Kati, Egemen and myself flew to Kansas City Wednesday night to participate in the first annual US Grundfos Challenge. We formed the business team from Purdue and there was also an engineering team from Purdue participating in the event. Grundfos is the world’s largest pump manufacturer and the emphasis on this competition was on water pumps and distribution. Our task was to come up with an idea which would benefit the company while keeping in line with their values of sustainability and innovation. We had 22 hours to come up with an idea which was commercially viable. Our solution was to make use of discounted energy rates at night and existing infrastructure by pumping water into water towers at night and storing potential energy in them instead of letting electrical energy going to waste during these low demand hours. This solution also had the benefit of decreasing the pressure in the pipe lines due to the pressure head and would extend the life span of the pipes and decrease the water leakage in the pipes too. Using Lafayette as a test case we found this to be a viable solution and the payback on the capital investment to be under 5 years. It was a pretty good day for all of us. After being announced as one of two winners for the business division we are on our way to Denmark to compete against teams from around the world in the finals.
The website with the competition details and info about the winners is http://us.grundfos.com/about-us/news-and-press/press/winners-of-grundfos-challenge-proceed-to-global-event-in-denmark.html
Eric Fredrickson, MBA 2014