Green water delivery for Winter Olympics

The organisers of this year's Winter Olympic Games demanded as much from its water infrastructure as did its competitors. A reliable, environmentally friendly water solution was required, which would remain viable long after the games had ended. This goal was achieved with the installation of a range of energy and space saving solutions.

Grundfos supplied the water infrastructure for the Winter Games in Vancouver.
Grundfos supplied the water infrastructure for the Winter Games in Vancouver.

The 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver were much anticipated not least because of the stunning scenery which has made this part of British Columbia very popular with tourists in recent years. The spectacular backdrop to the XXI Games did not disappoint the 5,500 athletes, the 300,000 spectators, or the millions who followed the sporting action all around the world.

A key goal of the organisers was to ensure that any infrastructure added to support the Games was incorporated into the area sympathetically and that all the new and refurbished/extended facilities met the highest environmental standards. Another top priority was to ensure that all the venues would continue to play an integral role in the community long after the games were over.

Supplying a total of 2,077 pumps and pump systems, all of whom were specifically selected for their sustainability, Grundfos Pumps supported the many different applications with their range of energy efficient solutions. These included: water supply, heating, cooling and hot water applications, as well a wide range of bespoke pressure boosting sets which included sets for use in rainwater harvesting applications.

There are several good examples of how these solutions manifested themselves, including in the Athletes Village itself, which sits on the shores of False Creek facing the BC Place Stadium. The village is built on an old municipal landfill site and comprises 10 buildings which subdivide into 1,100 condos and units. IOC president Jacques Rogge gave it the highest praise possible, saying: “It is truly outstanding; it's in a prime location, with good quality buildings that will leave a great legacy for the city.”

In total, 54 Grundfos UPS, TP, CR and LM/LP pumps provided the required domestic hot and cold water. As the development included tall buildings, MPC-E energy efficient packaged booster sets ensured a constant pressure, regardless of how many athletes took showers at the same time. In keeping with its sustainable image, a special grey water booster system complete with CRE pumps was developed by Grundfos which would distribute recycled rainwater for flushing toilets and irrigation purposes, cutting potable water consumption by more than 30%.

Keeping the athletes in warm and comfortable surroundings were 1,400 UPS pumps which efficiently circulated the water in the heating system across the entire village. To facilitate installation, the pumps were integrated into the zone heating panels in advance, offering the on-site contractors a space and time-saving ‘plug and play’ solution.

But the gold medal performance for the village must go to the advanced district energy system that was built 500 m from the village. The system takes the effluent heat from the municipal wastewater treatment system, recovers it and circulates it by way of three PACO base-mounted pumps. The pumps have been supplied complete with premium efficiency motors which circulate the water through 2 km of pipes which connect all the buildings. It was expected that 95% of the village's entire consumption would be realised from the wastewater treatment with the remaining 5% being supplied by traditional hot water boilers which also provide back-up; roles that are undertaken by a range of Grundfos UPE and TPE pumps.

This district heating system is the largest undertaken in Canada to date and as Bill Vaughan senior design engineer with DEC Design explained: “Designing the district heating system has been an amazing project to work on because it has never before been done on this scale in Canada. Obviously when you take something so challenging you will want to be able to rely 100% on the expertise and reliability of your suppliers. Having worked with Grundfos for nearly 20 years, they were the natural choice.”

We all have our favourite winter sports that we like to watch – whether it's the speed and agility of alpine skiing or speed skating; or perhaps the grace and control of the figure skating or snowboarding; or perhaps the excitement and danger of the luge or ski jumping. Whatever your sporting preference the games delivered many exceptional performances that will live long in the memory – as will the many pumps supplied by Grundfos.