Electric vs Pneumatic Pumps Energy Usage Comparison

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November 10, 2021

Electric vs Pneumatic Pumps Energy Usage Comparison

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Electric vs Pneumatic Pumps Energy Usage Comparison

Electric vs Pneumatic Pumps Energy Usage Comparison

Industrial fluid transfer and process pumps are used to move all types of fluids with varying degrees of viscosities, from oils, inks, and paints to peanut butter and tomato paste. These pumps come in a range of sizes and capabilities with pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric options.

Benefits of Electric Industrial PumpsGraco 1050e Electric Diaphragm Pump

With continuous technological advances regarding electric industrial pump capabilities, including integrated automation, controls, and networking, electric pumps help reduce pulsation, increase pump life and the longevity of the equipment. They also use 5x less energy to operate compared to traditional air-operated pumps. To understand how much money a manufacturing plant can save in their painting operating cost by switching to electric pumps and agitators, Graco put together the following scenario that compares electric vs pneumatic pumps energy usage.

Case Study: Electric vs Pneumatic Pump: Consumption of Power vs Consumption of Air

In this brief case study, we compare the annual costs to operate electric pumps and agitators against the cost to operate air-power pneumatic pumps and agitators. Below are a few bullet points to set the stage for this painting operation example:

  • A manufacturing facility has a total of 10 paint circulation pumps and 10 agitators.
  • They operate one 8-hour shift per day, 5 days a week.
  • They have 10 paint spray application points in their facility.
  • The paint circulates 24/7/365 as the paint needs constant agitation.
  • A standard rule of thumb is that 20.91 CFM of air consumption uses 1 kW of power in most air compressors.

The painting operation’s air consumption in paint circulation and paint application is as follows:

  • The plant’s paint agitators have a constant air draw, consuming air 24/7.
  • The plant’s pumps have a constant air draw, consuming air 24/7.
  • The plant’s paint proportioners have a sporadic, valve-operated air draw, only consuming air during production.
  • Air-operated regulators air draw is sporadic and are set to hold pressure, consuming a low amount of air.
  • Paint applicators have a sporadic air draw, only when spraying. They spend 45 minutes per hour spraying.

Given these facts, the chart below is a representation of the plant’s consumption of air and total annual energy cost for operating their painting operation when utilizing pneumatic pumps, pneumatic agitators (rotary vane and radial piston are separated to show the cost of each), and HVLP paint applicators.

Consumption of Air in Pneumatic Pumps and Agitators

Consumption of Air in Pneumatic Pumps and Agitators

The next chart is a representation of annual energy costs and consumption of power given that this manufacturing plant swapped the pneumatic equipment out for electric pumps and electric agitators, with the paint applicators remaining the same as before.

Consumption of Power in Electric Pumps and Agitators

Consumption of Power in Electric Pumps and Agitators

When switching from pneumatic pumps and agitators to electric versions, this plant’s annual energy costs associated with its painting operation decreased substantially.

  • If previously using rotary vane agitators (which consume more air to operate than radial piston agitators) their annual operating cost went from $35,127.20 a year to $3,899.90 a year, a savings of $31,227.30.
  • If they were using radial piston agitators before, their annual operating cost would have gone from $19,742.20 to $3,899.90, a savings of $15,842.30.

To summarize, technological advances with electric industrial pumps offer distinct advantages over air-powered and hydraulic pumps. A big advantage is the ability to control pressure and flow. They have less variability and offer consistent operations, fluid deliveries, spray performances, and can increase paint circulation life. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the increased energy efficiencies and cost savings, as stated in the above case study, that a manufacturing company can achieve in annual operating expenses.

If you are interested in learning more about electric industrial pump technologies, contact C.H. Reed. As an industry-leading Graco distribution and service company, we can work with you to help determine an ROI based on your current pump parameters to compare annual operating costs.

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