Europe is constantly responding to the demands of climate change with increasingly rigorous environmental legislation. In spite of this, the EU continues to waste at least 20% of its energy due to inefficiency. A European Commission report, published in October 2006 , sets out an action plan for how the EU can recoup the wasted 20% of energy by 2020, and proposes a series of ambitious steps that will see energy savings amount to double what has already been pledged under the Kyoto Protocol.
The report targets energy efficiency in the building sector as a top priority in terms of both reducing energy use and lowering carbon emissions. To help achieve the goals set out in the Action Plan, the EU expects that equipment manufacturers will have a key role to play in terms of developing more energy-efficient technologies and products. Now pump manufacturer Tsurumi has developed an innovative electrode level sensor that combines energy savings, cost savings and a reduction in the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere.
Initially the sensors have been incorporated into the KTVE range of contractor pumps, used for general dewatering applications. The pumps, which range from 0.75kW to 5.5kW with maximum head of between 2m and 37m, are modified versions of the existing KTV range and share the same compact design and lightweight profile. The KTV range, like all Tsurumi pumps, has dry-running capabilities as standard. Mr. Daniel Weippert, Managing Director of Tsurumi (Europe) GmbH explains: "On construction sites it is neither practical, nor economically viable to have pumps monitored round the clock. The dry-running feature of Tsurumi pumps is popular with contractors as it avoids damaging the pump or the need for higher staffing costs."
However, there are disadvantages to allowing any pump to operate non-stop in this way – the pump will be subjected to greater wear and tear leading to more frequent maintenance; energy consumption will be higher leading to greater energy bills for contractors; and more CO2 is blown into the atmosphere. The electrode level sensor gets around this problem by responding to the presence of water: as the water level rises it makes contact with the electrode, which switches on the pump; when the water level drops away the automatic timer switch will stop the pump after just one minute.
Calculations on the performance of the electrode level sensor in the KTVE pumps have highlighted impressive potential savings that can be made compared to pumps that don't have the sensor. Based on data from a typical job site , Tsurumi have calculated that the KTVE2.22 would only cost €889 per year to run and generate 1,424 kg of CO2. In comparison, a 2.2kW pump without a level sensor would cost €3,211 per year to run and generate 5,138 kg of CO2. The Tsurumi electrode level sensor reduces both costs and carbon emissions by over 70%. "We are proud that Tsurumi has taken the lead in eco-friendly design," says Daniel Weippert. "European equipment manufacturers have a responsibility to help reduce energy consumption and we are pleased that this latest innovation benefits both our customers and the environment."
In addition to the obvious cost and environmental benefits, the electrode level sensor in the KTVE range makes these pumps ideal for installation in confined spaces. The design for the sensor was originally conceived in response to customer demands for a slim-line pump that would still be responsive to water levels. Tsurumi's electrode level sensor offers definite advantages in terms of pump size over the more common float switches, used as water level monitoring solutions by other pump manufacturers. Additionally, the Tsurumi electrodes cannot get blocked or tangled, unlike float switches, and offer a more precise detection of water level.
Orders for the electrode level sensors have been excellent as the KTVE pumps are proving popular with Tsurumi's European customer base. Tsurumi has installed the sensors on all five motor sizes in the KTVE range and has already rolled out the new technology to two further pumps from the LB range of pumps, the LB 480-A and the LB 800-A.
1. Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential, European Commission publication, 19/10/2006.
2. For calculation purposes the typical construction site was calculated to be 5000m2, with a pit depth of 10m and a volume of pumped water at 20l/day per m2. Electricity costs are based on €0.25/kWh.
CO2 output is based on the International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC) figure of 0.4kg CO2 per kWh as the European average. However, this figure will vary by EU member state depending on how electricity is generated in that country (proportion from coal, oil, gas, nuclear or renewable energies): the potential reduction in emissions will be higher wherever the national figure is above average for Europe.