New horsepower for fire pumps

Paul Boughton

Godiva fire pumps are being used by fire fighters all over the world. The fire pumps for engine and static mounting are manufactured by Hale Products Europe.

Hale Products were recently experiencing reliability problems with their three production test rigs. The test rigs were driven by two 250 HP and one 500 HP dc drives and motors.

It was necessary to upgrade the dc drives. “The test rigs are critical to production output, so minimising the stoppage time between shutting the rigs down and restarting again was the highest priority”, comments Paul Fulford, Production Manager with Hale Products, on the importance of the retrofit project.

Power transmission specialists Andantex Ltd. were chosen to manage the project to replace the drives, and to reinstall and fully commission the test rigs.

The refit involved replacing the two 250 HP test rig drives with the latest digital PLX drive modules from Sprint Electric Ltd.

The third 500 HP drive would involve reworking the existing thyristor stack and adding the PLXD stack driver from Sprint Electric to upgrade the installation. Start Electrical Services Ltd, Kidderminster, provided the specialist knowledge that such an installation requires, along with the re-commissioning of the new drive systems. The whole re-installation of the drives was completed in one week over a bank holiday shutdown.

The test rig dc drive and motor takes the place of the normally coupled diesel engine to vary the speed of the pump and test the output flow. Phenomenal flow rates in excess of 6,500 litres of water per minute are normal for the Godiva pump. The test rig also 'runs in' the new pump to ensure rotating components and seals are at their optimum performance, thereby ensuring the highest quality when the customer takes delivery.

The original statue of Lady Godiva, still at the Warwick, UK, factory, looks down with interest at her new horse power, provided by PLX DC drives from Sprint Electric. The drives are designed to offer a powerful, flexible and easy to programme digital dc drive. The extensive range of application software functions enable the most difficult tasks to be completed easily and efficiently, making costly external hardware a thing of the past. The 4-quadrant PLX version covers a power range of 5 to 225 kW. The PLX range's functionality and compact design has proven to be ideal for retrofits when a more cost effective, modern drive system is required.

Other applications for dc drives from Sprint Electric include the metal processing industry, the pulp and paper industry, rubber and plastic processing, lifting equipment, food processing, pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing. Dc drives from Sprint Electric cover a power range from 0.37 to 265 kW.

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