Advertorial - Why lifetime cost is key when choosing your pump solution

CArl Turbitt
Carl Turbitt of ABB

In HVAC applications, integrated pumps are promoted as an efficient and low cost alternative to VSD/ motor configurations, however there’s more to the debate than there might seem, according to Carl Turbitt, HVAC Drives – UK Sales Manager, ABB.

For many HVAC pumping applications, consultants will typically have two main options. On the one hand, there’s a traditional motor coupled with a VSD to provide efficient speed control. On the other, integrated pumps – which take both the motor and VSD and combine them into a single package.

On the face of it, having one device rather than two may make some sense, but this fails to look at the bigger picture in terms of which option truly offers the best value for money. An integrated pump contains both the pump motor and the drive within the same assembly, and as such cannot dissipate heat as effectively as situating both devices apart.

Ambient heat, along with excessive vibration, is one of the leading contributors to bearing failure, which itself is one of the leading causes of pump failure. In contrast, a VSD and motor will not be prone to such failures, and is likely to last for many years or even decades longer. Replacing an integrated pump can also pose problems, not least because they require replacement more often. They are often made to measure, and shipped as a whole device rather than two, and so if one component (i.e. the drive or the motor) fails, then the whole assembly must be replaced. In addition, this will typically have to be carried out by the original manufacturer, leaving end customers locked into proprietary ecosystems. 

Cooling tower in datacentre building

Many VSDs and motors are essentially interchangeable, allowing devices from different manufacturers to be paired together effectively. Integrated pumps have their place, particularly in low power applications such as domestic installations, where heat and vibrations are unlikely to be an issue. However,in larger HVAC assemblies, using a separate motor and drive can be a much more reliable and long-lasting solution, reducing the device’s total lifetime cost.

For more information about ABB’s motor and VSD offering for HVAC, visit: campaigns/energy-productivity/hvac-drives

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