None of us need reminding that pumps use a lot of electricity and can generate noise, heat and greenhouse gases. But they are also a vital component of most water treatment set-ups, including your swimming pool.
So how does one best balance the need for powerful and cost-efficient pumps with the impact on the environment?
As you would expect, with over 50 years of innovation in pump design technology it’s something close to our hearts. It is also why, when the EU mandated new energy-efficiency standards for pump motors, Pentair were well ahead of the game. Giacomo Fantozzi, Pool Pumps Product Manager at Pentair, explains the key changes and why they are important for Pentair customers.
Forward thinking, anticipating change
“EU Regulations can be complex at the best of times, but this one is simple”, explains Giacomo. “Greenhouse gases are increasing, temperatures are rising and electric motors are a big contributor to the problem, so the issue has to be dealt with. In 2019, the European Union announced a new ecodesign regulation, Ecodesign Regulation (EU) 2019/1781 to give it its full name. It would require wholesale efficiency improvements to many electric motors – not least those that drive pumps. The new regulation became mandatory on 01 July 2021 and rest assured we were ready!”
“In fact, we have been ready for some time”, explains Giacomo. “As Pentair is always looking to improve customer value we had, to a large extent, anticipated these new requirements. In simple terms this new regulation is about the IEC International Efficiency Standards (IE) of pump motors. Depending on their rated power, it requires 3-phase single-speed motors to move to either the ‘high efficiency’ category (IE2) or to a ‘premium efficiency’ category (IE3). In another two years that bar will be further raised and will cover all single phase motors.”
Pumping investment into Pentair Pumps
“The majority our pump motors have been IE3 compliant for many years. Our research and development team constantly scan our multiple pump product lines to see how they can be enhanced to reduce noise, heat and above all energy consumption. The EU regulation was inevitable but gave added impetus and we have been shipping pumps that meet the new requirement for some time. It has still been a major undertaking as many pumps and motors have been impacted. But it has been a necessary and worthwhile investment.
“We will be ready for the next step too. Today one-phase, single-speed motors are not subject to any energy efficiency regulation. In July 2023, ‘high efficiency’ (IE2) will become mandatory and we are already well underway to achieving this.”
New Ecodesign regulation is a win-win
“We are delighted that our single speed pumps are more energy efficient across the board and it’s a win-win for our customers… better for their pockets and better for the planet. That said, more and more Pentair customers are already enjoying lower energy cost having selected our variable speed pumps. Variable speed pumps tick all the boxes above, and with efficiency ‘built-in’, they already comply to the EU Ecodesign regulations.
“But for those who still choose to run with single speed pumps, they can run their pool systems in the knowledge that they are cleaner and greener too”.