Energy Management/Energy Efficiency

Why your industrial pumping system could be draining your budget – and what to do about it

While an industrial enterprise may realize its pumping system could be more effective, what may not be obvious is that energy-efficient pumps can help reduce utility expenses.

Here’s why. Electricity costs account for 40% of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a pump. By following energy management best practices, a manufacturer can decrease the electrical consumption of its pumping system by at least 30%, yielding a 20% reduction in TCO and a return on investment within 24 months.

Typical pump life-cycle cost profile

Typical pump life-cycle cost profile

So, you may ask … if improving the energy efficiency of a pumping system can result in significant savings, why do operations teams find it difficult to initiate changes? Typically, pumping system performance ratings aren’t tied to energy efficiency, making it difficult to justify resources for energy improvements. But with a limited investment, following three basic energy management steps can help industries meet their sustainability objectives and reduce ownership costs.

Step 1: Manage your energy efficiency

  • Replace fixed drives with variable speed drives to control speed, pressure, and flow.
  • Monitor production data and energy consumption data via control system software.
  • Monitor the operating point of a pump and its efficiency to observe trends as a basis for efficiency actions.
  • Use metrics to mark changes in efficiency and compare performance of pumps. 

Step 2: Maintain your assets

  • Establish preventive maintenance plans for systematic inspection to detect potential failures.
  • Enable condition-based maintenance by monitoring pumping system data for an accurate status and risk assessment.
  • Deploy corrective maintenance measures as needed in response to an unanticipated problem or emergency.

Step 3: Understand your energy costs

  • Review utility contracts to understand the billing charges.
  • Adjust the timing of energy usage from the peak rate period to off-peak periods.
  • Reduce the monthly peak demand number to reduce the demand charge.
  • Reduce the amount of energy consumption not linked to revenue generation.

By adopting energy-efficient technologies, implementing reliable maintenance practices, and optimizing cost control of the utility bill, industries that operate pumping systems can establish an effective energy management plan, reduce TCO by 20%, and achieve their operational sustainability goals.

For details and further discussion, you can read “Three Steps for Reducing Total Cost of Ownership in Pumping Systems,” a white paper that I co-authored with Arnaud Savreux , or leave a comment below.

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