy efficiency than a standard belt. Carlisle also offers PowerMiser™ which is a Web App that helps customers calculate their drive efficiency,” O’Brien said.
Just to change a belt, machinery can be down for up to an hour, incurring high maintenance costs. A belt that lasts longer in operation means fewer instances of expensive downtime.
“While the Raw Edge is more expensive than other products, over time there are cost savings due to less maintenance and product longevity. And, with greater efficiency, there are savings through energy gains with the electric motor,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien explained that the installation process is integral to the effective operation of the belts in tertiary treatment.
“It is vital that the V-pulleys which the belts are placed on are not too damaged or worn. You can have the best quality belts, but if the components they are connected to are not satisfactory, you won’t get the best out of them,” he said.
“The most important thing is belt tension. The V-belt is so-named because it is actually slotted into the V-grooves; a belt that runs too loose will slip out through the grooves causing increased wear on the belt and the pulleys. This leads to inefficiencies. A correctly-tensioned belt eliminates all that wastage and wear and tear on the components and thus provides a better belt lifespan.”
With the Carlisle products, O’Brien said that BSC can provide full drive analysis and provide belt tension information to customers. “We use tailored drive designs so that we can set up the components exactly to the requirements of the customer,” he explained.
BSC also provides workshops to show customers to use tension tools and devices that enable tension measurement and enhance belt performance.
“We can inform maintenance crews of the best practice in setting up belts and drives. We also do component monitoring to keep an eye on belt usage in treatment plants,” he said.
According to O’Brien, BSC is the sole distributor of Carlisle in Australia and has a close long-term relationship of over 25 years with Carlisle. This enables BSC to provide unparalleled knowledge and service to customers in the wastewater treatment space.
“The BSC-Carlisle partnership is one that has been strong for a long time. We were the first major national bearings company to get involved in belts in the early 1990s,” said O’Brien.
“This gives us the edge: we have the experience, we have the knowledge, and we have the know-how to provide the right solutions for wastewater treatment applications.”