DTE Energy is converting its water filtering system to John Deere Greentech self-cleaning filters to increase plant efficiency and reduce man-hours for maintenance. The plant uses Detroit River water in its heat exchangers to cool the plant’s equipment. Having used traditional filters, Larry Roberts, Work Management Specialist at DTE Energy was dissatisfied with the many man-hours required to keep the heat exchanger filters clean.
“We use river water for cooling our equipment and we were having problems with sediment in the water getting into the heat exchangers,” Larry says. “When we have bad weather, it stirs up the river, so naturally we’re going to get more sediment.”
When the filters are clogged, the cooling system doesn’t work properly, which drains energy. If the cooling system quits altogether, overheating could quickly become a dangerous problem requiring a plant shutdown. That’s not an acceptable option for a plant that powers the city of Detroit.
A simpler, cleaner solution
The new John Deere Greentech self-cleaning filters have a finer mesh than filters DTE previously used, which makes screening more effective. Additionally, the filters use an automated backwash cycle to remove debris and prevent clogging.
DTE has already installed two filters, with two more filter installations pending. Maintenance alone is a significant cost savings that justifies the transition. The filters are expected to improve the life of the equipment they cool as well.
“We had to clean the previous filters frequently, depending on season,” Larry explains. “Looking at the repair costs of the old style filters plus the hours we spent on them, we already see a significant savings. I’m hoping we don’t have to touch the new filters for a year, or even a year-and-a-half.”
During preliminary testing with a similar filter, the level of water particulates at the filter outlet was tested at 7 mg/L, down drastically from 124 mg/L in the water going into the filter. (See the results here.) The Macomb Group and DTE expect the John Deere Greentech filters to provide a similar improvement for DTE. Further testing will be conducted soon.
Put us on speed dial
DTE Energy is a long-term customer of The Macomb Group because its associates aren’t just distributors, they are also highly trained problem solvers.
“Chuck Raymond is number one on my speed dial,” says Larry, which might be the best compliment you can give a person. “He’s the kind of individual where if you’ve got a problem, he will be there. Having somebody like that is an asset, and it makes doing the work in the plant a lot easier.”
Larry adds, “The Macomb Group is our go-to resource whenever we have a question. They’re not just dealing with whether this one filter works, they’re dealing with the plant as a whole.”