European Union Pump Efficiency Regulations for Centrifugal Pumps

CO2 is a major contributor towards the Green House Effect which refers to the trapping of excess heat in the atmosphere leading to the melting of glaciers and other resultant problems. Electricity production is an important source of CO2 emissions since as much as 65% electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels which produces CO2 as a by product.

Keeping this fact in mind the European Union is dedicated to emerging as a climate-friendly region by cutting down power consumption. It was found that pumping equipment especially the ones used for domestic heating, fluid transfer, municipal water, were major electricity/power consumption agents. In fact, a preparatory study by EU Commission Regulation says that “ water pumps are placed on the European Union market in large quantities. Their annual electricity consumption amounted to 109 TWh in 2005, corresponding to 50 Mt in CO2 emissions. In the absence of measures to limit this consumption, it is predicted that energy consumption will increase to 136 TWh in 2020 .”

Thus EU has rolled out the European Union Pump Efficiency Regulations which are applicable to Centrifugal Pumps since these pumps deal in pumping fluids and are one of the most popular pumps for transferring fluids as opposed to positive displacement pumps due to their cost efficiency and ease of deployment. Centrifugal pumps see wide usage in the following applications:

Building technology:

Pumps for drinking water, boilers, heating and cooling, sewage pumps and fire water pumps.


Pipelines for oil, urban distribution of drinking water and sewage, district heating and cooling.


Clean and sewage water systems, process fluid pumps (oil, chocolate, etc.), hydraulic pump systems.

Centrifugal Pumps work on the principle of conversion of kinetic energy of a flowing fluid (velocity pressure) into static pressure. The rotation of the pump impeller accelerates the fluid as it passes from the impeller eye (center) and outward. As the fluid exits the impeller, a proportion of the fluid momentum is then converted to pressure. Typically the volute shape of the pump casing or the diffuser vanes assists in the energy conversion. The energy conversion results in an increased pressure on the downstream side of the pump, causing flow. So it is this energy conversion and subsequent power consumption that needs to be kept in check in the case of Centrifugal pumps.

To keep a check on Power consumption and in a bid to move towards higher efficiency pumps three provisions of the EU Motor efficiency Directive relate specifically to the pump industry:

  • 640/2009 and 4/2014: Ecodesign requirements for electric motors.
  • 641/2009 and 622/2012: Ecodesign requirements for glandless standalone circulators and glandless circulators integrated in products.
  • 547/2012: Ecodesign requirements for water pumps.

Some relevant takeaway from these directives are:

Challenge in ensuring that the pump remains compliant:

It is mandatory for Pump manufacturers and Rentals supplying to European Countries to ensure that all pumps are compliant with these requirements, failing which can attract huge penalty for manufacturer, supplier as well as the user. Though Pump manufacturers have now mostly moved to manufacture energy efficient Pumps and the market is in no dearth of energy efficient pumps; the challenge arises in ensuring that the pump remains compliant throughout the pump life cycle which averages a period of about 13 long years if utilized efficiently. Though most pumps are compliant to the mandate when sold in the market but once operational they start consuming more electricity and become noncompliant due to various reasons. Some common causes of high power consumption are:

  • In order to cover a much wider range of duties the same pump can be offered with different impellers or with different speed motors. This can lead to a significant decrease in efficiency as the pump is operating away from the designed Best Efficiency Point (BEP). This will result in higher energy costs and greater energy consumption.
  • Besides the wrong sizing, another important aspect that must be considered is that pump performances and efficiency deteriorate over time. Pumps incur corrosion, abrasion, erosion, and aging which is a result of fluctuating liquid level, gas level, chemical level, temperature and more. It also depends on the operating mode and whether the pump is operating in the right range (determined by the minimum allowable flow rate, maximum allowable flow rate, and temperature range) or not. If pumps are operating outside the point of best efficiency not only the efficiency decreases, but shafts and bearings suffer damage and the chance of a breakdown becomes extremely high.

Technological Solution:

Through an IIoT monitoring system; Pump stakeholders can ensure that the pump is functioning at Best Efficiency Point at all times. They can also ensure that the pumps can be monitored in real time for a range of parameters that ensure that the pump is functioning accurately through Sensors for Centrifugal Pumps. The IoT platform for these IIoT integrated smart pumping solutions comprise of three significant parts:

  • Sensors, including cables and junction boxes
  • Data collection device
  • Monitoring/analysis software

The sensors work to pick data from different hardware which is then relayed using GPRS/Internet/ Ethernet etc to a web-based application which stakeholders can access on their smart devices such as phones, laptops, and computers.

To ensuring compliance with European Motor and Pump Efficiency Regulations it is important to monitor power consumption at all stages. This can be done with the help of a magnetic field sensor originally developed by IIS for use in Bosch and Siemens branded washing machines, where it monitors the position and orientation of the rotating drum.

Sensors, can be mounted in the form of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), on a flexible, flat circuit board. What sets these sensors apart from more conventional designs is that they measure the magnetic field not only perpendicular to the surface of the chip but also in tangential directions, which improves measurement accuracy. The recorded data are transmitted to a microcontroller, which forwards them to a central processor via a gateway switch.

Such a sensor can measure alternating current, as well as direct current. Accuracy is generally a recurring problem with other clamp-on amp meters that cease to function correctly after a short-circuit however in case of a magnetic field sensor since it does not use any magnetizable materials in its design it is more accurate. Another advantage is that, unlike clamp ammeters, this can also measure voltages. Thus such a sensor is capable of measuring all parameters needed to monitor the quality of the grid supply in addition to the power consumption.

Further sensors such as temperature, level, chemical sensors and more can be utilized to monitor specific levels of chemical, gas and more to prevent damage due to corrosion and abrasion. Such damage also contributes to higher power consumption.

Data, about these parameters, is picked up by the IIoT platform from sensors, and then relayed to stakeholders so as to ensure energy consumption compliance at all times even after installation of the Centrifugal Pump.

Why this is relevant to Pump Manufacturers/ Rentals and users outside Europe?

Ensuring that centrifugal Pumps are compliant to EU regulations is a mandate in Europe and any deviation can result in huge monetary fines at the very least. However, for the end user, it also means less electricity consumption and lower expenses. Thus even for Pump Manufacturers in other countries, this can help gain a competitive edge as EU Standard compliance will help them ensure to their customers that the pumps will consume limited energy.

Further most countries are expected to follow suit with the EU Compliance standards as Global Warming and rising energy consumption is a global challenge. In that case, most manufacturers and Rentals can ensure that they face minimum business disruptions when these regulations are implemented elsewhere.

To know more about how smart Centrifugal Pumps are helping manufacturers, rentals, as well as Users, read Industrial IoT Solutions for centrifugal pump problems .

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