-Pumps are widely used in buildings and municipal settings for pumping water, heat and fuel; not to mention in a variety of industrial processes. But they don’t score highly when it comes to energy efficiency: they gobble up energy and often run around the clock. For example, older circulation pumps in heating systems are particularly energy-inefficient; that, in turn, drives up operating costs and contributes to higher emissions. Now the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) is spearheading a project to solve this problem.
HEAP (Holistic Optimisation of Electric Drive Trains for Pump Applications) will be coordinated by the Institute of Energy Systems and Power Mechatronics at RUB and bring together expertise from the Münster University of Applied Sciences and the Dortmund pump technology company Wilo GmbH.
The team’s first objective is to create a simulation tool for modelling and improving end-to-end pump operations. "Up to now, the many individual components of pumps are often still optimised separately – often with reference to a nominal operating point, which is rarely needed in practice," explains team leader Professor Constantinos Sourkounis in a . "This design usually contains unnecessary reserves – and is therefore usually not optimal in terms of overall efficiency, material use and costs."
Over the next three years, the team aim to achieve the highest efficiency at the lowest costs for a range of different pump systems. The initiative could ultimately save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions. HEAP is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.