Technical Expertise

How to Improve Pump Efficiency

Improving efficiency and reducing costs is vital for businesses to stay competitive, as is aligning environmental agendas concerning energy usage.

When you consider process handling, many pumps, especially aged pumps, were not designed with efficiency and low running costs in mind. This is why it is important for businesses to review pump performance and take steps to ensure that process handling doesn’t cost the business any more than it needs to.

We will explore some ways in which you can improve-pump efficiency below. If you suspect there is inefficiency within your application, we are on hand to help advise you on the best solution to improve-pump productivity and reduce ongoing operating costs.

Ways to improve-pump efficiency

1. Monitor performance

If a pump is regularly failing or experiencing excessive wear and tear then this is not only increasing maintenance costs, it is reducing the productivity of your processing line and staff. Vibrations, excess noise and power consumption should also be regularly monitored.

2. Size of pump

Pumps should operate as close to their Best Efficiency Point (BEP) as possible. However, oversizing a pump can be a common occurrence especially when the process design is based on theoretical friction losses. An oversized pump will use more energy than your application requires, increasing processing costs.

3. Variable Frequency Drives VFD’s

VFDs can be installed to vary the speed of the motor to match the performance requirements of the application and can reduce operating costs by;

  • Reducing the motor output on an oversized pump
  • Vary the pump speed depending on changes within the application, such as pressure, temperature, or viscosity impacting the flow required.

4. Application design/layout

Efficiency improvements can often be implemented where plant processes have been added to or changed in recent years or where plant designs are over 5 years old. Factors such as pipe size, length, bends, and diameter changes influence pressure losses, affecting pump operating costs. Parallel pumping is an option to consider for occasional process demand spikes. This setup allows the main pump to operate at its Best Efficiency Point (BEP), while a smaller pump handles the additional demand.

5. Maintenance

Regular maintenance is vital to ensure the increased lifespan of a pump and to maintain an efficient process operation. As well as routinely checking and replacing accessible components such as Seals, valves, wear rings and bearings, internal pipework should be monitored for signs of rust and corrosion which can increase resistance and increase pressure losses.

6. Stop unnecessary use

Having pumps or standby pumps switched on when they are not required is a waste of energy. Control systems and pressure switches can be introduced to ensure that pumps are only operational when they are required, reducing energy consumption as well as general wear and tear costs.

To improve processing efficiencies or specify a replacement pump then get in touch with our team at North Ridge Pumps. As we are not tied to a particular manufacturer we will be able to advise of the best solution to improve pumping efficiencies and reduce operating costs.