Reduce power consumption with intelligent SPC pump control ▶ High savings potential 70% ✓ Smart control for your pump ✓ Ecological guideline EN 50598 / EN 61800-9-2 ✓
- Use of pump controls for more efficiency in your company
- Unregulated vs. regulated pumps – significant differences in efficiency
- Simple integration of pump control for more energy efficiency
- Pumps: essential components in many companies
- Economic optimization with pump controls in practice
- Collect data, know values, optimize processes
- Intelligent software
- Stable operation
- Production at the optimum
- Advantages of ecological production
- Application areas of powerful pump control systems
- Realization from planning to commissioning on site
Use of pump controls for more efficiency in the company
Up to 70% of the electricity consumed in industry worldwide is used to power electric motors. Pumps are among the most common applications and offer the greatest potential for savings. Speed-driven controls can help solve energy challenges. That’s because at half speed, only one-eighth of the energy is needed. Often, pumps are designed for maximum demand. Mechanical elements such as vortex dampers, throttles and valves limit pressure and flow, wasting energy. The intelligent SPC pump controls adjust the motor speed to the actual demand.
Example: a 50 kW pump running 48 weeks a year consumes 400,000 kilowatt hours annually. With pump control, the savings potential is 40%. This corresponds to 19,000 EUR per year.
The same benefits apply to existing plants. Since plant conditions can change over time, it is optimal for productivity to adjust pump performance to changing requirements. Pumps no longer need to be adjusted and replaced when the energy-efficient pump control is used.
Unregulated vs. regulated pumps – significant differences in efficiency
Why are conventionally operated (uncontrolled) pumps inefficient and how can efficiency be increased? Both questions lead to the same problem: In almost every operation, pumps have more power than they need to most of the time. In the past, the usual way to reduce the performance was to close or mechanically throttle the pipes. In this case, the pump works permanently against a resistance, so that the excess power is “deliberately wasted”. Such a procedure is neither efficient nor ecologically up-to-date.
It is far more sensible to dimension the pump so that its output corresponds to the actual demand. However, such systems are very inflexible, and an increase in productivity is almost impossible because the machines cannot exceed their maximum.
The option with the highest degree of economy and flexibility for your company is therefore variable pump control. Here, a pump is installed that is dimensioned according to demand and is automatically controlled. This in turn is done via a frequency converter in the control cabinet, which controls the speed of the electric motor depending on the load. In real-world operation, the units usually only need to sustain a partial load, meaning the speed can be significantly reduced. This method has a particularly high energy efficiency because the power of the pump corresponds to the third power on the speed – thus the reduction in power by a factor of eight mentioned at the beginning occurs when the speed is halved. In practice, this measure can save you up to 70 percent of the operating electricity costs for your pumps.
Easy integration of pump control for greater energy efficiency
Another major advantage of electronic pump control is its ease of integration, which can almost always be done even in existing systems. The reason for this is that you do not have to install and purchase new pumping technology, but only add a component: The SPC pump control is installed in the control cabinet and delivered ready for operation. In addition, control via a frequency converter is possible regardless of the pump’s manufacturer and can therefore be implemented universally (the energy efficiency class of the motor is also irrelevant here). In summary, a cost-saving pump system can be retrofitted almost anywhere.
Pumps: essential components in many plants
It is no coincidence that investments in pumps can have a significant impact on a company’s energy balance. Pumps are used in almost every company: Moving water, cooling, and supplying operating materials via pipelines are just a few examples of common uses. The areas of application are just as varied: Municipal water suppliers rely on pumps just as much as manufacturing companies in industry. Almost everywhere, this involves equipment with electric motors, which account for a large proportion of the total power requirement. Consequently, the potential to save costs is particularly high in the area of pump technology.
Economic optimization with pump controls in practice
There is no denying that retrofitting drive technology makes economic and ecological sense. But how can energy efficiency be increased with a pump control system? Many companies are faced with this specific challenge. We have specialized in this task and offer you complete, customized solutions. We would like to present the most important aspects to you below.
Collect data, know values, optimize processes
An important step towards more efficiency in the entire operation is the exact knowledge about the processes. In this context, modern sensor technology provides various options for monitoring plants. The visualization of measured data such as temperature, pressure, flow rate, and power makes the entire process transparent, and at the same time reveals opportunities to reduce power consumption. For economic dimensioning of a pumping system, the operating pressure in particular is an important measured variable. From a technical point of view, the aim is to determine the operating point of the plant in order to optimize efficiency.
