These six tips can help you lower your pump’s energy costs
The start of a new year is when we make our personal resolutions, so why not make business resolutions as well? And the desire for the new year to be better than the last is that much greater when living with a global pandemic. With energy prices continuing to rise, for example, it is worth taking a closer look at energy consumption in the installation. Pumps are a fixed component: It is estimated that they are responsible for 300 of the approximately 3,300 terawatt hours of electricity consumed annually in Europe.
But how can we curb the appetite for energy of these liquid-pumping workhorses?
There are numerous ways to increase energy efficiency and save costs. The following list contains six suggestions:
1. Smart pumps thanks to digitalization and networking
Digitalization provides extensive opportunities to optimize efficiency in every industry. Pumps can be monitored 24/7 with networked sensor technology: Is their energy consumption in line with their performance? Is damage to the shaft looming, or is cavitation imminent? Intelligent systems enable early detection of damage and losses in efficiency, and many manufacturers now offer them as retrofitting options.
2. Focusing on the entire installation
Pumps must meet the requirements of the installation, not the other way around. So when deciding for or against a pump, you should always focus on the entire installation. Transporting units that promise high performance at low consumption on paper but are not the right fit for the intended application can prove to be very wasteful in use. Experienced pump manufacturers have the industry-specific expertise needed to help avoid such mistakes.
3. The life-cycle costs are a crucial issue
Spending money on an investment is anything but fun. Cost pressure can easily lead to the idea of expanding the pressure or temperature range of the pump, for example, as a way of reducing initial costs. However, such measures often have a negative impact in the long run: The energy costs increase throughout the entire life-cycle. Since they easily amount to two-thirds of the total cost of ownership (TCO), money is being saved in the wrong place. Many pump manufacturers offer a TCO calculation that enables good forecasts of the anticipated costs.
4. The performance must fit the demand
To ensure the installation continues to operate safely, generous safety buffers have been readily included in the planning for decades. After all, the pump should not immediately reach its maximum performance capacity in a single peak. Today’s transporting units, however, are able to cope with short-term surges in demand more easily than their aging counterparts are. And modern installations are able to identify higher demand more quickly. It may be well worth it to check how your pumps are performing: If they include an over-dimensioned model, replacing it can yield substantial savings.
5. Frequency converters ensure that the pump only works when it is needed
Are your pumps still operating at a continuous speed? If so, then it might be time for an upgrade: A frequency converter adjusts the pump’s performance to the current demand. Under frequently fluctuating demand, the investment can quickly pay for itself. A soft start with a infinitely variable increase in speed also protects the pump and the entire system. Existing pumps can be also retrofitted with frequency converters. Modern devices specially developed for use with pumps offer additional advantages such as leak protection and pressure sensors.
6. New models operate more efficiently
Technology is constantly evolving, for both for pumps and motors. If your transporting unit has been in service for many years, now may be the time to replace it. Pumps with modern drives with efficiency ratings of IE3 or even IE4 consume significantly less energy than old units. Even replacing an IE3 motor with an IE4 model can often reduce consumption by ten percent. Depending on the throughput, nothing stands in the way of quickly recouping your investment.
The fastest way to get an efficient pump
No matter which path you choose to reduce your pump’s energy consumption, it’s helpful to have a partner at your side to provide expertise and experience. The members of the Star Pump Alliance offer their customers comprehensive, industry-specific know-how. Do you want to replace your old energy-guzzling pumps with modern models? The PUMPselector will help you find the best solution, and it’s fast and easy – test it now!