According to a study by a major European industrial research institute, approximately 20% of the energy used by industry is consumed by rotating equipment, the majority of which are pumps. Closer to home, the US Department of Energy has estimated that the total energy consumption of industrial pumps in that country is 142,000 GWh/year – enough electricity to power over 13 million homes! Studies also indicate that energy costs are the largest single factor in the total cost of ownership of pumps in industrial settings. It is clear that pumps and their systems need to play a key role in our efforts to reduce energy consumption.
The new energy consumption regulations and standards are continuously pushing pump designers and manufacturers to improve pump efficiency, but this is only looking at half of the equation. What is the single most important determination of your system’s efficiency? In two words: pump selection.
Careful pump selection and operation of the pump close to its BEP (Best Efficiency Point) have a huge impact on energy consumption. The highest quality pump in the world will require way more energy than necessary if it has been rated by wrong system assumptions and/or is operating far away from its BEP.
Taking a systems view
Start with a comprehensive overview of the operating conditions under which the pump will operate. This includes head, flow rates, temperatures, the type of fluid being pumped and the presence of solids, abrasive materials etc. It is also important to look at the full plant environment and the economic drivers behind the development.
Selecting the right equipment
Once the full operating envelope for each pump has been determined, it’s time to select the best piece of equipment for the job. This isn’t always a simple task, given the enormous variety of pumps available on the market. And, once an appropriate type of pump has been selected, it’s equally important to specify the optimal size and configuration. This might involve the selection of impeller types, seals, special corrosion or wear-resistant materials and so on. Here at KSB we have been selecting just the right pump for specific applications and systems for over 150 years, so let us help! We are here for you no matter what phase of the project you are in. We are happy to assist as early as design stage or whenever you have some system information to share with us, so contact us now.