Center of Excellence on Technology for Smart Pumps
Si’Tarc Scientific and Industries Testing and Research Centre was established in 1988 by the leading engineering associations of Coimbatore, SIEMA – The Southern India Engineering
Manufacturers Association and CODDISSIA – Coimbatore District Small Industries Association, to be the premier institute for pump testing. Si’Tarc is registered as a non-profit trust under the societies act and is governed by a team of Honorary office bearers elected by the members of Governing Council. The member strength Si’Tarc is more than 200.
Si’Tarc is the first NABL accredited lab pump testing that has served the need of the Indian Pump Industry to obtain IS marking and Star Labelling. The centre is authorized for testing of Pumpsets for International standards, UL and CE, marking.
There exists an enormous scope for growth of Indian Pump Industry in the global market. Multistage rewindable Submersible Pumpsets are India’s strength and account for more than 75% of our share. There exists an enormous competition in this market and the Indian Pump Manufacturers are forced to compete only on price. An innovative technology providing an edge is the long-aspired dream of Indian Manufacturers. Also, the induction motor technology used for motors in pumps is almost 100 years old and a new disruptive technology could threaten the existence.
Brushless DC motors identified as the revolutionary technology that could replace the induction motors with higher speeds and superior efficiency has been tried in bare motors. It was felt that adopting the same technology in rewindable submersible Pumpsets could provide the desired edge. The same was conveyed to the Department of Commerce as a measure that could increase the exports of Indian Pumps. On the initiative of DOC, application for establishment a “Center of Excellence on Technology for Smart Pumps” was submitted to Department of Heavy Industry, DHI. The DHI sanctioned the project under their scheme for enhancement of global Competitiveness of Indian Capital Goods Sector with a grant in aid.
Leading research institutions including Indian Institute of Technology, IIT – Madras, Indian Institute of Science, IISc – Bangalore, CSIR-CMERI- Durgapur, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore confirmed to be the research partners. The specification for a 15 kW BLDC submersible pumpset operating at 4000 rpm with a targeted motor efficiency of 90% and Pump Efficiency of 80% was drawn. The work on the project commenced in February 2019.
PSG CT was assigned the development of Motor Part, IISc took the lead in development of the Pump Part, IIT-M volunteered to do the analysis part, CMERI Durgapur opted for the tribology part. It was informed that this was the first ever developmental project undertaken jointly by Government – Research Institute – Industrial Associations. The project was keenly watched.
Being a research project, the timelines were exceeded, but a lot of interesting findings providing solutions for many unresolved technical issues. The test rig for pumps established at IISc provided a detailed data on the various losses happening in Pump which were traditionally estimated on empirical data. This data has provided the pump designers with more information to design energy efficient pumps. The BLDC rewindable submersible motor design methodology by PSG gave the pump manufacturers the confidence and ability to develop motors of similar technology that are used for solar pumps. Working with the research institutes provided the opportunity for the pump industry to understand the latest trends in technology.
The developed products were tested for performances at various stages. The targeted specifications were met after many trials. The products will be commercialized by the technology partners and the awareness of the product is to be created by participation in various international events.
The development of BLDC rewindable submersible motor technology at India is expected to provide a great fillip to the Indian Industry and it is expected this technology will aid Indian Pump Manufacturers to increase their global share.