Optimizing and Troubleshooting Pumps; A Follow-up to the CTAC Class

A while back, I mentioned a pump
training class
I was involved with at
Southern California Edison’s Customer Technology Application Center
(CTAC) facility

Recently, a reader asked if we were planning on repeating the
class and the answer is “maybe”. The class seemed to
be well received by the folks in attendance and the
possibility of repeating it was mentioned at one point or another.
But nothing definite has been decided.

That being said, CTAC publishes a
calendar of the workshops that are scheduled at the facility

and by monitoring it, you will be able to discover when and if the
class is offered again. But more importantly, you will also
discover that the facility offers a wide array of training
opportunities covering a broad range of topics for those who are
interested in buildings, building systems, energy efficiency and
sustainability. Most of these classes are free of charge. Just this
past week, in addition to the class I was involved with, the
offerings included:

Introduction to the California Solar Initiative

Energy Management Systems

Lamp and Ballast Basics

Save Energy, Save Money: An Introduction to
Energy Efficiency and Rebates

Lighting Fixture

Industrial Refrigeration

Utility Power Quality and

Something for everyone I think.

Meanwhile, to fill the gap between now and the point in time
when/if the pump class is repeated, I thought I would hook up
anyone who is interested in learning more about pumps with some of
the resources we mentioned and used in the class.

First and foremost, I want to point you to the

website. I’ve mentioned this site
previously in several posts because it is a such a rich, no cost
resource that offers
design guidelines
design briefs
case studies
technology overviews
, interactive
virtual workshops
, and
software tools
. There are several resources there that we
used directly in the class including:

A design brief titled
Centrifugal Pump Application and
, which is a brief about pump theory,
pump construction, pump selection, etc. from a field

A soon to be posted design brief titled Pump
(watch the EDR site for this one
in the immediate future; its written but they just don’t have it on
the site as of yet). This brief builds on the information in the
previous brief and looks at pump tests and how they can be used for
troubleshooting pump performance problems. The troubleshooting
topics focus on parallel pump applications presented in a case
study format using real world examples, including the results

A design brief titled
Design Details
that looks at how
subtle details in the arrangement of the pipe and fittings in the
distribution system a pump serves can make a big difference in the
head the pump sees. The brief also looks at these issues for air
distribution systems. The graph in this slide illustrates the type
of information that is explored in the brief. 

The Pump Systems Matter
Initiative website
, which contains links to a
number of valuable resources including a source book on pump
, tip
on various pump optimization strategies like impeller
trimming, and a free pump
system modeling tool
that can do true network analysis for a
small network.

A magazine and related web site that focuses on
pumps called
Pumps and
. Most folks in the industry should be
able to receive a paper or digital copy (your choice) for free
simply by following the subscription link
and answering a few basic questions.

Free pump system
analysis software
and pump
selection software
that can be accessed from the web or
downloaded to your computer for use off line. (To get the pump
selection software for off-line use, you need to contact your
Bell and
Gossett representative
so you can meet someone face to face and
sign the licensing agreement and get your free CD, which includes
selection software for other hydronic products in addition to

So bottom line, watch the CTAC website for the next
time the pump troubleshooting course if offered along with a wealth
of other training opportunities. In the meantime, follow the links
to some of the pump and pumping system resources I identified above
and start your own little in-house training effort. If you run into
something you don’t understand, just ask a mentor for help or post
your question on my blog and I’ll see if I can help you figure
things out.

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