A visual tool to calculate optimal control strategy for non-identical pumps working in parallel, taking motor and VSD efficiencies into account

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A simple graphical tool was developed, that finds the optimal combination of pumps and their rotational speeds for all possible working points for a pump battery. The tool was integrated into EPANET as well as EPA SWMM simulation packages. The tool allows us to analyse and optimize operation non-identical parallel pumps with different minimum and maximum frequencies for all possible working points. Pump characteristics and efficiency curves can be given in tabular format or as analytical functions of flow. Degradation of pump efficiency at lower rotational speed is taken into account, as well as motor and variable speed drive efficiencies at partial loads. The optimal solution provided by the tool was compared to measurements in two case studies. Our case studies showed 6.1–8.5% reduction in energy usage using the optimal parallel pumping control strategy compared to the currently used strategy, where all running pumps have the same frequency.

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