Exalto Bearings Needed for £54m Oswestry Upgrade
What has been described as the ‘heartbeat’ of Liverpool’s water supply is nearing the end of a £54m modernisation, due for completion this year.
The historic Oswestry Water Treatment Works in Shropshire has under-gone an upgrade to enhance the current facility and make it fit for the 21st century. The works treats raw water from Lake Vyrnwy 18 miles away, via the Llanforda reservoir and supplies drinking water to nearly 1 million domestic, commercial and industrial customers in 39 distribution zones in Liverpool and parts of Cheshire.
The plant, operational since 1892 and which previously used slow sand filters, will now employ the latest technology and brand-new techniques, including a chlorine dioxide based chemical process, to prepare water supplies.
A hydro-turbine is being installed, designed to produce enough energy to power the site, with the daily surplus being fed back into the National Grid, reducing the plant’s carbon footprint.
Exalto as well as Graphalloy bearings have been used in the project – specifically as part of the axial flow turbines. Exalto’s AquaPure composite has been utilised as bearings within the wicket gates of the turbine, due to its approval for use in drinking water applications. AquaPure equally works in submerged conditions without swell (<0.1%), is dimensionally stable and designed for both water lubricated hydro-dynamic high-speed rotating shafts, as well as completely self-lubricating low turning speed applications.
Graphalloy bearings have also been supplied for use throughout the turbine, specifically for the materials unique properties and superior performance when faced with frequent stop starts as well as periods of dry running. Graphalloy’s self-lubricating and non-galling properties mean it can handle such conditions with ease, without causing any damage to the shaft.
The project is a design and build partnership between Client United Utilities and contractor C2V+ (a joint venture between CH2M and VolkerStevin). It is part of a multi-million-pound investment by United Utilities, being undertaken under the AMP6 investment period 2015 to 2020. This is to improve and safeguard water supplies and improve their operational efficiency, for the future.
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