The new St Germans Pumping Station, the largest in Europe, is a multi million pound project on the Great River Ouse near Kings Lynn. The existing pumping station, just upstream, is over 70 years old, at the end of its useful life and no longer meets the required level of protection. The new pumping station will provide protection from rising sea levels to 700 square kilometres of prime farm land and over 25000 properties. Our part in this project was to design, manufacture and string test the largest low voltage variable speed drives assembled in the UK to date. The work was completed on time, to the satisfaction of our client, the main contractor and consultant.
Below is an artist’s impression of the completed pumping station
The new structure, situated seven kilometres south of King’s Lynn in Cambridgeshire, will replace the 70-year-old like-named pumping station, which no longer meets modern flood protection standards. Each pump will raise some 17,000 litres per second to a head of roughly five metres. Their impellers, with a maximum diameter of 2.65 metres, will only have to turn at 120 revolutions per minute. Each unit will have a drive rating of 1250 kW. The new pumps casings will be made of concrete instead of metal. St. Germans’ operators attach utmost importance to high efficiency and, even more so, to operating reliability for decades to come. Even after a very long time in service, the hydraulic systems must remain free of cavitation-induced damage. Since comparable pumps of this size have never been installed before, a 1:7 scale model pump was built and intensively tested in advance.
The Pumping station contains 6 pumps, each one controlled by a 1.25MW variable speed drive manufactured by ABB.
The panel shown above represents the controls for just one of these drives. And is in itself a small part of the 60m control panel that TCS designed to fit into the pump hall.
This picture shows one of the 1.25MW ABB variable speed drives. The largest manufactured in the United Kingdom.