Putting a spotlight on energy efficiency in pumping systems

With the world of pumps continuously evolving at both an Australian and global level, the challenge is to keep all stakeholders aware of these activities, so that the latest technologies, pump standards and legislation being contemplated can be successfully introduced.

To address this challenge, Pump Industry Australia (PIA) hosted the one-day Energy Efficiency and Savings in Pumping Systems seminar on the 15 May at the Bruce County Hotel in Mt Waverley, Melbourne.

The seminar provided attendees with the opportunity to hear from key stakeholders, including government representatives, pump user groups, and leading national equipment suppliers and manufacturers about the latest developments on the impacts of pumping systems on energy and the environment, energy efficiency policies and planned legislation, and technical and commercial advances made in the application and penetration of energy-efficient pumping systems.

Keith Sanders, PIA Executive Officer Marketing and Statistics, opened the seminar and introduced the day’s keynote speaker, Albert Dessi, Assistant Director at the Department of Energy and Environment.

Mr Dessi’s keynote presentation ‘Industrial equipment upgrades program under the Emissions Reduction Fund’ set out the eligibility criteria for energy efficiency upgrades in pumping systems.

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) provides incentives for Australian businesses, farmers, land holders and others to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving people an opportunity to earn money while reducing emissions.

Under the ERF a new Industrial Equipment Upgrades method has been put forward to provide incentives for energy efficiency projects involving replacing or upgrading common industrial and related equipment such as pumps, boilers, compressed air systems, refrigeration and industrial cooling systems.

“The way the fund works is you register for the fund using an approved method, then you bid into an auction and the government pays you for your credits once you have realised them, so you measure and verifiy that you have obtained emission reductions, and then you are paid once you report those credits,” Mr Dessi said.

“In order to use the Emissions Reduction Fund, you need to use an approved method of calculation, you need to have a project registered, and then you need to obtain the savings in energy efficiency to prove this and verify and measure that they’ve occurred.

“Credits run for seven years, but depending on how you do the measurements under this method the credits will tend to be discounted in later years.”

In order to apply for the fund, the government requires approved methods to be used to determine and verify that emission reduction has occurred.

“The method establishes the calculations you have to do to determine those emissions and they establish reporting requirements so that we can verify that the savings are genuine, and that they can be measured and verified,” Mr Dessi said.

One of the aims of the fund is to provide incentives for projects that would not normally have gone ahead in order to encourage emission reductions additional to what would happen in the ordinary course of business as usual.

“It calculates emission reductions by measuring your energy consumption for a representative measurement period before you undertake a project and after you’ve made the energy efficiency improvements, and in that way we can ensure that the measurements are comparable and that you have actually achieved the intended results.”

Strict energy boundary and professional measurement and verification oversight are also in place.

“To make sure emission reductions are additional to what would normally happen, we first off require that the project be recommended through an energy audit or through another energy efficient assessment by a suitable professional. This cuts out equipment suppliers that are selling equipment just because they want to sell equipment, where there isn’t a good energy efficiency reason to replace that equipment,” Mr Dessi said.

Mr Dessi also mentioned that there is ongoing work by the Equipment Energy Efficiency program which is looking into minimum energy efficiency standards for pumps.

To learn more about the ERF, visit www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/emissions-reduction-fund.

Setting the Standards

Standards were a key focus of the seminar with several papers presented on proposed and newly implemented standard changes, as well as approaches to standards overseas.

Ken Kugler, PIA Executive Officer – Standards, talked about the new pump test code AS/ISO 9906:2018. As a member of the Standards Australia ME-030 sub-committee, Mr Kugler provided attendees with an update on the changes to the standard.

“AS 2417 is now withdrawn and considered obsolete, and was replaced by AS/ISO 9906:2018 in February this year,” Mr Kugler said.

“Previously, acceptance grades [from AS 2417:2001] were levels 1 or 2 with tolerance values based on specific flow and/or pressure ranges – regardless of industry or pump type.

“The new guidelines recognise that different pumps and/or industries have differing needs and established a multitude of default acceptance grades based on the application and rated power of the pump.”

Keith Sanders’ presentation ‘Energy auditing and certification: ISO 14414’ reviewed energy saving approaches in the UK and US, and the
need for a uniform approach to auditing and certification in Australia.

“Legislation on energy consumption in Europe and in the US is more advanced than it is in Australia; they already have more standards and more procedures, and these are harmonised to ensure auditing follows consistent guidelines. The standards are already in operation, and Europump, BPMA and Hydraulic Institute offer courses for auditing of pumping equipment and certification,” Mr Sanders said.

“While there is no industry standard for commissioning of pumping equipment to determine base operating data in Australia, the PIA has developed a program to train specialists to conduct commissioning and energy evaluations.

“ISO 14414:2015 is also being considered at this time and may be recommended to Standards Australia for adoption.”

PIA also welcomed back Brett Dundules, Senior Technical Officer at the Fire Protection Association of Australia (FPAA), who has presented at a number of PIA events .

Mr Dundules’ presentation ‘The mechanics approach to the NCC by FPAA’ explored the changes in the mechanics approach to the National Construction Code (NCC). He presented the proposed changes for sprinkler systems in buildings less than 25m, how the code addresses primary and secondary referenced documents, and how these changes would impact pumpsets.

Pumpset standards for fire installations were further explored by Bala Thuraisingam from the FPAA and Ken Kugler in their presentation ‘Fire pumps and conformance to AS 2941’.

The presentation looked at what is specified in the standard, why it is needed and who is responsible for ensuring compliance.

Mr Thuraisingam and Mr Kugler also presented a number of case studies to illustrate where compliance has or has not been met.

Insights from the industry

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from specialists, and leading national equipment suppliers and manufacturers about the technical and commercial advances made in the application and penetration of energy-efficient pumping systems in Australia and overseas.

Naren Gangaiah, Project Engineering Manager – KSB Australia delivered his presentation ‘European Extended Product Approach (ErP and EEI explained)’ which provided a manufacturer’s view on European legislation and product availability.

Warwick Stannus, Group Engineering Manager at A.G. Coombs, talked about efforts to establish guidelines and standard templates for a range of pump installations in his presentation ‘HVAC Pump Installations – An integrated approach to pump selection, installation and maintainability’.

Mr Stannus said he has seen a lot of different approaches to installation and commissioning leading to inconsistency between installations, which is a problem, especially if it’s happening within a business.

James Chalmers, Global Water Industry Manager – ABB (UK), discussed effective water utility management techniques, focusing on managing leakage, optimising pump performance and energy efficiency.

According to Mr Chalmers, business intelligence and performance metrics play a large role in the efficient use of water and meeting the utility’s challenges, which relies on the use of digital technology to optimise operations. In particular, he discussed the use of different technologies for early detection of faults in the system in order to reduce costs, as well as customer complaints.

Malcolm Robertson, Robertson Technology, explored strategies for performance assessment and improvement using the thermodynamic method of measuring pumping performance on-site.

From Davey Water Products, Andrew Rathjen’s presentation ‘Remote data capture for power savings in Industry and Irrigation’ looked at the management of data to achieve improved pump performance.

Keeping up to date

To ensure the Australian pump industry remains up to date with the latest PIA news, changes in standards and training, the PIA runs a number of seminars, technical meetings and training courses throughout the year in various states.

For more information or to see when the next event is on, visit https://pumps.asn.au/.

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