SPIE contributes to a research project on lift pumps

Published on 27 April 2021

Saint-Denis, 27 April 2021 SPIE Facilities, a French subsidiary of the SPIE group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is collaborating with ECAM Lyon on the Air Lift project to assess the various types of lift pumps, resulting in the development of a brand-new operational solution.

Limiting technical complications with heating and cooling systems

SPIE Facilities is an innovative company, committed to R&D aimed at addressing operational problems. The SPIE France subsidiary is collaborating with ECAM Lyon, a school that trains creative, sustainable engineers by combining research, teaching and innovation to support the changes in industry and society. Identified subjects for research include lift pumps used to drain water from a heating or cooling system. They constitute a constraint regularly encountered in maintenance work.

During the refrigeration process, the water that condenses on the pipes is channelled to a tank. A pumping mechanism is activated regularly to drain the water, prevent any overflow and stop the water from stagnating, with the aim being to prevent the growth of bacteria. SPIE Facilities would like to develop alternative pumping solutions to the existing procedures, to reduce their energy consumption and optimise drainage of water, even when it contains a lot of solid particles.

A successful research & business partnership

To address this recurring issue, SPIE Facilities has set up a research partnership with ECAM Lyon engineering school. “Our collaboration has enabled us to apply cutting-edge research work to everyday technical issues”, says SPIE Facilities Managing Director, Cyril Pouet.

Final-year engineering students contributed to the work on assessing the different technologies and then designing, sizing and testing an innovative solution for draining stagnant water. This solution, dubbed Air Lift, optimizes maintenance work, reduces use of chemicals and minimizes the pumping system’s energy consumption. An innovation brought about by the renowned expertise of the ECAM Lyon Energy Pole and SPIE Facilities.

The success of this partnership allows SPIE Facilities and ECAM Lyon to design the maintenance of tomorrow.