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313 @ Somerset - German Engineering in Singapore

Supersized shopping is name of the game at the 313 @ Somerset shopping mall in Singapore. 177 retail shops located on 294.000 square meters of retail space make up the center which attracts shoppers from all over the world. Along with good deals these shoppers are also looking for fine food and drink which can be found at various restaurants among which are a German beer bar, a Japanese restaurant as well as an Irish themed restaurant and bar.

The operation of these numerours restaurants does result in a large amount of kitchen wastewater containing food wastes and greases / oils which cannot enter the public sewer without treatment. Engineers planning the design / construction of the 313 @ Somerset, which opened to the public in 2009, already specified two size NS 15 fully automated grease separators from the German manufacturer KESSEL AG.  Due to unexpected visitor growth the mall operators chose to invest again in two larger NS 20 fully automated grease separators also from the KESSEL AG Company.

On-site conditions demand a customized solution

At KESSEL headquarters in Germany the individual separator components were already prepared to meet the on-site requirements.

The two existing KESSEL NS 15 grease separators are located in two utility rooms on the third level basement floor of the shopping center. In each of these two rooms an additional, larger separator was to be added. The initial NS 15 separators, which are about the size of a large passenger car, were installed during the construction phase of the building when access to these rooms was free. The two new systems, even larger than the existing separators, needed to be installed in basement level rooms with extremely limited access. ‘This meant that the grease separators would need to be brought into the utility rooms in individual pieces and then finally assembled in the room itself. The limiting factor was a 1.1 x 1.1 meter entrance hole in the ceiling of each utility room only accessibly with a vertical ladder. Our only option was to design all  individual separator parts to fit through the entrance hole and to do all the assembly work and welding in the utility room itself’, states Wolfgang Amman who is responsible for  planning an construction with the KESSEL Project Team. Not only was the 1.1 x 1.1 meter entrance hole a concern, also obstacles such as elevators, hallways, stairs and the access ladder had to be considered during the design of the systems (Picture 2). In order to not disturb the 313 @ Somerset’s visitors, all separator parts were brought into the utility rooms after midnight when the mall was officially closed.

Optimal distribution of wastewater

Another engineering issue that needed to be solved was how to connect two different sized grease separators (NS 15 and NS 20) to a single main wastewater pipe.  ‘In order to provide precise wastewater distribution to the different sized separators a distribution box was custom designed. The distribution box was designed so that during a maximum flow of 35 liters per second a quantity of 15 liters per second would be directed into the size NS 15 grease separator and a quantity of 20 liters per second would be directed into the size NS 20 grease separator. Also during lower flows the appropriate percentage of wastewater will reach each separator’ Wolfgang Amann summarizes after recalling the project work.

Grease separators with the help of gravity

The magic of a KESSEL European Norm EN 1825 grease separator is that it functions solely with the force of gravity. Wastewater from the kitchen entering the grease separator first flows through a flow calming inlet which allows the wastewater to be evenly distributed into the separator. Material which is heavier than water, known as sludge, settles to the base of the separator and collects in the so-called sludge trap. Above the sludge trap is the grease separation area where the separation of grease / oil and water takes place. Greases and oils have a lower specific weight than water and, given appropriate time, will float to the surface of the separator and build a continuously growing grease / oil layer. This collected grease and oil is prevented from exiting the separator by an outlet baffling device which only allows clean water, located toward the middle of the grease separator, to leave the system and drain into the public sewer. In order to provide proper operation of the system, the collected sludge and grease should be disposed of on a regular basis.

Disposal via remote control at the touch of a button

With the fully automated KESSEL PV grease separator disposal is completely odour free and possible at any time of the day.

‘The owners and engineers at 313 @ Somerset were looking for an automated, completely odour free disposal of the grease separator which could be conducted at any time of day without requiring entering the mall’ mentions Eric Davis who is also involved in the KESSEL Project Team. ‘All four of the grease separators currently in operation on-site are equipped with remote control disposal. The contracted disposal company simply needs to connect the disposal vehicles to pipes located on the exterior of the mall and then begin the fully automated mixing, cleaning and refilling of the separator via an externally mounted remote control. These top end systems are simply the best out on the market and offer the customer decades of reliable service which is the reason for their success in markets in which we are active.’
The KESSEL fully automated grease separators are equipped with the Shredder-Mix-System which uses a macerating pump to intake sludge and grease which is then macerated and injected back into the top of the grease separator through nozzle jets which aide in breaking up the grease layer as well as spray jets which are used to clean the interior walls of the separator. Disposal contents are then pumped with the separator pump through a permanently installed disposal pipe to the exterior of the building and into the waiting disposal vehicle.

Project according to plan

Each individual separator component, include the tools, were required to be declared to German customs before shipping.

‚The entire project ran according to plan although it required careful planning through all steps of the process. Before installtion even began on-site all separator components including assembly tools needed to be prepared and packaged.  This required that all components being shipped needed to be declared to German Customs prior to leaving KESSEL’, comments Sebastian Lorenz who is responsible for order processing and is the direct contact with KESSEL’s Singaporean partner. The on-site KESSEL technicians Dominic Walter and Markus Di Iorio also needed to adapt to difficult on-site conditions. Dominic recalls ‘The temperature and humidity levels in the third basement level utility rooms were very high and you can imagine that our hot air welding guns which run at about 250 deg Celsius did not help out the situation’.  Ventilation pipes were temporarily installed in the utility rooms to provide external fresh air to help out the workers.

Despite difficult on-site conditions the on-site grease separator construction required only the originally planned 10 days and as of October 5, 2011 the increased amount of sludge and grease ladened wastewater at the 313 @ Somerset shopping center is being properly cleaned and treated with KESSEL technology.

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