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Optimizing Pumping Systems to Minimize First or Life-cycle Cost

Judy Hodgson, DuPont Company; Trey Walters, P.E., Applied Flow Technology - Presented at the 19th International Pump Users Symposium, February 2002

The potential cost and energy savings from pumping systems is great. Recent studies have found that pumping systems account for about 20 percent of world energy usage (Frenning, et al., 2001). Efforts that minimize wasted energy in these systems would not only have substantial economic savings, but an equally important environmental impact, as well. Although savings can be made by optimizing existing systems, the greatest opportunities are in systems yet to be built. The reason being that in new designs the piping can be included as one of the variables that the engineer can modify to optimize the system. In large existing systems, it would be cost prohibitive to make a piping change. Unfortunately, pumping system design engineers work in an environment where budget and schedule constraints limit their ability to optimize their designs using traditional methods. The number of variables in complex pumping systems makes such optimization impractical, even with modern hydraulic analysis software. Most of the design engineer’s effort is focused on ensuring the system will merely function properly. With the abundant opportunity for cost and energy reduction in new pumping systems, the need exists for technologies that will allow engineers to optimize pumping system designs to minimize cost and energy usage. The commercial software, AFT Mercury, addresses this need.

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