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The global use of energy is a hot topic and is currently one of the most important tasks the human race has ever faced. With the reduction of CO2 emissions the highest of priorities, both reducing energy use and ensuring that what we do use is as efficient as possible is something that every industry has a responsibility to tackle.
As with many critical tasks, some of the greatest steps can be made by addressing the smallest of elements. From manufacturing to mining, university sites to construction, pump systems account for nearly 20 per cent of the world’s electrical energy demand. These represent significant energy use, yet as they wear and erode, they dramatically lose efficiency, therefore many consume far more energy than they should.
One of the powerful ways to reduce this is through the use of advanced coating. Doing this to new equipment drastically slows erosion, and restoring and coating older pumps can bring them back to a nearly new state.
How does restoration/coating improve pump efficiency?
Pumps are often under 24/7 use. According to an EU SAVE report, a standard centrifugal cold water pump performance loses as much as 15 per cent of its original efficiency. Many decline as much as ten per cent after only 12 months of use. However, add speed, solids and temperature into the mix, and friction increases, leading to a decline in efficiency of up to 50 per cent.
With energy and maintenance accounting for more than 70 per cent of a pump’s lifecycle costs, it’s easy to see that failing to address the issue is a costly one – in both monetary and ecological terms.
Restoration of used pumps is a common way to deal with this, yet it confronts only a single element. This is because the restoration process only targets the mechanical workings of the pump. While sandblasting, repairing or replacing parts will increase efficiency in the short term, they don’t protect the pump asset from wet end corrosion.
A pilot study carried out by the Monroe County Water Authority in Rochester, NY, determined that mechanical restoration only restored approximately 50 per cent of a pump’s performance. Even this gain quickly began to decline with use. However, when such restoration was combined with a high-quality protective coating, the efficiency returned to a near new level. Not only that, but they retained optimal performance for a far longer period, losing less than one per cent of efficiency over several years.
The invisible cost of energy
Energy consumed by pump use is often masked within other expense lines. From initial cost to maintenance throughout a 20-year lifecycle, the energy expenditure of a pump can account for over 55 per cent of the total running cost. When that pump is running below par and using up excess energy, spending can far exceed this.
An eye-opening research study carried out at a Finnish research centre determined, from an evaluation of 1,690 pumps at 20 process plants, that the average efficiency of each was below 40 per cent. Over ten per cent of these were running at less than ten per cent efficiency. The energy costs of this alone are enormous, yet it’s a common scenario occurring in assets worldwide.
The simple solution of technologically advanced protective coatings drastically impacts energy costs. Not only that, but their use also has a distinct effect on longevity.
ARC coatings for an increased ROI
The application of ARC coatings to a restored pump increases the reliability and extends the lifespan by increasing wear resistance and reducing corrosion.
They improve energy use by reducing frictional losses, essentially making the surface hydrophobic, thereby requiring less rotational energy to provide the same pump head/quantity output. Slowing the pump down reduces the energy needed from the electric motor and the resultant power savings can be significant. Not only does the coating provide energy savings, it also blocks the corrosion-erosion cycle.
There is also strong evidence for the coating of new pumps before use. The ability to prevent corrosion and erosion from the outset improves efficiency and dramatically reduces the need for worn part replacements and the associated delays from long lead times.
Such coatings come in liquid resurfacing and paste rebuilding grades. Different types depend on pump requirements and usages, such as potable water service, fluid media and temperature, pressure/vacuum within the system, suspended solids concentration and particle size range.
This sponsored editorial was brought to you by Chesterton Custom Seal. For more information, visit https://chestertonrotating.chesterton.com/en-us/Products/Pages/PumpCoatings.aspx or https://www.chestertoncustomseal.com.au/partners-chesterton-products/