ABB Intelligent Multi-pump configuration

Flow Tech proudly serves New England’s water and wastewater market with ABB’s ACQ580 variable frequency drives (VFDs). This model of VFD has numerous features and benefits, but today, we’re going to focus on one feature in particular – the Intelligent Multi-pump Control (IPC).

ABB ACQ580
The ACQ580 variable frequency drive by ABB.

Many pump stations and water treatment facilities utilize a multi-pump system, which consist of several pumps, each connected to a separate drive. This arrangement enables a high flexibility in load sharing, balancing the run time between the pumps and keeping each pump running optimally. If the active pumps cannot meet the demand, then the system automatically starts or stops pumps one by one. The used pump order can be set by the efficiency class of each pump (i.e. Pumps with high efficiency are primarily used) or in order to balance the runtime (pumps which run the least start first). This saves energy and extends the pump longevity.

Multi-pump systems achieve high-level redundancy, if one pump fails or requires maintenance other pumps can take over the operation. Efficiency, continuous operation and easy maintenance are reasons why multi-pump systems can be found in a variety of applications, such as the water and wastewater industry.

With the ACQ580, ABB provides a drive with a built-in, intelligent, multi-pump control (IPC) and several other pump application software features including quick ramps and pump cleaning.

About the Intelligent Multi-pump Control (IPC)

With ACQ580’s IPC system you can set one drive as a master and up to seven follower drives. The master drive controls the whole multi-pump-system and has the following tasks:

• Activating and deactivating the follower drives.

• Setting the systems speed with its internal PID loop control according an internal set-point.

• Processing the I/O signals (set-point and feedback signals).

• Controlling flow or pressure of pumps running in parallel. Shares information between connected drives to ensure redundant operation.

• Regulating the starting and stopping of multiple pumps to meet demand, balance operation time and reduce surging.

• Ensuring multi-pump settings on each VFD in the system are the same, reducing the commissioning time and risk of human error with its parameter synchronization feature.

Intelligent Multi-pump Control’s Sleep and Boost Feature

• This feature boosts pressure slightly in the pipeline before shutting pumps down, as opposed to keeping pumps running to maintain pressure. This allows pumps to sleep for long periods while pipe pressure is monitored within limits.

• It also saves energy by extending sleep time and avoiding having pumps run continuously during low demand periods.

Project Feature: Silver Mine Pump Station – No SCADA controls in your Booster Pump Station? No problem!

Left variable frequency drive is the master and the right variable frequency drive is the standby.

Flow Tech recently provided (2) ABB ACQ580 VFD’s to service the newly added pumps at the Silver Mine Pump Station in Seymour, CT. The ABB ACQ580’s Standard Intelligent Pump Control firmware was used to provide complete control of the pumps in the system.

Benefits included:

  • Start/Stop control using Sleep and Wake-up functions -no PLC or extra wiring
  • Precise PID Pressure control including lead/lag – no PLC or extra wiring
  • Master/Follower rotation – provides even run time on pumps

The addition of these variable frequency drives will provide the pump station higher efficiency and allow them to control the drives without an automation system, thus saving the facility time and money.

Master VFD shown on left and controls pump 1. Standby VFD shown on right and controls pump 2.

To learn more about ABB’s ACQ580 variable frequency drive, and more specifically, about its Intelligent Multi-pump Control feature, contact us today. You can always visit us on the web or call us at 860.221.0875 to learn more. Follow us on social media: FacebookLinkedInTwitter and YouTube, to stay up-to-date on other important product features!

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