Center engineers assess pumping plants

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center Public Affairs Office
Published June 3, 2013
Two Huntsville Center engineers recently performed energy assessments at three of the eight U.S .Army Corps of Engineers pumping plants as a part of the Energy Engineering Analysis Program initiative for civil works projects and facilities.
The mission of the pumping plants is to maintain surface water levels within the drainage basins at a level that prevents or limits flooding of property (inhabited and agricultural) during annual precipitation seasons.
Two plants assessed were in Arkansas and the other was in Louisiana.
After completing the assessments, Huntsville Center’s Richard Baker and Marcus Allen provided their findings during a briefing at the Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District Office.
“We scheduled one week to drive to three of the eight pumping plants, Baker said. “The findings at the three plants visited were expected to also apply to the other five pumping plants.”
Baker said plant evaluations were holistic and included analysis of pumping systems, building envelopes; heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems; interior and exterior building lighting; and HVAC and lighting controls. Water pumping itself is often conducted by use of diesel engines or electric motors.
At the brief, Baker and Allen identified energy inefficiencies and wastes at the plants and proposed energy related projects that could enable the pumping plants to meet energy goals and the energy reduction requirements mandated by Executive Orders and Energy Policy Act.
Energy use at the eight pumping plants is intensive, and costs powering the eight plants can run more than $50 million annually.
Allen said USACE will use the report as a template to evaluate the remaining five plants.
“In addition, there will be facility upgrades that will prove to be cost effective, although the major energy use (for pumping) cannot be economically reduced,” he said.