What Do You Need To Know About Diaphragm Pumps?

Posted On Posted on 24th March, 2022 by Xander

What is a diaphragm pump used for?

Diaphragm pumps are used for transporting liquids, much like any other pumps. However, in some circumstances, other pumps can’t move exactly what’s needed. Diaphragm pumps can move all types of liquid and are made from different materials in order to suit all applications.

But it’s not just liquids they pump: diaphragm pumps also pump solids when required, making them an ideal choice when it comes to moving liquids with high solid contents.

What is an air operated diaphragm pump?

An air operated diaphragm pump is a positive displacement pump that typically uses compressed air as its power source. Engineered in a vast range of materials, these pumps support all kinds of applications from aggressive chemicals to hygienic substances.

Some advantages are:

  • Simple to operate and easy maintenance
  • Run dry capabilities
  • Large range of materials to suit varying applications
  • Hygienic options available
  • Spare parts available

An air operated pump uses compressed air from a compressor to move the diaphragms side to side within the housing to move the fluid through the pump. This is the traditional type of diaphragm pump.

What is an electric diaphragm pump?

An electric diaphragm pump is very similar to an air operated diaphragm pump, but they are attached to a motor instead of operating via compressed air. The motor operates the shaft to move the diaphragms backwards or forwards, resulting in increased efficiency.

What are the benefits of changing to electric diaphragm pumps?

  • Higher efficiency
  • Cheaper initial costs
  • Space saving
  • Reduced energy usage

Are air diaphragm pumps efficient?

No, air operated diaphragm pumps are not efficient.

The inefficiency of the pump lies in the production of compressed air. In fact, the process of creating compressed air for an air diaphragm pump can waste up to 85% of total energy input.

Diaphragm pumps have historically been air operated, however the growing need for more efficient equipment means electric powered diaphragm pumps are fast becoming the preferred option.

This may seem like a paradox in recent times, where saving electricity is paramount. But the amount of electricity required to drive an air operated pump is far greater than the electricity used to power an electric motor.

We’ve put together a comparison below, demonstrating energy savings of electric diaphragm pumps compared to air operated diaphragm pumps:

Comparison between 1 Inch AODD & 1 Inch Electric Diaphragm Pump

Details: Air Operated Diaphragm Pump Electric Diaphragm Pump
Pump Size Husky 1050 Husky 1050e
Flow Rate (gpm) 20 20
Fluid Pressure (psi) 60 60
Air Compression (scfm) 25 25
Pump Daily Hours of Operation 12 12
Plant Operating Days per Week 5 5
Plant Operating Weeks per Year 50 50
Electric Power Rates (£/kWh) 0.20 0.20
Compressor Motor Efficiency (%) 90 90
Yearly Cost of Operation (£) 3,108.33 662.77
Yearly Power Consumption (kWh) 15,541.67 3313.83

 

As the table clearly demonstrates, using an electric diaphragm pump instead of an air operated diaphragm pump results in significant savings in both energy consumption and costs.

The cost savings by using an electric diaphragm pump is £2445.56 per year: saving 79%.

The energy savings by using an electric diaphragm pump is 12,227.84 kWh of energy, which equates to 2.8 Tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Comparison between a 2 Inch AODD and a 2 Inch Electric Diaphragm Pump

Details: Air Operated Diaphragm Pump Electric Diaphragm Pump
Pump Size Husky 2150 Husky 2150e
Flow Rate (gpm) 80 80
Fluid Pressure (psi) 70 70
Air Compression (scfm) 60 60
Pump Daily Hours of Operation 12 12
Plant Operating Days per Week 5 5
Plant Operating Weeks per Year 50 50
Electric Power Rates (£/kWh) 0.20 0.20
Compressor Motor Efficiency (%) 90 90
Yearly Cost of Operation (£) 7460 2688
Yearly Power Consumption (kWh) 37,300 13,440

 

The data for 2 inch diaphragm pumps shows that users save up to 64% on running costs. It’s worth noting that although the percentage saving on a 2 inch diaphragm pump may be less compared to the 1 inch model, the cost saving continues to increase as the pump size increases.

As with all pumps, there are many variable factors that may affect the savings or costs of running an electric diaphragm pump.  Taking that into account, please use these figures as a guide and understand that savings may increase or decrease depending on your system.

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