Why More Pump Applications Are Pairing Motors With On-Board Controls

Every now and then, an industry experiences a tipping point—a moment when a new idea crosses an invisible threshold spreads quickly, and is adopted by large numbers of industry members. The pump industry may now be on the verge of one such tipping point with the way it sizes and powers pumps.

Commercial and industrial pumping applications have historically relied on oversized, single-speed pumps that have been designed to meet maximum system demand. While these pumps rarely operate at their full design capacity, they consume energy like they do. Enter Integrated Motor and Control (IMAC) technology. IMAC solutions, which pair a high-efficiency motor with an on-board control or variable frequency drive, make it possible to operate pumps at different speeds with energy-saving results. What kind of efficiency gains are possible? According to research conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), reducing IMAC speed by 20% can in some cases cut the input power requirements in half. IMAC technology is not new. It was first introduced in the mid- 2000s to residential heating and air conditioning markets, where it is now standard. In fact, most multispeed residential heating and air conditioning blowers sold in the U.S. today are powered by IMACs.

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Shopia Ketheeswararajah is a feature editor contributing to Pump Engineer, Stainless steel World Americas, Hose and Coupling World, and other related print & online media.