project seaholm hs


When Falkenberg Treatment Plant invested in new equipment for dewatering sludge, they chose decanter centrifuges from Noxon controlled by Emotron VFX Variable Speed Drives. Operational electrician Tomas Bjurklint is happy with the cost-effective solution, with the energy generated by the braking motor being re-used by the drive motor.

Seaholm High School in Birmingham, Michigan, is a four-year public school that is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the University of Michigan. Seaholm is one of two comprehensive high schools for grades 9-12 in the Birmingham School District.

Over the past eight years the Seaholm facility has been transformed, with renovated classrooms, a new media center, state-of-the-art computer labs, and a three court gymnasium. The school’s new eight-lane, 500,000-gallon swimming pool also provides Seaholm’s 1,200-plus students with the option to become involved in Swimming, Diving, and Water Polo activities right on the school’s campus.

While the new pool at Seaholm has created opportunities for students and was an excellent addition to the school’s campus, the operating costs were far higher than originally anticipated. Although energy costs in the area are relatively low (around $0.10 per kWh), 24/7 operation proved to be an expensive and demanding task.

“We’ve simplified our operation and significantly decreased energy and maintenance costs.”
— Kevin Smith, Maintenance Supervisor, Seaholm HS
Falkenberg Municipality in Sweden uses Emotron's products as standard for operation of electric motors.

Because of this over-sizing of the pump, the system’s discharge valves needed to be throttled back by approximately 20%, to decrease the flow to the required GPM. The Eco-Flow-C® allowed the maintenance department to fully open the discharge valaves and reduce the speed of the motor from a fixed 60Hz to 47.4Hz, or a constant flow of 1,388 GPM as required by the State Health Department. The end-result was energy savings of approximately $12,000 per year and a payback period of less than 8 months. “We couldn’t be happier with the end-result” said Smith. “We’ve simplified our operation and significantly decreased energy and maintenance costs”.

While Eco-Flow-C® provides Seaholm with a sustainable, eco-friendly solution for operating the school’s pool pump, there are other advantages too. The introduction of variable speed to a pool pump also helps eliminate the damaging effects of impeller cavitation, and dramatically reduces maintenance costs associated with dry running, dirty filters, and worn bearings and seals.

Together, Aquatic Source and H2flow have delivered a first-rate solution to a first-rate high school.

In April 2011, Seaholm Director of Facilities, Stephen King, and Maintenance Supervisor, Kevin Smith, turned to Commerce Township, Michigan, based supplier, Aquatic Source. As H2flow’s authorized supplier in Michigan, Aquatic Source has the experience, knowledge, and products to help organizations and facilities such as Seaholm achieve energy savings. Seaholm required a solution that would significantly reduce the electrical costs associated with operating the pool pump at their facility and still meet the State Health Department requirements for minimum turnover, while keeping the pool chemistry and sanitation at safe, proper levels.

The solution Aquatic Source proposed was H2flow’s Eco-Flow-C®, NEMA 12 Variable Frequency Drive. Previously, the 30HP motor/pump was producing 1,750 GPM, far exceeding the State Health Department flow rate of 1,388 GPM.