Deragger Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Clearwater Controls – a company set-up in 2011 for the purpose of bringing new innovation to the waste water industry around the globe.
The first challenge the team was asked to solve, was how to reduce/eradicate wet-wipe type ragging blockages of waste water pumps. A leading waste water company which had tried numerous techniques was unhappy that they could not find a solution that was successful. Whatever they tried they continuously had to lift and clean their pumps.
After working with this company, the team came up with a unique and novel way to solve the problem and it is now proving to be hugely successful. The technology that was devised involved a small retro-fit unit to the control panel that would continuously monitor the current and power input to the pumps.
By real-time measurement of the wave forms, the retro-fit device called the DERAGGER II, could detect the moment that even a single wet-wipe started clinging to the impeller blades of a pump. The device, through the analysis of the wave forms and the use of algorithms, could also detect and differentiate between different types of blockages.
As soon as the DERAGGER II detects that there is an impediment to the pump’s operation, it stops the pump, puts it into momentary reverse to dislodge the obstruction and then returns the pump back into forward motion so that any obstruction is carried away in suspended flow along the network. This process will be carried out (in accordance with any pump manufacturers guidelines) as many times as necessary to keep the pump blockage free.
The beauty of the DERAGGER II technology is that it is able to detect any form of impediment as soon as it occurs in real-time, preventing a rag-ball from forming. Some alternative methods of alleviating pump blockages use timed reversal of pumps or high current set-points – this can be too late. By the time the reversal takes place, a rag ball can already be forming, and then if reversal does occur it could put additional strain on the pump. A huge benefit of the DERAGGER II is that it has dynamic set points that follow the torque curve allowing the device to detect impediments which are occurring even at a low pump speed.
What are the benefits to implementing your technology?
A major benefit of the DERAGGER II is it alleviates/eradicates pump blockages and removes the need for manual lifting and cleaning of pumps. This can be time-consuming, and particularly expensive if cranes or other lifting gear is required.
Manual cleaning of the pumps can also expose staff and contractors to health and safety risks.
Another huge benefit is that by allowing the pumps to operate rag free, flow rates increase, run-times reduce and there is a significant reduction in pump energy consumption.
By reducing pump run time and also allowing them to run under less duress, it is highly likely that the asset life span will significantly increase.
The DERAGGER II has an in-built data recording capability which can monitor in real-time almost all aspects of a pump’s operating condition. This real-time condition monitoring will have huge potential for the formulation of pro-active, planned maintenance tasks.
Another major attraction of the DERAGGER II is that it can be retro-fitted into almost any lift station control panel and will work with almost all starter types. The unit measures 35mm (Width) by 100mm (Height) by 115mm (Depth).
Has the technology been tested, demonstrated, or implemented anywhere to date?
The DERAGGER II now has hundreds of installations both in the USA and the UK. The results so far have been very compelling. When the device has been put in to eradicate blockages, it has been a proven success. With the DERAGGER II’s in-built data recording capability, it also became very apparent quite early on that there was a significant reduction in energy consumed as a result of the pumps operating rag free. These energy reductions ranged from 7.5% to 48% and have been averaging at 20% across the monitored case study sites.
Energy savings have been recorded on lift station pumps, Anox mixers and RAS pumps. In addition to the energy savings, on Anox mixers, due to the removal of blockages, a recent case study recorded a substantial reduction in vibration leading to the prevention of damage to the mountings.
Full case studies and references are available, with testimonials from the municipality staff that have to pay the bills and the teams on the ground that used to have to deal with all the blockages.
What are some of the next steps needed to advance the technology?
The DERAGGER II anti-ragging capability has now been incorporated into a full blown lift station controller called the DERAGGER PRO. The PRO offers a full touch screen, gesture controlled interface that brings a new level of ease of use for the configuration and management of lift stations.
The next steps will be to investigate the on-line collection of pump data to see how this can be leveraged to deliver planned asset maintenance.
LIFT has been instrumental in bringing our technology to a wider audience, which is normally very difficult when you are pioneering new technology. They have helped us focus on the benefits that we are delivering and how we should best communicate these to the municipality community. Going forward we would like to get help from LIFT to objectively review and confirm the benefits that we are delivering as we believe this objective verification to be extremely important.Todd SturtzDirector of Sales - MunicipalDeragger Inc.