Today, everywhere we turn around, there is serious concern for the environment. From large-scale industries to governments, everyone is working on ways to preserve and protect the environment.
One of the best ways to protect our environment is to cut down energy consumption. Reducing the energy we use, reduces our dependence on natural resources, helping us protect and conserve the earth’s fuel. Besides the ecological impacts, energy efficiency also helps in cutting down operational costs. A study by the US Department of Energy reveals that 16% of the electricity costs in an industry are due to its pumping systems. By making your industrial pumps energy efficient, you can significantly reduce the overall costs of operation.
In this guide, we cover the top 7 ways to make your centrifugal pumps energy efficient and to reduce operational costs.
#1: Trim Pump Impellers
Are you using an oversized pump? Then, an easy and cost-effective way to reduce the pressure and flow is to size down the impellers. Impeller trimming is an excellent way to make your pumps energy efficient. It works better than using a throttling valve to achieve the same output.
However, note that while impeller trimming can help in increasing energy efficiency, there are other better choices. This brings us to the next point.
#2: Use VFDs (Variable Frequency Drives)
VFDs alter the rotational speed of the motor depending on the application’s requirements. When you use a VFD, the head and flow are produced as per demand, instead of what the pump can produce. VFDs reduce energy consumption in two scenarios:
- By slowing down the motor of an oversized pump
- By altering the speed of the motor as demanded by the application
A great example of a VFD reducing energy consumption is a cooling pump, where the pump has to be operated in accordance with the temperature of the fluid to be cooled. While VFDs have a high initial investment, they are worth it as they can help in energy savings over the years.
#3: Go for Parallel Pumping Systems
Using multiple pumps in a system is another way to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. If a pump continuously operates away from its BEP (Best Efficiency Point) then it’s likely to consume higher energy than intended. By installing a second pump that operates in parallel to the primary pump, the load on the primary pump can be reduced thereby increasing the energy efficiency of the overall system.
#4: Eliminate Pressure Loss in the Pipework
Optimizing the pressure in the pipes helps to reduce losses due to friction. Frictional losses are another major reason for energy loss. Several factors like pipe length, pipe diameter, layout, and components affect friction in the pipes.
Here are a few points to consider during the design stages:
- Reduce the number of bends in the system
- Try to keep the pipelines as straight as possible
- Maintain uniform diameters for all pipes
- Pipes with smaller diameters are prone to more losses due to friction
- Similarly, the material of the pipe also determines the friction produced in the system
- Corrosion and rust in the pipes also increase friction
Pipework is expensive and time-consuming. So, make sure you get it right during the initial installation. Also, ensure that you carry out regular pipe cleaning and maintenance to avoid friction losses.
#5: Avoid Oversized Pumps
A common mistake made by pump engineers is using the wrong sized pumps. Studies reveal that centrifugal pumps account for 80% of the overall pump installation. Yet, they are the most commonly oversized pumps. A large pump requires higher energy and leads to unnecessary energy consumption. While a certain amount of oversizing is recommended, ensure that you select a pump that is as close to the BEP to improve energy efficiency. You can always contact multistage centrifugal pump manufacturers in India to help you with the right pump sizing requirements.
#6: Avoid Unnecessary Use of Pumps
While this may seem obvious, there are several scenarios where pumps are operated unnecessarily. Using automatic control systems and sensors to turn off pumps when not in use can help to cut down energy costs significantly.
#7: Carry Out Regular Periodic Maintenance
Routine pump maintenance is a great way to reduce pump energy consumption. Just like any other equipment, wear and tear reduces the efficiency of pumps. Improper maintenance reduces a pump’s energy efficiency by as much as 10% to 25%. Periodic checks help to identify worn out pump parts and keep the pump operating in perfect condition.
With the right maintenance and proper usage, your pump will no longer be an energy monster. You can use it efficiently keeping the operational costs down. If you have any further queries on pump efficiency or would like to upgrade your existing pump system, get in touch with Sintech, the no.1 vertical and horizontal multistage centrifugal pumps suppliers in India. With a wide range of pumps for various industries, we can help you troubleshoot your pump problems efficiently.