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Case Studies: Pumps

Introduction

Liquid pumps driven by electric motors can, depending on the application, consume large amounts of energy. Most pumps are driven at a nearly constant speed that is determined by the electric motor and its load/speed characteristics. The pump's behaviour is determined by its speed and by inlet and outlet pressures that develop during flow.

A pump driven at a constant speed is most efficient when it operates within a single set of conditions for pressure head and flow for a particular application. If the flow rate or head are different than what is required for the application, measures must be taken to adjust the flow and head to match the requirements. Depending on how these adjustments are made, the efficiency of the pumping operation and the amount of power required can change drastically.

Following are links to two case studies, adapted from information provided by BC Hydro, that describe how required flow rate and head did not match pump optimum flow conditions at the available motor speed. The case studies describe how energy-efficient solutions were found.

Pumping System for a Town's Water Supply

Pumping Application at a Mine

Additional Case Studies on Pumps:

The Ellensburg Wastewater Treatment Plant(from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance)

Kennewick Wastewater Treatment Plant(from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance)

Inland Empire Utilities Agency (from the California Energy Commission and the US Department of Energy BestPractices)

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