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Engineering design - the Fat-pipe principle

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.

energy efficency electric motors

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.

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 the criteria has not changed!, although energy costs have risen substantially, it doesn't make any sense.

Imagine for a moment that the life-time load of the motor could be reduced, that would reduce the total energy consumption lower the lifetime cost, and save money. But how do can we lower the motor load, and still satisfy the load requirements.

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


In principal the designer must actually think about the lifetime cost of the installation, not the first cost.

Consider the following:

- every 90 degree elbow, once installed they create a lifetime pressure drop, use 45 deg fittings lower pressure drop;

- piping, again once installed, creates that pressure drop for its entire lifetime, lower pressure drop lowers pump power;

- even in a city with extreme land and development costs the fat pipe principal really works.

The real goal is to provide a design that provides lower capital (capex) and more importantly lower operating costs (opex) than conventional designs.

With the help of Kelcroft's expertise, your energy consumption will be reduced, adding capital value.

Further Information

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