Pumps are a vital partner in ensuring efficient energy use
12 Nov 2018
Pumps as Turbines (PaT) are a symbol of the potential contribution that products from this industry can make towards the advancement of our energy networks.
No earlier than it needed to be, the concept of clean energy is being nurtured by the growth of cost effective and abundant renewables.
There is however a suspicion in some quarters that a good part of the progress in this country has been due to an ability to spot the low hanging fruit. The decrease in coal consumption has been impressive and done much to lower the nation’s carbon footprint.
If coal continues to disappear from the energy system, then other means of lowering the footprint further will have to be found.
It’s by no means certain, either, which sources of clean energy should occupy our attention most. Drax Group’s bid for the Scottish Power portfolio suggests it is placing faith in gas for now and wind power in the future. Scottish itself is placing its faith in wind power while Ørsted looks to offshore wind.
Given the contribution that pumps make towards energy usage, their efficiency will be paramount
Undoubtedly renewables will feed more and more into the electricity grid but scaling up will be a long process.
In a period of transition, cost and downtime will be still more pressing issues. Given the contribution that pumps make towards energy usage, their efficiency will be paramount. In a world of programmable logic controllers, variable frequency drives and SCADA, there is much that can be done in a wider industrial context to ensure efficiency and effective predictive maintenance.
Pump manufacturers and operators have everything to gain though from their emphasis on extended product life, as the BPMA’s Gary Wilde reminds us in our feature (see page 7 of the November/December edition of Process Engineering’s Pumps, Valves and Flow supplement).
Good attention to that can ensure energy savings in excess of 50%, he emphasises. Multiply it by the number of pumps and that is not only an investment worth making but one that ensures wider investment in a business.