by Sean Griffin, February 26, 2010
Variable Speed Pool Pump Options
For those pool owners who are accustomed to their filter pump either being on or off - you may not realize the potential your pool pump has to be your economical accomplice. You may be missing out on hundreds of dollars in savings if you aren’t considering a multi speed/variable speed pump. Even if you are not in the market for a brand new pump you can make the required adjustments to take advantage of this energy and money saving technology.
The goal of a variable speed pump or a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) motor is to increase reliability, improve system control and diagnostics while decreasing energy, maintenance and life cycle costs.
The trick to minimize energy consumption so magically performed by a Variable Speed pool motor is to operate at the lowest speed needed to accomplish the job. A very common analogy is comparing your pool pump to an automobile. Everyone would agree that you get better gas mileage at lower speeds. the same is true with pool pump motors.
Another comparison can be made to how a modern variable speed pump saves you money. Single speed motors are like driving a car with the gas pedal all the way down and controlling your speed by using the brake - whereas a variable speed motor is only using the required amount of gas needed to complete the job whether it is for pump filtration, water features, or heating the spa. Optimum performance increases the longevity of not only your pump and motor but also the plumbing, valves and any additional piece of equipment in plumbing loop (the brakes in the car comparison).
The original cost of purchasing a variable seed pump will be offset in a short time. Although it depends on the exact application, how many gallons are being turned over, and the price you pay for electricity - you will earn back the money on your investment in only 1-2 seasons. Many local and state utilities offer rebates and savings, encouraging the pool industry and pool owners to “Go Green”.
But you don't have to purchase an entire new pump. Existing motors that are TEFC (totally enclosed fanned cooled), like pool pumps, can be retrofitted with a separate control box to make your motor more efficient. Networking and communication connections are optional, and available.
Speck pumps, known around here as the "Mercedes of Pool Pumps", and this year celebrating their 100th year - recently introduced the Variable Frequency Drive, VFD that can convert a standard motor into a Variable Speed pool motor. The Speck VFD is plug and play, with guided start-up. Backlit GUI, or if you want, connect your laptop to the USB port for programming and monitoring.
Savings are out there for you to take advantage of. With a wide variety of pumps incorporating VSD, a technologically and economically advanced pump that suits your needs is out there! Pentair seems to be leading the charge with using VSD technology, and other Green Pool Products.