How to Conduct an In-Plant Pumping System Survey to Reduce Energy Consumption?

In the United States, more than 2.4 million pumps, which consume more than 142 billion kWh annually, are used in industrial manufacturing processes. At an electricity cost of 5 cents per kWh, energy used for fluids transport costs more than $7.1 billion per year. Even one pump can consume substantial energy. A continuously operated centrifugal pump driven by a fully loaded 100-horsepower motor requires 726,000 kWh per year. This costs more than $36,000, assuming average electricity costs of 5 cents per kWh. Even a 10% reduction in operating costs saves $3,600 per year. Table 1 summarizes the electrical costs of operating this pump.


Table 1 Pumping Energy Costs


Surveying Your Pumping Systems

Pumps larger than a minimum size and with significant operating hours should be surveyed to determine a baseline for your current pumping energy consumption and costs, identify inefficient pumps, determine efficiency measures, and estimate the potential for energy savings. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Pump System Energy Opportunity Screening worksheet will help you identify systems that merit a survey.

The survey team should gather pump and drive motor nameplate information and document operating schedules to develop load profiles, then obtain head/capacity curves (if available) from the pump manufacturers to document the pumping system design and operating points. The team should also note the system flow rate and pressure requirements, pump style, operating speed, number of stages, and specific gravity of the fluid being pumped. If possible, the team should also measure and note the flow rate and the suction and discharge pressures and note conditions that are associated with inefficient pump operation, including indicators such as:

  • Pumps with high maintenance requirements
  • Oversized pumps that operate in a throttled condition
  • Cavitating or badly worn pumps
  • Misapplied pumps
  • Pumping systems with large flow rate or pressure variations
  • Pumping systems with bypass flow
  • Throttled control valves to provide fixed or variable flow rates
  • Noisy pumps or valves
  • Clogged pipelines or pumps
  • Wear on pump impellers and casings that increase clearances between fixed and moving parts
  • Excessive wear on wear rings and bearings
  • Improper packing adjustment that causes binding on the pump shaft
  • Multiple pump systems where excess capacity is bypassed or excess pressure is provided
  • Changes from initial design conditions. Distribution system cross-connections, parallel main lines, or changes in pipe diameter or material may change the original system curve.
  • Low-flow rate, high-pressure end use applications. An entire pumping system may be operated at high pressure to meet the requirements of a single end use. A booster or dedicated pump may allow system operating pressure to be reduced.


Pumping System Efficiency Measures

Measures to improve pumping plant efficiency include:

  • Shut down unnecessary pumps. Re-optimize pumping systems when a plant’s water use requirements change. Use pressure switches to control the number of pumps in service when flow rate requirements vary.
  • Restore internal clearances.
  • Replace standard efficiency pump drive motors with NEMA Premium™ motors.
  • Replace or modify oversized pumps.
  • Install new properly sized pumps.
  • Trim or change the pump impellers to match the output with system requirements when the pumping head exceeds system requirements. Consult with the vendor to determine the minimum impeller diameter for a pump casing.
  • Meet variable flow rate requirements with an adjustable speed drive or multiple pump arrangement instead of throttling or bypassing excess flow.


About Jonathon Bell

Jonathon Bell is an entrepreneur, focused on building his family's legacy in the industrial pump market.  Currently, he is focused in Latin America, building Dynapro Pumps Mexico from the ground up while contributing in Canada & the United States with Sales & Marketing efforts.

His commitment is developing teams through individual and partnered coaching, to bring out the best in each team member and giving them the tools to help them reach their goals. Guiding and teaching the core values of passion, evolving, and team communication, his teams and members become top performers in their respective fields.

He is honest, generous, and passionate about others success for them individually, their families, and their communities

About Dynapro:

A professional, trustworthy company, committed to create and maintain lasting relationships with our customers and our community.  Our focus is on constantly evolving our business practices and dedicated service to always be aligned with our clients and the environment.  

Our strong sense of responsibility to the environment and the communities we live and work in help encourage our clients and other companies to join forces with us to make a difference.  

We manufacture our own pump models and interchangeable high quality products, improve products, and materials.  We deliver them for less and faster to help achieve our goal of reduced consumption; energy & materials, and reduce maintenance.

For more information, please visit https://dynaproco.com/about-us-page


References:  DOE/GO-102005-2155 September 2005 Pumping Systems Tip Sheet #1

Industrial Technologies Program Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 

U.S. Department of Energy Washington, DC 20585-0121 www.eere.energy.gov/industry

Improving Pumping System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, U.S. Department of Energy, 2006