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Turning Pump Monitoring Data into an Energy Optimization Tool

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Large pump systems can provide significant ongoing opportunities for energy optimization. Tailored energy monitoring approaches are needed to alarm inefficient pump conditions and provide real-time diagnostic tools. An ideal energy monitoring approach directs operations and maintenance efforts toward strategies that provide the maximum energy reduction, while minimizing unnecessary maintenance on pump system components that are operating efficiently.

Many pumping facilities measure flow, pressure, and power consumption, but few take full advantage of the energy management value of this data. An initial energy audit can identify pumps that are experiencing long-term wear problems or are operating at an inefficient condition on the pump curve due to a change in operating conditions relative to design conditions. Following the initial audit and optimization work, pump operating data can be used to monitor long-term pump wear and efficiency degradation, and to provide detection of increases in pump energy use due to plugging or other abnormal conditions.

Pump operating data can be configured into a simple energy dashboard to alert plant engineering and management when pumping equipment is operating inefficiently. An energy trending system has been developed to allow plant engineering staff to set a pump performance target that adapts to varying flow conditions, and to monitor energy performance relative to the target.

A diagnostic system using discharge pressure and pump speed data was also developed to assist in determining whether pumps are using extra energy because they are fouled or because the piping is obstructed. This system compares day-to-day operating data with actual pump data from known optimized performance conditions. This approach to using operational and energy management data to provide clear energy performance and diagnostic trending is a powerful tool for improving energy awareness and optimizing energy performance in large pumping systems.
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Keywords: Energy Dashboard; Energy Monitoring; Pump Energy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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