You are welcome. In fact, I'm in the process of developing an intelligent control for centrifugal pumps, that will try to reduce droplet size degradation in emulsion handling processes intended to separate oily water. In that particular case, it is not energy savings or efficiency per se the most important goal, but to make the separation equipment smaller, more efficient or both.
The sad reality, is that most process pumps in the world are still run at fixed speed, and being centrifugal, they are supposed to be "controlled" by throttling the fluid with a valve; wasting energy and causing the pump to run away from B.E.P. or Best Efficiency Point, which causes a lot of maladies and wears down the pump too soon.
Therefore, a strong effort should be made to get engineers aware of this inefficient operation mode, and make them understand that with present day Variable Frequency Drive prices vs. energy and increased maintenance prices, there is no excuse to continue running pumps together with pressure dropping valves. An intelligent process control that takes advantage of the pump characteristic curve is in order. Unfortunately, most pumps are not sold as an integrated Pump-VSD-Process Control system, and some fail to reach the potentially high savings and desirable overall life cycle costs, mainly because sometimes the hydraulics of the installation aren't properly considered and some problems arise. Proper and through process design and verification, together with true and tested system components is required to avoid those problems before they appear. Amclaussen.
Naperlou, Thanks for your comments. The interesting thing to me with this is the mixing of motion technologies (hydraulics and electric servos) with both each contributing their strengths to the application. Plus the ability to bury some of the complexity of the hydraulic control. We'll be seeing more in this area moving ahead.
Al, this is another great example of the appliction of control technology to improve efficiency. I expect that the older systems that used fixed speeds did so because the control technology was not as developed and this was the easiest way to get reliable operation.
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