Ten tips to save money on pumping systems

As pumping systems are responsible for significant energy usage in the industrial sector, it is beneficial to reduce energy usage, therefore costs, as much as possible.
By David Manney, L&S Electric September 13, 2017

As pumping systems are responsible for significant energy usage in the industrial sector, it is beneficial to reduce energy usage, therefore costs, as much as possible. Courtesy: L&S Electric. In the industrial sector, pumping systems account for a significant amount of energy usage. On average, the US Department of Energy estimates that figure to be at 16%, although it is much higher in some businesses. One good thing is there are options when it comes to reducing pumping energy usage.

Here are 10 ways to get started.

1. Choose the right size. Oversized pumps are one of the big problems many businesses have to deal with. Using an oversized pump results in inefficient operation. Oversized pumps also lead to excess energy usage and increased maintenance costs.

2. Choose an efficient pump. It is also important to pick a pump that is the most effective for the application. This process requires more than choosing the right size. Consider the power requirements, speed, drive type, and support equipment.

3. Optimize pipe size for pumping. Optimizing the pipe size reduces hydraulic friction loss and maintains the pressure better. Some things to consider when optimizing pipe size include:

  • The pipe diameter
  • Length
  • Characteristics
  • Flow rate
  • Type of fluid being pumped.

4. Consider variable speed pumps. Although the initial cost is high, variable speed pumps often reduce energy consumption. These pumps also improve system reliability. There will likely be a positive ROI as a result of the reduced energy consumption.

5. Impeller trimming. It is possible to reduce the impeller diameter to improve performance and reduce operating costs. It is important not to trim the impeller smaller than the manufacturer’s suggestions. Over-trimming the impeller leads to negative consequences.

6. Proper maintenance. Maintaining the pumps helps to keep them operating at peak efficiency. Routine maintenance and a preventative maintenance program uncover problems before they become disasters. These maintenance plans improve the effectiveness and reduce unplanned and costly equipment outages.

7. Many pumps. There may be times when using many pumps do not improve the efficiency of the system.

8. Use better pump seals. Any problems with the seal contaminate the environment and result in inefficient operations. Using better seal systems improves efficiency. Over time, the financial savings of making this change will likely be exceeded. 

9. Don’t overuse. There may be times when pumps are being used when they are not needed. Unnecessary use of pumps is a drain on energy.

10. Track and adapt. There are differences from one pumping system to another. Track the pumping system and adapt to any changes within the system to improve efficiency.

David Manney is marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on Watts New, L&S Electric’s blog. L&S Electric is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Carly Marchal, content specialist, CFE Media, cmarchal@cfemedia.com.