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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

    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 Files

    Comment

    • #3

      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.

      Comment

      • #4

        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.
        Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

        Comment

        • #5

          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

          Comment

          • #6

            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.

            Comment

            • #7

              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.

              Comment

              • #8

                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.

                Comment

                • #9

                  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?

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    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.

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Originally posted by vipertom View Post
                      I crank it up in the summer during heavy feeding and slow down in the winter when I slow down or stop feeding.
                      Way to go! I'm wondering if there's a use for it in tropical weather. Maybe when we have really hot summers, when we reduced feeding is needed, it would be of good use.

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        In hot weather you may reduce feeding but if the pump is driving a shower or waterfall you would want max flow to help keep DO as high as possible. Just when the pond system needs it the most....hot season....water's ability to carry O2 is at its lowest.
                        Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          Originally posted by MCA View Post
                          In hot weather you may reduce feeding but if the pump is driving a shower or waterfall you would want max flow to help keep DO as high as possible. Just when the pond system needs it the most....hot season....water's ability to carry O2 is at its lowest.
                          The need for max DO even with reduced feeding at high water temps- does that mean there's no compelling reason in getting a FlowFriend unit in the tropics? Since there's not much need to vary flow rate.

                          Now, I can see that need though, when you add more koi to a pond that you had not originally planned on, thus increasing the feeding levels. This would pair well with an anoxic filtration system, since, according to Dr. Novak, the system would easily adjust to the increased load.

                          How much does a FlowFriend cost?

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            Flow friends are around $2000+ in the States, 1600+ Pounds in the UK. They are definitely not inexpensive.

                            I got my Anjon Monsoon pump controller today. I will check it out this weekend.
                            Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              Briefly tested the Anjon Monsoon Speed Controller. It seems to work by clipping the AC waves. The range on the controller wheel only gave me a few degrees of range where the Wave pump was slowed. For most of the range of motion on the control wheel, the pump was not moving. Also the back plate of the controller box got too hot to handle. I had planned to slip it into a plastic bag for weather sealing outside....but with that heat....a plastic bag is not such a good ideal.

                              While the pumps (mostly pool models) made for variable speed control look promising, their $1000+ cost plus the use of 230VAC means I will not be running one on in my pond. I do like the idea of the ones with the DC motor like the Badu EcoM3V. The ones with AC motor are evidently doing voltage and frequency changes to drop the motor RPMs.

                              So I am back to having a few main options during the winter when I bypass the shower:
                              • keep the pump running a full power and flow when bypassing the shower
                              • keep the pump running in bypass and use a ball valve to add back pressure to reduce the flow (and power consumption?)
                              • swap the main pump for a smaller less power consuming model during the winter bypass months.


                              At least I have options. Putting 230VAC in the filter pit for pumps is not one of them.
                              Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

                              Comment

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