Pumps with new levels of control and remote access provide end users with more choices.
by Sarah Morris
February 5, 2018

Energy is a valuable commodity. This is why the world’s first high-efficiency circulator came to be in 2001. With the help of electronically commutated motor (ECM) technology, this efficient, functional and flexible pump for heating, cooling and air conditioning can reduce annual power consumption by up to 80 percent. This technology filled a gap in the industry to address energy efficiency and remainsl relevant today. Now more than ever, as technology continues to evolve, digitalization is omnipresent and changing industries worldwide, including how people think about energy. A “smart” pump is a perfect example of this evolving technology.

Smart pumps are a new category of pump. A smart pump provides the ability to connect using a smartphone or a tablet and operate the pumps and receive useful information for diagnosis or operation. A smart pump application also offers a facility for downloading updates and trends.

This technology is being used in the commercial and residential markets and goes beyond the high-efficiency pumps or intelligent pumps of the past. The combination of the latest sensor technology, innovative control functions through dynamic and multi-flow adaptation, bi-directional connectivity (i.e. Bluetooth, integrated analogue inputs and binary inputs/outputs), software updates and setup guide upon power-up are the features that make a pump “smart.”

The on-board set up offers an intuitive, user-friendly operation. Innovative functions such as multi-flow adaptation and no-flow shutdown optimize energy efficiency. Multi-flow adaptation is a new energy-saving function enabling the pump to adjust its output to the precise demands of the circuit pump(s). The pump can automatically adapt its output to the varying system requirements with dynamic adaptation without setting a target value. No-flow shutdown controls the system by sensing the demand for flow and either starting or stopping the pump accordingly.

New control modes ensure flexible and perfect adaptation for all applications. Setting a constant target temperature or constant differential temperature further enhances the efficiency of the pump and the overall system.

In addition to the new control modes, the smart pump addresses the industry standard control modes, including:

  • dynamic adaptation
  • T-const (temperature constant)
  • dT-const (differential temperature constant)
  • Q-const (volume flow constant)
  • index circuit evaluator
  • PID (user-defined PID controller)
  • dP-c (differential pressure constant)
  • dP-v (differential pressure variable)
  • N-const (constant speed)

It is important that pump installation is simple, and the smart pump makes it easier than ever. The high degree of connectivity makes the pump a flexible solution when it comes to integration into a wide range of applications. The analogue and digital interfaces are now a standard for these new pumps.

High-efficiency smart circulators are ideal for closed cooling circuits, air conditioning systems, industrial circulation and solar/geothermal applications as well as either domestic or commercial hot water heating systems. These products use ECM motor technology that can reduce energy consumption by up to 80 percent.

Smart pumps are revolutionizing)Smart pumps are revolutionizing the pump industry (Image courtesy of Wilo USA)

In addition, the target temperature control of the circulator assists with the prevention of legionella infestations in warm, potable water systems. The model for drinking water applications is also ideal for specific hygiene requirements as it automatically recognizes a thermal disinfection program being carried out and supports the rinsing of pipes by increasing its output to the maximum flow rate.

Additional control interface modules that offer integration into the world of building management systems are available through many major communication protocols. In the future, it will be possible to operate and control the pump via a custom-developed app that will read out the pump data and make it available for system optimization. The new smart pump for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and drinking water applications in large buildings sets new energy efficiency standards due to the integrated power saving functions.

New Smart Pump Functions

  • Configurable volume flow limitation via QLimit function (Qmin and Qmax)
  • No-flow shutdown (automatic deactivation of the pump)
  • Automatic venting of the rotor chamber
  • Switchover between heating and cooling mode (automatic and manual)
  • Separate heating/cooling quantity measurement
  • Automatic setback operation
  • Automatic deblocking function and integrated full motor protection
  • Dry run detection
  • Operating modes of double pumps: min/standby operation, parallel operation (efficiency optimized double pump management)
  • Operation history recording (volume flow, heating and cooling quantities) per day and week