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Calculative approach needed for energy efficient pumps in Europe

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by Socrates C.T , Lead Analyst, CapEx and MRO
1 January 2017


Until 2013, pump industry in Europe was not mandated to focus on energy efficiency. However, the European Union has recently directed pump users to switch to energy efficient pumps. This article aims to highlight the impact of the regulatory compliance on sourcing of pumps. It maps out cost savings along with total life-cycle cost analysis.


  • The European Commission (EC) has enforced regulations under the Directive 2009/125/EC concerning eco-design requirements for water pumps. The regulations target rotodynamic water pumps that pump out clean water. The aim is to phase out low efficiency water pumps in the market thereby reducing the energy consumption and subsequently the emissions. The energy consumption of water pumps in Europe was around 109 TWh in 2005, 117.7 TWh in 2010 and it is expected to spiral up to 136.2 TWh by 2020. With regulations in place, the reduction in energy is expected to be 3.3 TWh in 2020 and an estimated savings of upto16TWh between 2012 and 2020.
  • The European Union has issued another directive to increase efficiency gains. It is an Extended Product Approach (EPA), which will have a broader view of the pumping system. This will include efficiency measurement indices for a pumping system as a whole, which will include the pump, motor, load profile and variable speed drives.

What is the regulatory impact on pump efficiency?

Since January 2013, all new water pumps were required to have efficiency metrics in accordance with Minimum Efficiency Index (MEI) ≥ 0.10. However, from January 2015, this was revised to a minimum efficiency of MEI ≥ 0.40. The Gauss curve below is an example exhibiting the efficiency level in accordance with the Minimum Efficiency Index. In this case, MEI < 0.1 refers to pumps which have efficiency below 67 percent that has been removed from the European market from January 2013. This amounts to 10 percent of the least efficient pumps. Similarly, those with MEI< 0.4 and having efficiency below 72.5 percent were to be removed from the European market from January 2015 - - this amounted to 40 percent of the least efficient pumps. The efficiency predominantly depends upon the design of the pump and factors such as head and pressure of the pumping application.

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