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Pumps and Valves: Healthy savings

Pumps contribute to a significant proportion of the UK's energy use. Stuart Herritty of Wilo reports on how one hospital has slashed its energy bills - and its carbon emissions
Pumps and Valves: Healthy savings
A COMPANY in the UK is helping cut the cost of energy used by pumps and pumping systems by up to 80%.

Wilo (UK) is part of the German Wilo AG Group, one of the world's top six pump manufacturers with annual sales approaching £700million.

Throughout its history, the Wilo group has been at the forefront of developing energy-saving products through increased hydraulic efficiency, electronics and innovative motor design. These advances in product development have lead to the latest ranges of Wilo pumps qualifying for the top, band-A energy rating.

In real terms, the latest range of Wilo pumps are up to 80% more efficient than a standard fixed-speed pump. With rising energy costs, this can represent a huge saving on energy bills. There is not a huge awareness of the amount of energy that pumps can use.

In simple terms, the value of heating controls in a home is to turn off or turn down the heat and energy use when its not needed. In the same way, if you can install pumps that only operate and consume energy when they are needed, you can make a huge saving on your energy bills.

Of course, this saving has to be balanced against the cost of purchasing a new pump.

It is easy to bandy around impressive-looking statistics. But what about in real life? Can these claims be substantiated?

Early in 2006, Wilo made contact with Norman Spiller based at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. Responsible for the maintenance of all plant on the site, Spiller was concerned the pumps installed were aging, and could be a significant factor in the hospital's electricity bill of more than £1million a year.

Wilo was invited to survey the pumps in all of the 12 plant rooms within the hospital. The purpose of the survey was to catalogue all of the pumps on site, and suggest an equivalent pump from the Wilo energy-efficient range.

Dan Wild from Wilo takes up the story. 'Upon inspection, we found the pumps on site ranged from 20 years old down to pumps that had been installed for only a couple of years,' he says.

'When the pumps had been catalogued and new equivalents selected, we calculated the energy costs of the old and the new. It was found that significant savings could be made by installing the new Wilo high-efficiency pumps. This saving obviously had to be offset against the capital outlay required to purchase the new pumps,' Wild adds.

'As you would expect, the most significant saving could be made on the older pumps and not surprisingly the pumps with larger motor sizes.'

Payback periods for the pumps ranged from four months up to several years, with savings of up to £6,300 a year available for an outlay of just £4,340. Over the 12 plant rooms surveyed, Wilo was able to produce savings of more than £70,000 a year.

With payback periods of a few months, Derriford Hospital was able to make the decision to replace the first pumps immediately as they would show a saving in that financial year. The hospital has also planned the replacement of all pumps in the hospital as funding becomes available.

This saves considerable energy year on year. And the new pumps will slash running costs when compared with many of their older counterparts, which required increasingly frequent maintenance.

By choosing a single manufacturer of pumps on the site, the hospital can standardise any spare parts it carries in the event of pump failures. It has also negotiated with a local pump distributor to hold stock of spares and replacement pumps.

Wilo has agreed to train the hospital's staff in the installation and maintenance of all the pumps installed. This training has taken place both at the hospital and at the Wilo headquarters in Burton on Trent.

As a result of this kind of exercise, Wilo is now working on a number of government sites, particularly within the military sector, to help them drive down their energy costs. A free site survey and energy comparison service is the gateway to any establishment saving significantly on their annual energy costs.

Wilo UK offers a free, no-obligation site survey and energy comparison. It shows in simple terms what a current set up is costing and what can be saved. Call 01283 523 000 or visit
1 August 2007


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