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Design - the Fat Pipe Principle

John Herbert, hong kong energy saving expert, BEAM expert
John Herbert

Call +852 2335 9830 today!

First lets look at the facts, 3/5th of the global power supply is consumed by electrical motors every year. The operating cost of a typical electric motor consumes enough electricity within its first year of operation to cover its entire capital cost.

Of course, HVAC plant requires electrical motors to drive pumps, fans, compressors and the like, yes they should be energy efficient, but let's consider a different strategy, consider the lifetime OPEX.

Ask a designer what was the pipe sizing criteria they used in the 80's, then ask what they use today, you might be surprised to discover the majority will say their criteria has not changed!, although energy costs have risen substantially. It doesn't make any sense to use the same standard today, but change is difficult.

Imagine an electric pump motor duty could be reduced, that would reduce the lifetime energy consumption, and the lifetime cost, saving money.

How to lower the lifetime motor load, and still satisfy the design requirement?

The solution is simple, it requires thinking outside the box, remember that many designers are still using 1900's criteria in the 21st century.

lifetime energy consumption


The designer's attention must be re-focused to think and consider the lifetime cost of the installation. Consider:

- every pipe fitting once installed is a lifetime source of pressure drop, replace 90 degree bends with 45 deg fittings, lowering the system pressure drop and pump motor power for next 25 years!

- piping, once installed is a lifetime source of pressure drop, lowering the piping pressure drop lowers the system pressure and pump motor power for the next 25 years!

- changing the flow and return temperatures and delta T, where practical could decrease the flow rate lower the pump motor power consumption for 25 years!

The goal is providing a design that provides lowers the liefetime operating costs (opex) compared to conventional designs. Replacing 90 bends for 45 degree fittings will save energy everyday.

We add value using our expertise to lower your lifetime energy consumption.

lifetime energy consumption

What is next? Call +852 2335 9830 today!

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tags: lower opex, lower chilled water running costs, lower chilled water pumping costs, lower heating opx, lower heating running costs, lifetime cost, total cost of ownership.

created 2016, updated 2020
kelcroft consultants hong kong