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System optimization through co-operation

Panel: 4. Undertaking high impact actions: The role of technology and systems optimisation

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Jukka Tolvanen, Aumaen Oy, Finland
Tero Ahonen, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
Heikki Kervinen, ABB Drives, Finland

Abstract

Until now, much of the work for energy efficiency has been concentrated on raising the effectiveness of single components. More attention should be given to the whole system, as this can allow radical improvements in energy efficiency. Pumping systems present a good example on the importance of a systems approach, as they consume up to 15-20 percent of electricity both in the US and Europe. A pump is the second most widely used type of mechanical equipment in the world as only the electric motor outnumbers it.

This paper focuses on two themes: reliability boost of pumping systems with the systems approach and consortium-based development work that this requires. So far, reliability studies have mainly been carried out for fixed-speed pumping systems. For variable-speed-driven (VSD) pumps, the traditional recommendation of driving the pump at its Best Efficiency Point may not be the most feasible approach, if the pump can alternatively be driven at a lower rotational speed. The latest research suggests that the concept of Best Efficiency Area should be used with the VSD pumping systems in addition to the pump BEP information. The Best Efficiency Area can be determined according to the relative specific energy consumption Es of the pumping system.

A concrete methodology to decrease the amount of energy used in e.g. pumping applications is introduced. With these energy appraisals a company can determine the anticipated savings from given applications.

The successful realization of the systems approach requires a wide knowledge that individual companies do not typically possess. Instead, a co-operative model is needed to gain the expertise of several companies into the same research project. This paper presents a program that has the goal to realize radical improvements in the system energy effectiveness with the co-operation of device manufacturers, system designers and academia.

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