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How frequency converters automatically clean clogged pumping stations

Frequency converters of ABB

The frequency converter is available for many different types of pumps. Its automatic cleaning function supports continuous operation. Picture: ABB


Frequency converters add more efficiency to the delivery of liquid media. The pump capacity can be adjusted to the need, so that it uses only as much energy as needed. A frequency converter has now been introduced specifically for water and wastewater applications that provides an interesting additional service: automatic cleaning in case of impending clogging.

Lines can easily clog, especially when pumping wastewater. Operators are familiar with the problems that clogging creates. Above all else, clogging requires expensive maintenance work that interrupts regular operations. In addition, clogged pipes and transporting units increase pump power consumption. The resulting current peaks stress the mechanical components of the pump more than in standard operation.
ABB has now introduced a frequency converter intended to prevent the deposition of solids on the impeller and in piping. If the motor of the pump is operated with the ACQ580, rotational direction changes for the impeller can be programmed. The system switches forward and backward multiple times based on a specified sequence. The function can be executed either in specified intervals or when the frequency converter detects an urgent need, such as a decrease in pump efficiency. If this occurs too often and cleaning becomes increasingly frequent, the device issues a warning.

Frequency converters support energy-efficient operation

Depending on the need, the frequency converter also works in water applications, where it enables energy-efficient processes and trouble-free motor operation. The device is suitable for wall mounting and offers additional integrated functions for pump applications, including sensorless flow calculations, multi-pump control, fill level control, soft pipe fill, and dry-run protection. Quick ramps protect the connected submersible pump: Accelerating the time to reach the minimum speed for delivery prevents the pump from heating up.

In today’s era of Industry 4.0, operators expect to be able to start and service the frequency converter using more than just a PC. Mobile apps facilitate troubleshooting, save time, and come with functions for fault removal and fast support to further increase efficiency.

The energy calculator built into the device also indicates how much energy it saved. Various types of motors are controlled, including the extremely energy-efficient IE4 synchronous reluctance motors. It also supports numerous fieldbus protocols to make connecting as painless as possible.


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