When we talk about the most effective way to reduce a pool’s energy consumption, the focus typically turns to the pump, because it consumes more energy than any other piece of pool equipment, outside of a heater or heat pump. Did you know that a variable speed pump, more communally known as a VSP can reduce the energy costs of running a swimming pool by up to 90%
Historically, pool pumps are equipped with induction motors that run at only one speed and use more energy than is required to circulate pool water. That is because a pump that can run at only one speed must be powerful enough to do the pump’s most demanding job (e.g., running a waterfall or pool cleaner). However, it takes far less power to simply keep water filtered—a difference single-speed pumps cannot address. Also, in the early stages of development, VSP pumps were 240 Volt only and that sometimes became an issue for a replacement of an existing pump that did not have that higher voltage available at the equipment pad. Today, 120 Volt VSP pumps that can develop 1.5 HP are available for new installations or retrofit older single speed models.
Most variable-speed pumps can be programmed to operate at set speeds to deliver the correct flow for each task they perform, such as operating a suction-side pool cleaner, waterfalls or spa jets. Most VSP pumps today also have built in time clocks, thus eliminating the need for additional time clocks that can cost over $150 plus installation. Most VSP pumps today also have many speed settings that can be pre programmed to provide the required flow for the desired operation.
No matter what kind of pump is being used, slower pump speeds save energy. They also dramatically reduce the noise level associated with traditional pool pumps and reduce wear on not only the pump itself but also on filters, heaters, chlorinators and other equipment that water flows through.
Like any highly efficient devise, these VSP pumps do come at an additional cost, but like any technology, in time the costs fall and eventually the cost for the investment far outweighs the cost of doing nothing.
So what is a typical return on investment (ROI)? This is going to depend on numerous factors including the KWH cost of electricity, the amount or length of run time and other factors such as rebates available from electric companies, state and federal tax credits ect. Fortunately, some companies like Pentair have developed easy to use software calculator to determine just how much money you can save by entering a few values into the program and presto, your savings are shown to you.
Here is the link to the savings calculator:
Not only will you be saving a boatload of money annually, you will be doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment.