How to reduce Total Cost Of Ownership in pumping applications

Schneider Electric has published a white paper outlining key steps for reducing TCO in pumping applications.

Electricity usage costs are an ever-present factor in the total cost of ownership (TCO) for industrial pumping systems, and energy costs represents 40% of the TCO of a typical pump. It is possible to reduce the electrical consumption by at least 30% through appropriate energy management practices while reducing the maintenance cost. The white paper explains how to reduce TCO with a limited investment.

Change of mindset

Wherever pumping systems are present in environments such as buildings and water / wastewater and oil and gas facilities, energy consumption exerts a major influence on cost. Despite the fact that electrical energy cost represents 40% of the total cost of ownership of pumping systems, many organisations fail to introduce the proper steps to leverage cost reduction through efficiency improvements. To resolve this dilemma several major barriers need to be recognised and addressed, including:

Lack of proper metrics – Energy efficiency has traditionally not been used in assessing performance. In most organisations, the responsibilities of energy procurement and efficient operations are separate and consistent or standardised metrics are not utilised.

Knowledge gap – A lack of awareness in energy efficiency opportunities is prevalent and as a result, potential savings and other benefits are missed.

Fear of investment – Operations personnel often struggle to present attractive large or even small investments to their finance organisations.

Typical pump life-cycle cost profile

It is widely recognised that the reduction of CO2 emissions and the resulting energy savings can be achieved through the deployment of energy efficient products and systems. The challenge, however, is that the nature of production in industrial environments is in a constant state of flux. Production cycles, for example, are influenced by variables such as market demand, weather, and local regulations. As a result, factory and building operators need to understand how and when energy is used in order to minimise consumption and related costs.

The pump system energy management approach discussed in the paper reviews the nature of efficiency loss not only for individual components within the system, but also for the system as a whole, integrated entity.

In pumping systems, most inefficiency comes from a mismatch between the pump deployed and the actual system requirement (i.e., undersized or oversized), and the improper, but frequent use of throttling valves and damper technologies to control the flow of liquids

Three key steps

The paper demonstrates how deployment of an energy management plan, with limited investment, can provide reductions in pumping systems TCO while maintaining sustainability objectives. Any sound energy plan should take into account the following three steps:

1. Energy efficiency management

Matching motors to loads, motor efficiency, pump efficiency

2. Asset management

Using VSD to optimise pump drive for best efficiency point BEP, maintenance processes, motor protection and piping system

3. Energy cost management

Best practice for bill management and cost reduction

By pursuing best practices in energy efficiency management, asset management, and energy cost management, total cost of ownership of pumping system networks can be reduced by up to 20%. One simple technology, the variable speed drive with embedded energy management functionality, has the capability of being a major contributor to achieving achieve the TCO target.

The variable speed drive is fully integrated in the numerous steps that can be taken in order to implement an effective energy management plan. These include adopting energy efficient technologies, implementing condition-based maintenance practices, and optimising cost control of the electrical bill. The linking of pumping processes to energy systems helps to improve business performance through better energy management.