For 18 years the Eden Project has been impressing visitors with its flora, plant collections and rainforest features, establishing itself as a world class entertainment and educational attraction.
At the heart of Eden is the Rainforest Biome, the largest indoor rainforest in the world. The forest features a waterfall which is fed by the rainwater that falls on the Biome. This system is driven via the ponds and watercourses that run in a hydraulic circuit with medium pressure pumps delivering the flows to feed the head of the waterfall.
Due to the diversity of the plants in the Biome these holding ponds contain a lot of natural 'loose leaf litter' which could become entrained in the pump suction. Pumps with a proven solids handling capability were therefore required as the water needs to be reliably circulated 24 hours a day.
Hidrostal pumps were selected for the project as each pump in the Hidrostal range incorporates the patented low shear single vane screw centrifugal impeller. The geometry of the impeller has been designed to provide optimum hydraulic performance and very large open passages to pass rags, fibres and other large objects.
Hidrostal supplied three of its bearing frame end suction pumps for installation at the Eden Project in May 2000. The pumps are installed horizontally into a below ground dry well plant room with its own dedicated suction pipes into an adjacent oceanic lake feature.
Two 80 mm discharge, 15 kW 2-pole pumps and one 100 mm discharge, 30 kW 2-pole pump, driven by inverters, discharge into a common manifold that delivers flows up to the top of the waterfall before cascading back into the lake feature. All three pumps operate in a duty/assist/assist mode in the day whilst a single pump operates at night to prevent any stagnant water build up and eliminate any risk of Legionella.
During 18 years of operation, the pumps have never blocked or suffered a major breakdown. Kevin Bate, the Senior Site Engineering Manager for the Eden Project, confirms “The original Hidrostal pumps are still feeding our iconic waterfall in the Rainforest Biome and are a testament to good pump design.”