Industry Implementations to Accommodate for Energy Savings Demand

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have implemented several regulations focusing on energy efficiency.

According to the DOE 2014-05 Technical Support Document for Electric Motors (Final Rule), nearly 70 percent of industrial electricity demand is used by industrial motor systems, with a majority of these being rotodynamic pumping systems.

The Energy Conservation Standard for Pumps (10 CFR 431 Subpart Y) published in January 2016 recognizes that pumps and motors equipped with variable speed drives (VFDs) can save significant energy and the DOE metrics for the regulation measures these savings.

When properly applied, variable frequency drives (VFDs) play a major role in energy conservation. A VFD is an electronic device used primarily for controlling the rotational speed of an alternating-current (AC) electric motor by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor.

VFDs have been used to control the speed of electric motors for more than 40 years. However, many pump end users were initially slow to adopt this technology. In recent years, innovative steps have been taken to improve the efficiency and reliability and reduce the cost of VFDs, making them a more attractive solution to motor speed control. These innovations have been met with a rapid adoption across the pumping industry.

As with any rapid technological surge, there is a steep associated learning curve. VFDs have a special set of requirements that must be considered during system and application selection, installation, operation and troubleshooting. It is difficult to find objective literature that has information directed toward these special requirements with an emphasis on the pumping industry.

Throughout the years, various white papers regarding VFDs have been circulated through the pump industry. As a result, HI developed a comprehensive guidebook that combined these considerations with recommendations from industry experts. Variable Frequency Drives: Guidelines for Application, Installation, and Troubleshooting assists VFD end users and system integrators in the proper selection, specification, installation and operation of VFD-driven equipment.

This guide details basic troubleshooting information to help diagnose common issues with VFD-driven systems.

HI guidebooks are written by industry experts on topics vital to those who design, operate, or maintain pumps and pumping systems. For a full list of guidebooks, visit

SOURCE: HI Pump FAQs, 2/22/17