Different jobs, same principles
Pumps and fans operate in a similar way. Pumps are used to move liquids and fans are used to move air, but they both follow the principals of fluid dynamics. So what works for one generally works for the other – and when either is worn out or incorrectly sized, it wastes energy and generates unnecessary emissions.
Where to find efficiencies in your pump or fan system
- Level control - in some pump systems, you can set levels so they operate only when necessary.
- Pressure switch control - if your system has intermittent demand, you can install a pressure switch control to turn it off when not needed.
- Size - a pump or fan that’s the wrong size for the system can waste a lot of energy. Some systems change over time, making well-specified systems inefficient.
- Remove unnecessary circulation - isolating loops that unnecessarily circulate heating or cooling water or air, reduce power consumption and thermal load.
How to time a pump or fan replacement
Aging systems become reliability risk – they also become inefficient as wear and corrosion take their toll.
- Prepare in advance to replace the old system. The longer you leave it, the more energy is wasted.
- Monitor noise, vibration, heat and performance for indications of when it’s time to replace the system.
- Make sure the new pump or fan is the right size for the job. If your old one is constantly throttled, it’s oversized.
- An oversized pump or fan may allow for future expansion, but in the meantime they waste energy – for example a centrifugal pump’s efficiency drops drastically at low flow rates. Use a smaller impeller until the expansion takes place.
- If flow and pressure requirements reduce over time, look at trimming or replacing the impeller to improve efficiency.
- If the pump or fan needs to cover a large range of flow rates, you could install a variable speed drive.
Reduce unnecessary airflow in fan systems
Moving air when you don’t need to wastes energy for no gain. Close dampers to isolate air extraction and supply ducts when they’re not needed.
Co-funding for pump or fan improvements
If you spend more than $200,000 a year on stationary energy, you may be eligible for co-funding for an audit of your pump or fan system, system optimisation or installing a monitoring and targeting system. Larger energy users can also be co-funded for feasibility study on a more efficient system.
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