Evaluation of variable speed pumps in pressurized water distribution systems

Document Type : Research Article

Author

Applied Chemistry Student, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Tabriz

Abstract

Water pumping stations usually use fixed speed pumps that have a good efficiency over a small range of pressure and flows. If different flows and pressures are required, unsuitable pump speeds will yield excessive energy losses. This imposes additional costs, especially on pressurized irrigation systems, which are constantly changing their irrigation needs, sometimes monthly. In pressurized water distribution systems, a constant speed pump is often used because of its simplicity. However, constant speed pipes are not easily able to deal with changing demands in water flows. When the demand for the discharge differs from the design discharge, the required demand (discharge and head) could be met by changing the pump speed without making any special changes in the system. Using an electronic drive circuit, the electrical frequency can be changed and the rotation speed of the pump motor can thus be modified. In this study, the application of variable speed pumps in pressurized irrigation systems is investigated. Two pumping station scenarios including a fixed speed pump and a variable speed pump are considered. The results show that using a variable speed pump increases the average pump efficiency by 18.7%. In addition, the variable speed pump system reduces the electrical consumption 57.6 % compared to a fixed speed pump. Therefore, the use of variable speed pumps in pressurized systems is recommended.

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