It’s Elementary – Xylem Goes to the ‘Head’ of the Class

The Dorothy B. Bunce Elementary School in Pavilion, New York, serves kindergarten through 5th grade students in the Pavilion Central School District. In August, the school underwent an evaluation of their current hydronic system and determined it was becoming less efficient and needed to be replaced.

To help assess its needs, the school brought in Ben Testa of Ground Water Systems (GWS); a trusted local pump, well, and water treatment company that has been serving the community for more than 35 years. In addition to providing energy-efficient products and equipment, GWS also offers seminars and training programs to educate businesses throughout the city about water and wastewater systems.

Also brought in to assess the school’s needs was Don Roblee, owner of Roblee Plumbing, a local plumbing and heating business. Both Roblee and Testa were familiar with the school’s hydronic system from previous work at the facility and understood the unique challenges with installing and programming new products.

Both agreed that the best solution was to install two Goulds Water Technology Hydrovar® variable speed frequency drives (VFD) mounted on the existing 5HP SSV Pumps. Selecting this system would provide the constant pressure needed, enhance efficiency, reduce operation and maintenance costs and decrease space requirements.

Also assisting in the installation were Ken Capuano and Irene Barber with Goulds Water Technology (GWT). In addition to their onsite expertise, Ken and Irene provided a GWT white paper that helped to inform and train the school’s engineering staff about installing hydronic systems.

The two SSV pumps are designed to boost pressure and water supply, and they are also used for filtration systems and water treatment. A special feature of the SSV pumps is that they promote liquid flow and eliminate entrapped air and heat that can cause premature failure.

The GWT Hydrovar’s unique modular design needs no additional master control, enables virtually any configuration of pumps, and can maintain continued service and outgoing pressure – whether controlled directly or as slaves. That means a continuous on-demand water supply to the user. The variable frequency drives also provide protection against over/under voltage, motor overload, short circuit, no flow, and pumps run-out.

The variable speed ensures maximum efficiency and when demand is low, the pumps can be automatically switched off. This can generate substantial Life Cycle Cost (LCC) savings, with considerably lower running costs and broader energy efficiencies of up to 70%. Additionally, pump servicing costs are reduced and the ‘soft start’ technology ensures no additional load to the pumps during starting. Since the pumps also tend to run at a lower speed, there’s less mechanical stress and longer time between maintenance periods. The efficiency and lower overall cost means that the variable speed frequency drives can pay for themselves in less than two years.

“A lot of people think that variable frequency drives are difficult to install and configure, but that’s not the case. We chose to use these pumps because they are designed for constant pressure,” says Roblee. “In addition, the pumps have control options that provide more flexibility and reduce costs.”

“All Goulds Water Technology pumps installed at Bunce Elementary School use variable speed frequency drives. Basically, in two steps you can theoretically transform a supply frequency to a variable frequency. Since the units were installed, both the performance and life cycle costs continue to improve,” Roblee added.

Thanks to the Goulds Water Technology team, Testa and Roblee, the two SSV pumps are running at maximum efficiency and providing students with clean water.