Energy Savings Potential for Pumping Water in District Heating Stations

Ioan Sarbu, Emilian Valea
2015 Sustainability  
In district heating stations, the heat carrier is circulated between the energy source and consumers by a pumping system. Fluid handling systems, such as pumping systems, are responsible for a significant portion of the total electrical energy use. Significant opportunities exist to reduce pumping energy through smart design, retrofitting, and operating practices. Most existing systems requiring flow control make use of bypass lines, throttling valves or pump speed adjustments. The most
more » ... t of these options is pump speed control. One of the issues in using variable-speed pumping systems, however, is the total efficiency of the electric motor/pump arrangement under a given operating condition. This paper provides a comprehensive discussion about pump control in heating stations and analyzes the energy efficiency of flow control methods. Specific attention is also given to the selection of motor types, sizing and pump duty cycle. A comparative energy analysis is performed on the hot water discharge adjustment using throttling control valves and variable-speed drives in a district heating station constructed in Romania. To correlate the pumped flow rate with the heat demand and to ensure the necessary pressure using minimum energy, an automatic system has been designed. The performances of these control methods are evaluated in two practical applications. The results show that approximately 20%-50% of total pumping energy could be saved by using the optimal control method with variable-speed pumps. Additionally, some modernization solutions to reduce the environmental impact of heating stations are described. OPEN ACCESS Sustainability 2015, 7 5706
doi:10.3390/su7055705 fatcat:ilfmn4r4rnhozjwkqjhkzh355e