Industrial pumping systems are used to force fluids (liquids and/or gases) through pipes for numerous processes. They provide cooling, heating and lubrication, power hydraulic systems and process sewage.

These include:

  • washing
  • petrol supply
  • air circulation
  • mineral sorting
  • natural gas transmission
  • fire hydrants
  • swimming pool filtration
  • waste-control operations
  • medical procedures

Fans are used widely in industrial and commercial applications, for ventilation, cooling, heat distribution, blowing and drying.

The power absorbed by a pump or fan (and the energy over time), is the result of pressure developed and volume flow rate. Reducing either the pressure or flow rate required will reduce power and energy. In an existing system, reducing the volume flow rate will, depending on the reduction mechanism, usually also reduce the system pressure requirements. These two parameters are often inter-dependent, and a small reduction in flow may deliver a much larger reduction in energy required.

Pump systems

There are two main categories of pump: positive displacement and centrifugal. They are characterised by the way they impart energy to the fluid being pumped,

  • Positive displacement pumps pressurise fluid by squeezing it with each piston stroke or shaft rotation.
  • Centrifugal pumps add kinetic energy to a fluid using a spinning impeller. This fluid then enters the diffuser section of the pump where it slows and the kinetic energy is converted into pressure.

While for many applications either type can be used, centrifugals are more common because they are simple and safe to operate, easily maintained and are long-lasting and durable.

Fan systems

There are two main types of fans—centrifugal and axial. The different types are characterised by the path of the airflow through the fan.

  • Centrifugal fans are the most common type of industrial fan.They can generate high pressures with high efficiencies.
  • Axial fans use a propeller to create an air-stream. They are available in different types, including tubeaxial and vaneaxial.

For more information

  1. US Department of Energy (2006) Improving Pumping System Performance – A Sourcebook for Industry, prepared by LBNL, Resource Dynamics Corporation, Alliance to Save Energy & Hydraulic Institute
  2. US Department of Energy (2006) Improving Pumping System Performance – A Sourcebook for Industry, prepared by LBNL, Resource Dynamics Corporation, Alliance to Save Energy & Hydraulic Institute
  3. US Department of Energy (2006) Improving Pumping System Performance – A Sourcebook for Industry, prepared by LBNL, Resource Dynamics Corporation, Alliance to Save Energy & Hydraulic Institute
  4. Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (2010) Discussion Paper: Improving the Energy Efficiency of Industrial Equipment Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Council on Energy (Opens in new window) 3.8 MB
  5. US Department of Energy (2003) Improving Fan System Performance – A Sourcebook for Industry, prepared by Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, US Department of Energy & Air Movement & Control Association International