In 2013, Valley Center, CA started an evaluation process to replace their existing 75 HP PD Blowers. The existing blowers were only a few years old but were experiencing frequent downtime and becoming a drain on the maintenance budget. In order to replace the existing blowers with more reliable blowers, the utility decided to evaluate different blower technologies including PD blowers, gearless turbo blowers, and integrally-geared blowers, to find the best solution. The utility would buy one unit at first, and if their evaluation proved true, would buy a second unit within one year. The evaluation process would compare capital cost, power consumption, reliability, and design flexibility. Additionally, the digester process would require blowers which could reliably operate with varying water depths, from 8’ to 24’, as well as daily starts and stops. After thoroughly reviewing all five (5) proposals and even conducting a plant trial with one of the competitors Valley Center chose Inovair as their blower supplier.
The Inovair (IO) blower’s competitive price, compact size, high efficiency, reliability, and flexibility were all deciding factors in the selection of Inovair. The Inovair (IO) Integrally Geared Turbo blower’s compact size, W34" x L40" x H71", was a perfect fit for the eighty-six square foot blower room and could be easily installed through the 36” man door without any disassembly. The high adiabatic efficiency of the Inovair (IO) ensured a quick return on investment. Inovair being the only high-speed geared blower which uses industry-standard Variable Frequency Drives (VFD’s) and motors, allowed Valley Center to procure and use their preferred VFD. According to the plant operator “The ability to locally source the VFD and motor gives you peace of mind.” Additionally, the Inovair blower was able to meet the required flows with a 60 HP motor. This was a 20% reduction in installed HP from the existing blowers. This product flexibility coupled with the reliability of the non-contact oil-film bearing proved to be the best choice for Valley Center.
With the wide range of operational discharge pressures required, 3.5 PSIG to 10.4 PSIG, and daily starts/stops, the Inovair (IO) blower was well suited for this application. Historically this type of application had been a concern for gearless high-speed turbo blowers. However, the robust integrally geared design of the Inovair blower, which provides shaft stability throughout the operational range with the continuous oil film ensures there is no contact between the high-speed shaft and bearing surface during the start/stop process, eliminated this concern. This ability to operate reliably within these parameters was crucial in the selection. The plant is extremely satisfied with their selection “We are very happy with Inovair and their product, the blowers have eliminated our downtime and are running as advertised.” In fact, over the last 5 years, there has been “Zero” unscheduled downtime”.
Valley Center was so pleased with the performance they purchased a second Inovair blower within six months of operation of the first blower.