Saving energy: Optimizing pump performance, efficiency

Website offers resources for taming one of your largest energy costs.
By Control Engineering Staff July 2, 2008

While researching an article, I found an interesting and useful Website with the descriptive name Pump Systems Matter . Statistics vary, but the conventional wisdom is that pumps account for significant power consumption in process plants, so they’re a prime candidate for savings.

The Website has a wide variety of tools, software, product listings, and the like to help you design more efficient pump installations and control schemes. There’s much nuts-and-bolts information in all formats. The Hydraulic Institute sponsors the site, so there are opportunities to join that group and take advantage of its standards, reference works, etc.

One of the points made in the literature is the disproportion between the purchase price of a pump installation and the energy cost to run it. Again, specific statistics vary, but they say that less than 15% of a pump installation’s total lifecycle cost is its purchase price. This supports the point that it doesn’t take a huge increase in efficiency to justify the cost of buying and installing a pump assembly that is more optimized for a particular installation.

The Hydraulic Institute is supporting the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superior Energy Performance partnership. The partnership is a collaboration of industry, government, and non-profit organizations that seek to improve the energy intensity (energy consumed per dollar of output) of U.S. manufacturing by 25% by 2017 through voluntary initiatives.

Pump Systems Matter will support this effort by sharing Superior Energy Performance Partnership information with its entire roster of sponsors, pump users and engineering consulting firms. Additional program details will be provided through regular communications posted on the Website. For instance, currently available on the PSM Website is a 20 minute presentation on “The Push for Energy Efficiency in Pumping Systems” by Douglas Kaempf of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Read “Energy as a Process Variable” from the January 2008 issue of Control Engineering .

—Peter Welander, process industries editor, PWelander@cfemedia.com ,
Process & Advanced Control Monthly
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