Electric Pumps Lead the Way to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Goals

Electric Pumps Lead the Way to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Goals

SUSTAINABILITY; investors put it on our agenda’s, customers are becoming increasingly aware of its importance, and of course, we ourselves are placing more emphasis on efficient and sustainable operations.

More than ever, we are aware of the impact our manufacturing processes have on our planet.

Manufacturing processes: the facts

  • Industry produces about 1 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
  • Manufacturing processes consume roughly 1/3 of the world’s energy.
  • Pumps account for 25% of all electricity consumed by electric motors.
  • In pumping-intensive industries, that number even accumulates up to 50%.
  • Companies’ top sustainability motivators have changed. 50% of production companies want to become more durable, to align with their company’s mission.

Governments provide two extra triggers. On one hand, they are stepping up the pressure with tougher legislation. On the other hand, they provide us with the necessary financial incentives to achieve this green shift.

Let’s have a look at some of the goals that the European Green Deal puts forward. This set of policy initiatives by the European Commission aim to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050. What does that mean for the short term?

The European Green Deal in a nutshell: goals for 2030

  • Cut at least 55% greenhouse emissions.
  • Aim for at least a 40% share of renewable energy.
  • Improve at least 32,5% in energy efficiency.

For the Green Deal to succeed, the European Union will deploy more than €1 trillion in public and private investments.

This combination of legal triggers and financial incentives is exemplary for the perpetual balancing act companies face. You can only make your process more sustainable by making investments to improve it.

When investing in sustainability, companies are challenged to find a balance between:

  1. corporate social responsibility
  2. corporate profitability
  3. investor appeasement
  4. regulatory compliance

Developing an Electrification strategy

Implementing an electrification strategy ticks all four of the above boxes. And is thus the way forward for production companies as it bridges the gap between environmental and financial drivers.

Electrification makes it possible to reconcile sustainability with profitability.

An electrification strategy typically consists of two steps:

  1. Cut back on energy consumption: the greenest energy is the energy we don’t use.
  2. Cover the remaining demand with electricity: electricity is greener than fossil fuels and can be generated by solar panels, wind mills and hydro turbines. It’s a form of energy that emits fewer greenhouse gases or pollutants than its counterparts.

Let’s examine how switching from air to electric pumps can help you to take these hurdles.

Step 1 – Evaluate and cut back on your energy consumption

How? 3 tips to guide the way.

1.    Talk to your energy provider

Your energy bill is more than just a number.

  • Dig into your energy use over time.
  • Cross-reference energy use with the age of your equipment.
  • Compare your annual energy use to standards in your region and industry.

You can’t cut back on energy if you don’t have a clear understanding of your biggest consumers.

2.    Find out what incentives you qualify for

In most countries, there are incentive programs to offset the cost of integrating more sustainable technologies into manufacturing facilities and processes. Use these rebates, tax credits and direct incentives to your advantage.

3.    Determine how much compressed air is costing you

This is where pumps used in production processes come in. To be more precise: the astronomical energy consumption of air driven pumps and the amount of compressed air required for operation are often overlooked.

Numerous companies have brought electrification strategies into practice with support from Graco. This experience gave us the opportunity to measure the impact of electrifying pump installations in different industries and with companies of various sizes

These cases showed that getting compressed air to the pumps came with a major loss. Using compressed air to power pumps, while effective, is inefficient. At least 80% of the power generated goes to waste through pump exhaust, line leaks, incorrect sizing of components and efficiencies in the piping system.

An unexpected conclusion was that companies are underestimating just how much compressed air is costing them. Specifically for the companies we worked with, the financial and environmental impact of switching from air to electrical pumps becomes even more significant.

Step 2 – Cover the remaining demand with electricity

Replacing your air driven pumps with electrically powered pumps allows you to get rid of your costly air compressor and also provides you with the opportunity to hit a double, as electric pumps are far more energy efficient than their air driven counterparts leaving you with significantly reduced operating costs.

Graco’s QUANTM electric double diaphragm pump minimizes energy consumption byusing direct power, cutting energy usage and costs by up to 80%. QUANTM pumps make the second challenge – covering the remaining demand with electricity – far more realistic. The electricity you generate yourself now has to cover a much smaller demand.

And every KWh saved, means less CO2.

Let’s do the math for our electric driven 2” QUANTM versus an 2” air-operateddouble-diaphragm (AODD).

The production of 1 kWh generates about 0,65 kg CO2. The exact amount differs, depending on how the electricity is produced.

QUANTM Electric
 A 2″ QUANTM pump, transferring 330 lpm (87 gpm), needs 1,6 kWh.  

If it runs for 880 hours a year, that adds up to 1.408 kWh in total.

1.408 kWh x 0,40 kg / CO2  
= 0,563 ton CO2 a year

In order for a 2” AODD to produce this flow and pressure, it consumes 2,1 m3 of air.  

A 26 kw compressor needs to produce 2 m3 of air a minute. 880 hours operating time adds up to 22.880 kWh in total  

22.880 x 0,40 kg / CO2  
=9,152 ton CO2 a year

That’s some low hanging fruit, right there.

Corrugated Cardboard A Sticky Business

Go electric, reduce your emissions

Are you looking for ways to cut back on your energy consumption? Your air powered pumps are a great starting point.

Because they’re so central to your manufacturing operations, pump systems are some of the lowest-hanging fruit for improving sustainability and efficiency in your factory.

QUANTM pumps are plug-and-play into any 110V-240V outlet. With a compact motor integrated directly into the pump housing, QUANTM is compatible with your existing fluid transfer infrastructure and there is no need for additional wirings and connections.

So replacing AODD pumps with QUANTM ones is a fairly light lift in terms of equipment cost and the steps required to integrate into your manufacturing operations.

Find out how QUANTM reduces the footprint of your industrial processes. And build a strong business case by calculating the ROI – making sure you are also hitting those financial KPI’s.

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