Don’t Let Inefficient Pumps Raise Your HVAC Costs

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we import a wide variety of pumps from around the world. We are even the sole importer in Australia for many manufacturers. We focus so much on quality because we want to bring you the most efficient and reliable pumps we can for any operation. That way, we save you money on monthly costs and we keep you from having disastrous downtime that can cost thousands of dollars.

One of the more subtle and underrated ways in which efficient pumps can cost or save money is in HVAC systems. Across a wide assortment of building types and operations, HVAC usually represents up to 40% of the consumption of power.

The energy used by HVAC systems accounts for approximately 70% of that considered by NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) for buildings such as shopping centres and offices. NABERS is currently the “gold standard” for measuring the environmental performance of buildings Australia and New Zealand.

Pumps for HVAC

The pump industry has been working diligently at developing better controls for pumps used in HVAC systems. These controls are important because they help the systems run at their maximum efficiency while ensuring that no systems are running against each other in “conflicting uses,” such as air conditioning and heat at the same time.

It is estimated that an HVAC system with inefficient controls can use from 50-90% more energy than one with efficient controls.

Why Pumps are so Important for HVAC in Australia

Australia has a temperate climate. That produces a heavy cooling load for HVAC systems, while rendering a small heating load necessary. It is essential, however, for the cooling systems to turn down at the right time to meet periods of minimal load. If a system can’t do this, it has a drastic effect on efficiency.

For those parts of Australia with a hot climate, such as Darwin, no heating is necessary and the AC runs at a heavy load all of the time. This makes controls less important but pump efficiency even more important.

For the rest of us, there are three basic components that can cause an HVAC system to consume excess energy: robustness of controls, turndown and conflicting uses.

There are some things plant and building supervisors or engineers can do to keep costs down and make the HVAC system more efficient.

The first is to decrease time of use. When a plant doesn’t need to be run, shut it down. The next is to correctly calibrate turndown. Ideally, you can use variable speed drives (VSD’s) to slow the pumps and fans down to a level that matches the loads. When run at a lower speed, VSD’s are more efficient and use less power than other controls or configurations to lower capacity.

It is also important to make sure there are no conflicts of use within the system. In other words, the heat and AC should never run at the same time. Robustness of controls is also important. They should be able to keep functioning correctly through minor mechanical failures within the system.

How Pumps Control Efficiency

Pumps constitute from 10-15% of power consumption in any HVAC operation. Fans consume the most power. It is generally more difficult to control pumps because of the presence of static head and what is called the “Low deltaT syndrome.” This means that the demand for flow reduces less than the load.

When you add VSD to a pump or system and it is used correctly, it will always reduce power usage and increase efficiency. However, if a pump is on the flat section of the pump curve, reduction can be minimal even with good controls. This is a common situation.

We Can Help at Pump Solutions Australasia

As our name suggests, we don’t just supply pumps; we provide solutions. We not only have world class customer service but we also have access to dedicated staffs from many of our pump manufacturers.

We carry a wide selection of pumps for a diverse customer base. No pump or operation is too small or too large for us. To learn more or to talk to our customer service staff, call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 793 418.