A Green Pool! Variable Speed Motors and Pool Pumps
The Variable Speed Pump motor components explained;
Typical variable speed (VS) motors have three major components: 1) the motor 2) the drive that is bolted on to the motor 3) the controller that sits on the drive. The drive provides electrical in DC 3 phase to the motor and contains the circuit boards used to control the motor. The controller has a panel of buttons and a display that allow for user input to program time and speed commands to the drive. In some cases, the controller can be taken off the drive and mounted on a wall for easier accessibility to the panel. The Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) motors keep water and bugs out which prolongs their life to three times the life of a standard induction motor. The variable speed motor can be totally enclosed because of the permanent magnet technology which allows these motors to run much cooler and quieter than the standard induction motors. At 1800 Rpm (about half the rpm of a standard induction motor) the pump is almost silent and yet capable of keeping most pools clean and sanitized.
Overview of Variable Speed Motor Features;
Variable speed motors on the market today have common features. Energy savings up to 85% in operational costs with an average savings of 75% depending on your pool features and location. Their THP (Total Horse Power) is in a range of 1.65 to 3.45 HP and most are wired for 240V and run between 600 and 3450 RPM… They have integrated timers mounted on the top of the motor that can be programmed for 4- 8 different speeds in 4-8 different time slots. Variable speed motors use permanent magnets technology in place of coiled copper wire used in standard induction single speed motors. TEFC motors run much quieter at full speed. At the lower speed, you can hardly hear them at all. The induction motor runs at one or two speeds, it is noisy and creates a lot of heat. Heat is a killer of motor life spans.
Why pay more for these Variable Speed motors?
The basic law of physics says that if you reduce the RPM of a motor by half, you reduce the energy required to move that water to one eighth the full speed energy. If it costs $2.20 a day to run a single speed motor for eight hours, it would only cost $0.28 to run a variable speed motor for the same amount of time at half speed. Running a variable speed motor at half speed for 16 hours would cost $0.56 / day. That’s savings of 75% . This savings allows you to run the pump longer for less money which in the end results in a crystal clear pool and a savings of $231.00 ($1.65 savings x 140 days in an average season) each season. Cost savings depend on what you pay per KW/HR, the higher the cost the more you save. Check out energy star pumps for a comparison.
Pay it forward!
A Variable speed pump costing $1200.00 will pay for its self in about 5 seasons. If you are considering a new pump you may want to look at the cost savings comparison on initial cost:
Variable speed pump $1200.00 Cost of operation $200.00 Total Cost $1400.00 First season cost $50.00 Each season thereafter $231.00 Standard pump $550.00 Cost of operation $800.00 Total Cost $1350.00 First season cost $00.00 Each season thereafter $800.00
Variable speed pumps and filtration:
Variable Speed motors can be run 24/7 at a low cost add to that a cartridge filter and Salt generator for even more efficiency to your pool. The ideal way to run water through any filter is at low pressure and volume. This will increase the number of particles filtered out. For vacuuming the speed of the motor will need to be increased to give your vacuum better suction, but this usually occurs only 1-2 per week. On sand filters and DE, the Variable speed motor will also need to run on high to provide the proper flow to clean the filter.