Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Report - KBL

The UMPP factor

KBL has installed a pumping system which churns out a staggering 10.5 million litres of water every minute


Kirloskar Brothers Limited, the flagship of the $ 2.1 billion Kirloskar Group, has installed the world’s largest water pumping system.  The installation is for Tata Power’s Mundra Ultra Mega Power Plant where a mammoth 10.5 million litres of water is circulated with the help of KBL’s 10 sets of Concrete Volute Pumps every minute.


Concrete Volute pumps are known as the most efficient design of pumps offering huge amount of power saving and thereby reducing the carbon foot prints. This ultimately helps to keep our environment cleaner and greener.


The Mundra UMPP is India’s first and most energy efficient 800 MW unit coal-based thermal power plant, using supercritical technology to create lower greenhouse gas emissions. Its main power generation equipment is sourced from Japan and Korea. Kirloskar Brothers Limited (KBL) is a global fluid management solutions provider and the largest manufacturer and exporter of centrifugal pumps and valves from India. The core businesses of KBL are large infrastructure projects (water supply, power plants, and irrigation), project and engineered pumps, industrial pumps, agriculture, domestic pumps, valves, motors and hydro turbines.




The Coastal Gujarat Power Limited
(CGPL), Tata Power’s wholly-owned subsidiary, which has implemented the 4000 MW (800 MW x 5 units) UMPP requires an enormous amount of water to condense the heat generated in the production of power. On a turn-key basis, KBL created an open loop type of circulating water system for Tata Power’s subsidiary, wherein sea water from the Arabian Sea is used as heat sink to condense the steam in the condenser. Cold water from the sea is pumped by KBL’s unique circulating water pumps through the condenser going back to sea through an outfall structure. 


The layout of the pumping system is designed in such a way that large fluctuation in the water level due to tidal variation in the Arabian Sea is taken care of. The motors are installed above the high tide level, where as pumps are installed in such a way that enough submergence is possible during low tide levels. To accommodate this, the motors are connected with a pump shaft with specially designed cardon shaft. The length of the cardon shaft with universal coupling is 12 meters long, making it one of the longest pump shaft. The size of the entire pumping system is so large that it has become the largest circulating water system in the world.” 


In order to ensure a perfect flow pattern for smooth operation of the pump, KBL also conducted Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis followed by a physical model study for fore-bay and sump at the Hydraulic Research Centre at its Kirloskarwadi factory. A prototype physical model was built with 1:12 scale ratio. KBL also conducted the pump model study to establish the Hydraulic Performance of the Concrete Volute pumps.


The project at Mundra was a major technological challenge because such massive Concrete Volute Pumps were never before deployed in a power plant to handle sea water. Ravindra Ulangwar, Associate Vice President & Head - Power Sector, KBL is led to say: “The world’s largest water pumping system is a salute to Indian engineering. This is technology that rubs shoulders with world leaders.”  




These pumps are called Concrete Volute Pumps (CVP) because the casing and suction draft tube is cast in-situ concrete with rotating metallic part. These pumps comprise concrete volute casing, draft tube, grouted embedded, components and rotating assembly. These pumps find applications where large quantity of flow is required to be handled, most suitable for sea water application. Some of the advantages of KBL manufactured CVPs are high reliability, design simplicity, superior operating performance, vibration free equipment and low maintenance cost.


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