Cut Back on Expenses with a Variable Speed Pool Pump
Pool owners looking to replace a pool pump or the motor on their pump, or to purchase a new one, should seriously consider looking into variable speed pool pumps rather than single or double speed pumps. Variable speed pumps offer a greater degree of efficiency and control and therefore both save money and make the pool function better.
How They Work
Variable speed pumps are controlled by something called a variable speed drive. This is true whether we are referring to small pool pumps or large industrial pumps.
The U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has done studies of the greater efficiency provided by these drives. One major reason pumps controlled by the drives are more efficient is that controlling flow through precisely managed pumping speed rather than by mechanical means like valves allows smaller equipment and less wear and tear on machine components than when using a single speed pump.
The variable speed pumps also use a different type of motor. These brushless permanent magnet (or BPM motors), are more efficient than standard squirrel cage rotor motors, because they do not require as much of a transfer of energy and also have less friction working on the moving parts. This enables the same amount of electricity to do more work.
Long Term Savings
It is true that most variable speed pumps are more expensive to begin with than single or double speed pumps. However, the variable speed pumps’ greater efficiency will lead to more money saved over time, and is therefore a worthwhile investment.
A study by the US Department of Energy Efficiency (link in new window) documents that one of the chief advantages of variable speed pumps is reduced wear and tear on components, as mentioned above. It is easy to see how this saves money- a pump that has less wear and tear will last much longer and require much less maintenance over its existence.
Since the motor design also involves less friction and therefore less maintenance, every part of a new variable speed pump will last longer than those in a single or double speed pump.
Even more important, however, are the energy savings.
With the advanced electronic control provided by the VSD, a variable speed pump can change pumping speeds to match exactly what is required by the pool at any given moment. This allows it to use the lowest possible speed at any given time, so it can save maximum energy. Two speed pumps were a step in this direction, but having only two fixed speeds is still much less effective than being able to change constantly to match specific needs or individual pool systems. Since the pump can run more at lower speeds, it requires less energy to keep the same pool in good shape. With energy prices on the rise, this greater efficiency can represent a huge savings for any pool owner.
Pool owners looking to upgrade or find ways to save money on energy or maintenance expenses can gain many advantages from looking into variable speed pumps. While buying the cheapest option often seems tempting, the long-term savings of these more efficient pumps more than make up for any additional initial expense!