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Thread: variable speed pumps

  1. #1
    MCA
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    variable speed pumps

    Has anyone tried one of the newer variable speed pumps? From what I have seen, they mostly are 1HP and larger pumps for 230VAC. I am just thinking that while I run a shower filter at full tilt duriing most of the year, I bypass the shower for around 3 months in the winter. But I still keep water moving in the pipes to prevent freezes.

    There seems to be the following possibilities for this:

    1. swap pumps with a lower speed/power pump during the bypass months
    2. put in a pump speed controller for the existing pump that must do something like clip the AC voltage to reduce power consumption
    3. put in a variable speed pump (they all seem to be 230VAC and relatively expensive)


    Anyone tried any of the above?
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  2. #2
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Has anyone tried one of the newer variable speed pumps? From what I have seen, they mostly are 1HP and larger pumps for 230VAC. I am just thinking that while I run a shower filter at full tilt duriing most of the year, I bypass the shower for around 3 months in the winter. But I still keep water moving in the pipes to prevent freezes.

    There seems to be the following possibilities for this:

    1. swap pumps with a lower speed/power pump during the bypass months
    2. put in a pump speed controller for the existing pump that must do something like clip the AC voltage to reduce power consumption
    3. put in a variable speed pump (they all seem to be 230VAC and relatively expensive)


    Anyone tried any of the above?
    No, but I use these FF pumps. I can adjust the flow up or down as necessary and save about 25% of power vs flow comparing to other pumps. I flow about 15,000 GPH at 600 watts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails variable speed pumps-ff.jpg  

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    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vipertom View Post
    No, but I use these FF pumps. I can adjust the flow up or down as necessary and save about 25% of power vs flow comparing to other pumps. I flow about 15,000 GPH at 600 watts.
    Does FF mean fixed frequency?

    I thought about cycle stop valves and it's use as an alternative to variable frequency drives at www.cyclestopvalve.com. While csv isn't applicable to our application as we are high flow and low-pressure, I think that regulating the flow with appropriate valves (not ball or gate valves) would do the trick. Also, there are pumps that come with a few impellers to give you some flexibility in setting flow rates. I use a Sequel Kohaku where there are 3 impellers to give me different flow rates.

    VFDs are not only expensive, but the electronic controller doesn't match the longevity of the pump and is the first to wear out. No pump expert here though, just my two cents.

  4. #4
    MCA
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    Tom's pumps look like FlowFriend units. They are high end German pumps with stainless steel impeller housings. They are designed for 220 50Hz power. I imagine they can also handle 230 60Hz. I have not heard of them running 115 60 Hz.

    I just ordered a pump controller which should be here Friday. So I will see how the controller can drop the flow and power consumption.

  5. #5
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Tom's pumps look like FlowFriend units. They are high end German pumps with stainless steel impeller housings. They are designed for 220 50Hz power. I imagine they can also handle 230 60Hz. I have not heard of them running 115 60 Hz.

    I just ordered a pump controller which should be here Friday. So I will see how the controller can drop the flow and power consumption.
    here is the description of FF, I my electric bill has gone down since installing these 2 pumps and was able to turn off the UV due to high turn over rate and the effectiveness of couple showers.

    The FlowFriend:

    • Extremely energy efficient
    • Standard RPM controls
    • High flows at low energy consumption
    • Extremely quiet
    • A highly efficient, new generation of permanent magnet motor
    • Optimised hydraulics, cast entirely from 316 stainless steel
    • Optimal coordination between pond and season
    • A premium efficiency IE4 motor
    • Motor developed and manufactured in Germany
    • Can be deployed anywhere in the world: voltages ranging from 100-240V/50-60 Hz

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    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vipertom View Post
    here is the description of FF, I my electric bill has gone down since installing these 2 pumps and was able to turn off the UV due to high turn over rate and the effectiveness of couple showers.

    The FlowFriend:

    • Extremely energy efficient
    • Standard RPM controls
    • High flows at low energy consumption
    • Extremely quiet
    • A highly efficient, new generation of permanent magnet motor
    • Optimised hydraulics, cast entirely from 316 stainless steel
    • Optimal coordination between pond and season
    • A premium efficiency IE4 motor
    • Motor developed and manufactured in Germany
    • Can be deployed anywhere in the world: voltages ranging from 100-240V/50-60 Hz
    How is the permanent magnet motor special? Says the motor doesn't rely on variable frequency.

  7. #7
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    How is the permanent magnet motor special? Says the motor doesn't rely on variable frequency.
    sorry, I don't know how pumps work. I am sure Norm with Bridge Way Koi knows since he is the distributor of these FF pumps and a member of this site.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCA View Post
    Tom's pumps look like FlowFriend units. They are high end German pumps with stainless steel impeller housings. They are designed for 220 50Hz power. I imagine they can also handle 230 60Hz. I have not heard of them running 115 60 Hz.

    I just ordered a pump controller which should be here Friday. So I will see how the controller can drop the flow and power consumption.
    Mike, is this controller an oem option with your pump? It's worth a try any which way. Even if I don't have those seasonal changes here, still it's nice to have the ability to vary flow rate. Although at this point in my filter build, I couldn't see increasing my flow rate to have benefits as it messes with the waste settlement on my sump. But having the ability to vary flow rate certainly allows one to find an optimal flow rate. Let us know how it works out.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vipertom View Post
    sorry, I don't know how pumps work. I am sure Norm with Bridge Way Koi knows since he is the distributor of these FF pumps and a member of this site.
    No worries Tom. It was fun watching it whine and purr at YouTube. When are you finding the need nowadays to vary the flow rate?

  10. #10
    Nisai vipertom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    No worries Tom. It was fun watching it whine and purr at YouTube. When are you finding the need nowadays to vary the flow rate?
    I crank it up in the summer during heavy feeding and slow down in the winter when I slow down or stop feeding.

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