The Variable Speed Pump Revolution
According to the International Energy Agency, 2010, “Pumps account for a massive 10% of the world’s total electricity consumption, and far too much is pure waste”.
Good quality pumps such as Grundfos, Lowara or Onga aren’t cheap, but when you consider that the purchase price makes up only around 4% of the total overall lifetime cost, it makes sense to install a good one :
- Equipment Purchase Price 4%
- Energy Costs (running the pump) 86%
- Maintenance Costs 10%
As you can see, energy costs account for 86% of all money spent on a pump over its lifetime, and with energy prices continuing to skyrocket, it might be worth considering the following when you need to install a new pump in Melbourne:
- The right pump selection for the job it needs to do
- An energy efficient Variable Speed Drive Pump
These two points are crucial in keeping your energy costs down. If the wrong pump is selected, it can have a huge influence on it’s efficiency, and therefore energy used.
A Variable Speed Drive pump (VSD), uses a minimum amount of energy, to deliver the required outcome. For example, a toilet flush in the Yarra Valley using a conventional pump requires the pump to turn on and run at maximum speed to deliver water to fill the cistern. A VSD pump will only use the minimum amount of energy required to fill the cistern. With the latest VSD technology, it’s not uncommon to save up to 50% on power usage, compared to a conventional pump. The end-result is significant power savings over the life of the pump. See example graph below.
Annual Pump Electricity Costs – 1.5kW Pump
NOTE: The ‘exact energy saving” is not possible to be calculated due to many things going on when variable speed drive application is working, load change, material characteristics, mechanical couplings, pipe sizing, etc.
These days, most things can be purchased on-line, and you can pick up some bargains. When considering a pump purchase, remember that the purchase is only a small part of the equation.
Running costs can really hurt the hip pocket. Pump selection and pump type are well worth considering. A variable speed drive pump may save you a lot of money. When you purely consider the electricity savings on a variable speed drive pump, the payback on investment is traditionally in the realm of 30-35 months – not a bad investment.
If you’re still not convinced on the value of a VSD pump, another way to save on power costs, using a conventional pump is to install a pressure tank. A pressure tank can be used in the traditional way, with a pressure switch and with a modern pressure control unit as well. Most domestic pumps are sold with a pressure control unit attached these days. If the pressure tank is adjusted to suit the pumping system, it allows water to draw off from the tank before the pump cuts in. The larger the tank the greater the water draw off. This allows the pump to come on periodically to top up the tank and supply water, but eliminates the pump coming on and off all the time to top up mains when a tap is turned on for a second, or a toilet flush, or to supply water for a tap dripping and so on.
If you need advice in making the right selection for your next pump, come in and see us at
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