Continuous Control

Sept. 16, 2011

About the author: Caitlin Cunningham is managing editor of Water & Wastes Digest. Cunningham can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1025.

Pumping requirements vary from application to application—that’s a no-brainer—but it is easy to overlook the fact that they also fluctuate within each unique application.

Many water and wastewater pump operators err on the side of running systems at full throttle day in and day out to ensure adequate performance: a costly precaution considering the amount of unnecessary power delivered. It is no wonder the equipment has earned a reputation as a top-tier industry energy consumer.

Controlling pump motor speed in real time, ensuring that sufficient but not excessive power is delivered, is now a real energy- and cost-saving opportunity. The ability to adjust the speed of drives, for example, can yield a significant return on investment (primarily in the form of reduced power bills and energy rebates), sometimes in a matter of months. Such technology also helps minimize maintenance requirements and extends pump life by alleviating long-term mechanical and electrical stress. More precise flow control and pump noise reduction are other potential benefits.
Learn more about energy-wise pumping applications in this issue: A 180,000-gal swimming pool retrofit (see page 10) and a 4,000-plus-acre irrigation system success story (see page 16).

If you think energy-efficient technology might complement your water or wastewater pumping operations, crunch the numbers—taking into account pump size, load profile, friction and other such factors—to determine whether a similar investment could be worthwhile.

Finally, some of you may recognize me as managing editor of Water & Wastes Digest and its supplements, Storm Water Solutions and Membrane Technology. I’ll be the new face of Pump Source—to be published twice this year—and along with the rest of the editorial team, look forward to delivering the pumps information you need to stay knowledgeable and competitive in today’s water and wastewater market.

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