September 2009

Rotating Equipment

Applying pumps with variable-speed drivers

An evaluation carried out for a specific project demonstrated that the technology can result in lower operating and investment costs

Nardozi, G., Technip Italy

  Historically, in the process industries, and in particular in the refining industries, pumps have used fixed-speed drivers and pump flow control was done by throttling control valve(s) at the pump discharge. Recently, use of pumps with variable-speed drivers (VSDs) is increasing because: • Cost of low-voltage VSDs has dropped • Improvements in VSD technology and increased reliability • Increasing interest in energy-saving issues. In the framework of a big project for a refinery located in northern Europe, an extensive study was carried out for the whole project to evaluate for which pumps applying a VSD was feasible and the impacts on the investment cost, ener

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