But sensors do even more: they form the foundation of automation. In an ideal system, all components harmonize without any loss of efficiency – that is the goal of autonomous pump control. For this purpose, the existing plant is equipped with appropriate sensor technology, which monitors the system and provides the data for optimization. Of course, a completely new design for a plant is also possible.
The second prerequisite for more energy efficiency is control software that is precisely adapted to the needs and requirements in your plant. It is part of the SPC pump control and autonomously regulates the electric motors of the plant.
In fact, the pump control software holds enormous potential for reducing energy costs in commercial operations. As described, pump capacities that are selected too high in particular reduce the efficiency of a plant. Since the software is ultimately responsible for controlling the speed in line with demand, it is given special significance.
In the end, such software can only be realized through individual development. The basis for this is provided by the development environments of the suppliers of PLC units, which allow the Sourcetronic specialists to fulfill the requirement profile of a plant very precisely. Two fundamental focal points here are process optimization and automation – and both contribute significantly to increasing energy efficiency. Since the software is part of the control unit, no additional programs need to be installed on site: The complete system is fully operational.
Once all components are installed and set up in the best possible way, you also benefit from stable operation thanks to the autonomous control system. This is another aspect that leads to cost savings, because it is economically relevant to minimize downtimes and, in many cases, critical to avoid undetected outages. Last but not least, you protect your pumping equipment if the units are not constantly operating at full load.
Production at the optimum
In general, it is advisable to optimize production in order to save resources and make the best possible use of the technology employed. Electronic pump control is often an essential element in this. If necessary, the energy balance of the plant can be further improved by additional automation or the selection of motors with a higher efficiency class. A detailed analysis will show which options are feasible for your company.
Advantages of ecological production
Increasing the energy efficiency of pumps or achieving better efficiency classes makes sense not only from a process-oriented point of view. Saving electricity also directly conserves valuable resources and ensures a better eco-balance for your company and your products. The reduced consumption of energy sources alone is also beneficial because it reduces costs proportionally.
Making production more ecological also has other benefits. For example, you have the option of having your company certified as an energy-saving operation. Under certain conditions, corporate responsibility in this way is even rewarded with subsidies. The image of a brand can also be improved in this way. On principle, efficient pump control is indispensable for this.
Green Power: The smart pump control SPC complies with the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EG and the requirements of Directive 2019/1781 (replaces 640/2009) as well as the requirements of EN 61800-9-2 (replaces EN 50598-2). In 2019, the European Union set out to tighten the ecological requirements for drive and motor systems in the power range from 0.12 KW to 1,000 KW with Directive 2019/1781, which comes in effect July 1st, 2021, requiring efficiency level IE3 for motors and efficiency level IE2 for frequency inverters. In addition, the digitalization of your systems helps to save energy. Using actual value signals and cost-effective sensor technology, maintenance intervals and energy consumption can be determined. These features help to show energy consumption and identify unnecessarily high loads. With the Sourcetronic analysis tool ST®Analytics, the collected information can be evaluated in a cloud if desired, and help with documenting energy saving potentials as well as suggesting predictive maintenance before a problem gets bad enough to disrupt operation.
Areas of application for high-performance pump controls
The areas of application for SPC pump controls are very diverse. Frequency converter technology can be used wherever pumps with electric motors are used. An improvement in energy efficiency is always possible when the nominal power of the units exceeds the demand — this is almost always the case as such a pump is generally designed to meet peak demand. The practical examples in which pump automation leads to greater efficiency extend across diverse industries: Cooling technology in power plants or for machinery, water pumps in sewage treatment plants or wells, and industrial centrifugal pumps are just a few of the numerous areas of application of modern pump controls.
Realization from planning to on-site commissioning
Would you like to benefit from greater energy efficiency and reduce your electricity costs for your existing pumps by up to 70 percent? Or do you need to conform to the energy efficiency level requirements for a new pump installation? Then feel free to contact the Sourcetronic consultants. You will receive individual solutions for sustainable pump controls and a comprehensive portfolio from analysis to consulting and planning of circuit diagrams to the installation of the control cabinets at your site. After commissioning, you benefit from additional services such as maintenance of your control technology.