Energy conservation is less expensive than energy generation, says Grundfos official

Mahathi Parasuram

Mahathi Parashuram, head – Public Affairs, Grundfos Pumps India, discusses various ways industries can save energy and water in different stages of their processes and how Grundfos products and technologies help customers contribute for a better tomorrow.

What technologies does Grundfos use to conservewater?

One of the most efficient ways to conserve water is to use energy efficient pumps. This will automatically ensure that you reduce the water consumption as well. We at Grundfos have committed to invent and sell ‘sustainable product solutions’. Grundfos constantly raises the bar for sustainable product solutions within energy efficiency and water focusing on the entire product life cycle. Our pump solutions help the end-user to reduce their energy consumption and lower their water consumption. Also, introducing new ways of re-using resources is important, so we also focus on the entire product life cycle including disposal and recycling.

At Grundfos India’sheadquarters(LEED EB Platinum Certified Green building) in Chennai, we have adopted a holistic approach to water conservation. Weconstantly monitor and reducethe consumption of water inside the facility. This is done by identifying the possible areas where the consumption of water can be reduced and by using both new and existing technologies which allows us to recycle water.This initiative has three focus areas – rain water harvesting, treatment of sewage water and efficient water usage at washrooms.

  • Rain water harvesting – We have efficient rainwater harvesting system which drains the rainwater properly into the ground. This increases the level of the ground water contribution to water conservation.
    • Treatment of sewage water –The second focus area is closely related to reducing water usage related to irrigation of gardens. A sewage treatment plant collects all the water and treats the water. The treated water is then used for garden irrigation through lawn sprinklers and a technique called drip irrigation. Lawn sprinklers help in effective usage of water, and the drip irrigation is used for trees instead of flooded irrigation. Drip irrigation keeps the soil around the tree wet all the time.
    • Efficient water usage – We have installed water efficient fittings, which consume less water than the ordinary fittings. The entire potable water usage for the building has been reduced to 55.68% below the LEED-EBOM baseline by using efficient indoor plumbing fixtures and fittings. The building has permanently installed water meters that measure the total potable water use for the entire building and associated grounds and at least one water subsystem. Sub-Meters have been provided for the irrigation system.It uses only non-potable or non-natural surface or subsurface water for irrigation.

This widespread initiative has benefitted from employee involvement both in terms of conservation as well as new ideas and suggestions for potential focus areas.

What is Grundfos doing to promote water conservation?

Another recent initiative that we are focusing on is our global campaign called Think Water Wise. This is to promote water conservation and to further reduce our water consumption within all Grundfos facilities around the world. This is being planned around the World Water Day (March 22). As part of this campaign, Grundfos is globally replacing its existing water fittings at all its facilities with water-efficient fittings. Replacing the existing water aerators with water saving aerators will lead to great water savings / conservation. Currently around 10-12 liters of water is let out through a normal aerator per minute; by installing water saving aerators only 4-6 liters of water per minute is released. We are also encouraging our employees to install water saving aerators at their homes.

Mahathi Parasuram

Grundfos India has launched a forum through the social media site, Facebook called ‘EkBoondhPani’. The name translates to ‘a drop of water’ in Hindi – signifying the importance of each drop of water. Through this page, members share water conservation tips and facts to encourage this awareness to be driven home. Grundfos India is also working with students from elementary schools to universities to spread awareness on sustainability (energy and water conservation). The company encourages school visits to its facility to showcase the Green Building concept. Grundfos India has been successful in reaching out to 503,000 students since 2010. Through these students the company is influencing their family, friends and communities to conserve water.

How do energy audits help customers control the consumption of energy?

Grundfos India is working towards helping Indian industries and corporates save both energy and water not only through it’s highly energy efficient products but also through the energy and water audits it conducts. These audits are a complete system analysis of the energy and water consumption. Post the analysis the energy audit team recommends the best solutions to right size the systems; thereby helping conserve both these resources.Grundfos India, had initiated ‘Energy audit’ studies focused towards Industries to explore and recommend the energy saving opportunities in Pumps and pumping systems since 2007. It has self-committed target of energy conservation in Industries to the extent of 1.5mw annually and has been successfully achieving this feat, year on year.
What are your suggestions to improve energy efficiency in industries?

In order to meet India’s growing energy demand, it is important to not only increase electricity-generating capacity, preferably through renewable sources but also use energy efficiently. Energy conservation and energy generation go hand in hand. In fact energy conservation is less expensive than energy generation. Industries also need to look at replacing the old equipment and appliances that consume too much power with energy efficient products. Industries also need to regularly monitor their energy consumption and conduct audits. Reporting their carbon footprint will also help them mitigate their risks which will have a positive business impact as well.

What is Grundfos doing to improve energy efficiency?

Grundfos strongly believes in enhancing its sustainability profile by offering cutting-edge green solutions, which will contribute to meet a number of global challenges in terms of climate change and water stress. Aligning to its global sustainability focus, Grundfos India is committed towards helping its customers and the nation to conserve water and energy. The company will through all its actions, focus on how it can co-create value with its stakeholders by being a responsible partner for a cleaner and greener planet.

Inaugurated in March 2005, Grundfos India’s headquarters holds the distinction of being the first gold-rated green building in India under LEED certification by USGBC. Grundfos is one of the first companies to go in for voluntary recertification of its existing building and the first company in India to move from a Gold to a Platinum rating for a building after eight years (in 2013). As per GBCI, Grundfos India is an example of best performance of green buildings in the operations and maintenance phase and has improved its performance to achieve this platinum rating. Some of the key highlights of Grundfos India’s green office are:

  • The company has implemented various key policies such as the Sustainable Purchasing Policy, Solid Waste Management Policy and Green Cleaning Policy
  • The entire potable water usage for the facility has been reduced to 55.68% below the LEED-EBOM baseline by using efficient indoor plumbing fixtures and fittings
  • Around 52.5% of rainfall has been mitigated through storm water management strategies
  • The building had an EPA ENERGY STAR score of 95 at the conclusion of the performance period
  • An on-going commissioning program has been implemented that includes elements of planning, system testing, performance verification, corrective action response, on-going measurement, and documentation to proactively address operating problems
  • The entire project complies with the minimum requirements of ASHRAE Standard 62.1 – 2007 of Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality, using the Ventilation Rate Procedure

Early in 2014, Grundfos India also successfully installed of a roof top solar power plant at our headquarters in Chennai. The estimated annual power generation from this plant will be 78000 kWh with an annual cost savings of INR 13 lakhs. This will also lead to a reduction of 25000 litres of diesel consumption annually, contributing to a reduction of 70 tons of CO2 emission per year.A total of 216 solar photo voltaic panels (EMMVEE), each of 240 Wp capacity has been used. With a capacity of 51.84 kW, this rooftop solar power plant is a grid connected system, consisting of solar photovoltaic panels, inverters and connecting cables. As this system does not have a battery, its operation is simple and it remains a completely green installation.

We have also partnered with NDTV have the launched ‘Mission Energy’, a campaign to create awareness about the importance of saving energy and to provide ideas to conserve energy. The campaign aims to draw attention to the power of individuals in creating a cleaner and greener future. Mission Energy is actively engaging with the country’s leading experts, policy makers, conservationists, leading industry voices and NGOs to highlight the growing requirement for energy efficiency in India. The campaign is also reaching out to the general public to create awareness on how, at an individual level too, one can contribute towards energy conservation. Mission Energy will raise awareness about these issues that affect each one of us and help chart out a roadmap to a sustainable future. The campaign will also call attention to the need for stringent energy efficiency norms and encourage corporates to develop and promote energy efficient products.

editor@greentechlead.com