SITA UK’s energy-from-waste plant in Huddersfield improves its bi-annual maintenance efficiency with a BagVac.
SITA UK has recently realised the benefits of using a DISAB BagVac to remove fly ash residue from the hoppers, and carry out the post outage clean, of the EfW plant in Huddersfield, saving time and money on its six monthly maintenance programme.
SITA UK has a 25-year contract with Kirklees Metropolitan Council, one of the largest unitary authorities in the UK covering Huddersfield, Batley and Dewsbury, which began in 1998 aiming to achieve a minimum 60 per cent diversion from landfill.
As part of the contract, SITA UK took over five household waste recycling centres and an old incinerator and transfer station at Vine Street near the centre of Huddersfield. In 2000 this was transformed into an EfW or energy-from-waste facility with an attached materials recycling facility, processing 136,000 tonnes of waste each year and generating approximately 10 MW of electricity, enough to supply the annual electricity needs of around 15,000 homes.
As part of SITA UK’s meeting the Environmental Agency’s standards and routine inspections, twice a year the EfW plant is closed down for major maintenance, part of which is removing around 2-3 tonnes of fly ash that inevitably builds up as a result of the incineration process and the maintenance work carried out on various areas of the plant.
Previously this was dealt with both manually and with small industrial vacuum equipment, but this year the site’s operations manager Mark Ryan decided to look at a DISAB BagVac. So DISAB UK’s Dave Mills came and demonstrated the BagVac’s capabilities, and advised that it would offer a much more efficient, safer and effective solution to removing fly ash during the outage.
Impressed with what he saw the BagVac do on site, Mark hired one of the BagVacs for the bi-annual outage, as he explains, “Typically the fly ash build up would have to be dug out manually and residual dust in the boiler house swept down on each level starting at the top, until it was in a position to be removed manually from the lower surfaces and ground floor levels. I was hoping the BagVac would render this unnecessary, enable my team to become more efficient at removing all the fly ash, and do so in a safer manner.
“Hiring the BagVac for a month enabled my team to remove two to three tonnes of fly ash and general dust build up from around the EfW plant well within the timing of the maintenance outage we’d planned. It was much faster, and more time was spent cleaning than emptying things or moving equipment around!”
Good service, advice, training and support
Mark continued, “DISAB UK gave a good service from start to finish. Dave Mills had shown us what the BagVac could do, and it was impressive. He gave us good advice and when the hire unit came along, he trained up my operatives as well, so that we could all be sure we knew how to get the best out of the BagVac.
Easy, more flexible and safer to use
Mark continues, “Our EfW operatives all found the BagVac very easy to use, and collected and removed significantly more dust in far less time than usual, by comparison to the manual – brooms, brushes and barrows – techniques, and to the smaller industrial vacuum equipment we’d normally use.” The BagVac’s large capacity bag means more time is spent cleaning than emptying, a regular issue for the smaller equipment.
The BagVac also comes with a 60’ flexible suction hose, extension pipes and cleaning nozzles, and when combined with its massive suction power makes all sorts of nooks and crannies around complex plant like an EfW a lot easier to access and remove. Whether it’s overhead or down in hoppers, accessing and removing every scrap of fly ash/dust becomes a relatively simple and more importantly faster job to do in complete safety.
Equally relevant for those doing the tasks, the entire vacuum process from cleaning head to bag is enclosed, minimising the risk of creating airborne dust using brushes and brooms, and that of dust exposure for the operatives at the sharp end.
Where is SITA going from here?
Mark’s now looking at the cost-effectiveness of purchasing a BagVac. “It would give us a major 24/7 cleaning tool, and we’d be able to use it for the regular housekeeping programmes. Moving it around with a forklift would give us the flexibility to deal with the transfer station as well.” The possibility is for other SITA sites such as the transfer station & MRF next door will also be a consideration.
“We’ll see how the figures look, but the BagVac’s shown us all sorts of possible opportunities, and it’s a big step forwards for the way we do things in terms of meeting the Environmental Agency’s requirements.”