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Interaction | December 2014

Energy-efficient pumps are popular

Mahathi Parashuram, Head - Public Affairs, Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd is of the opinion that innovation and focus on sustainable pumps is still largely lacking. It is important for pump companies to invest in research and development, she says.

What are the different issues, especially challenges, faced by the industry?
One of the key problems which the industry faces is the growing gap between demand and supply of energy. In order to meet India´s growing energy demand, it is important to not only increase electricity-generating capacity, preferably through renewable sources but also use energy efficiently. Energy conservation and energy generation go hand in hand. In fact energy conservation is less expensive than energy generation. Industries also need to look at replacing the old equipment and appliances that consume too much power with energy efficient products. Industries also need to regularly monitor their energy consumption and conduct audits. Reporting their carbon footprint will also help them mitigate their risks which will have a positive business impact as well.

...and what are your suggestions to mitigate the same?
When it comes to the pump industry, innovation and focus on sustainable pumps is still largely lacking. It is important for pump companies to invest in research and development which will enable them to produce energy-efficient and sustainable pumps which help in reducing the life-cycle cost of the product as well as be environmentally friendly.

For 80 per cent of all pump installations, intelligent pump systems mean large savings and can cut a business´s energy consumption by as much as half. The key to maximum efficiency is widely recognised as optimising the whole pump system and not only the pumps. To address this, we launched ´Grundfos SOLUTIONS´, a holistic system approach with intelligent technology solutions that can be customised to system demands, creating optimal performance and the lowest possible energy consumption.

What are the various types of pumps that the company manufactures? In addition, what are the latest breakthroughs in pumps and pumping systems?
Grundfos is one of the leading pump manufacturers in the world with an annual production of more than 16 million pump units. We are the largest manufacturer of circulator pumps with approximately 50 per cent of the market share globally. Our main products include circulator pumps for heating and air-conditioning, centrifugal pumps for the industry, water supply, sewage and dosing, etc. We offer intelligent and energy efficient pumping systems for the industries such as domestic buildings, commercial buildings, water treatment and boiler feed, water supply/service, wastewater, agriculture, transportation, energy, chemical & process, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, cement, steel, mining, textiles, heating, ventilation & air-conditioning.

Grundfos is well known in the market for raising the bar in offering innovative, energy efficient and sustainable solutions. For example, earlier this year, we launched MAGNA3 pumps in India which are designed for circulating liquids in heating systems, domestic hot-water systems and air-conditioning and cooling systems. These pumps are at the forefront of smart pump technology and cut power consumption up to 85 per cent. We have also been looking at tapping renewable energy sources and boast of an impressive range of solar pumps.

How do you assure minimum energy wastage through your pumps?
Without precisely the right motor, even the best pump will consistently waste energy. To address this, we have developed our own Grundfos high efficiency motor technology spec¡fically for pumps called Grundfos Blueflux. In addition to this, in alignment with the global trend of shifting towards energy efficient motors we made an announcement of switching from IE1 to IE2 motors as standard from August 1, 2014. Grundfos was also the first pump company in India to move to these energy efficiency IE2 motors.

Meanwhile, what are the steps that your company is taking to stay environment-friendly? Have you incorporated any green technology in your products?
Grundfos made a resolution to reduce the CO2 emission levels than what the company did in 2008, despite the economic growth. We have also committed to reduce our total water consumption by 50 per cent of 2008 level by 2025 and to improve the quality of discharged water aiming for zero impact on the surrounding environment. At Grundfos India we are doing this by:

Contributing towards energy and water conservation by reducing its own impact on the environment. Its headquarters in Chennai is India´s first gold-rated green building (LEED certification by USGBC in 2005) and is energy efficient with 100 per cent recycling of sewage, rainwater harvesting and with solar collectors and photovoltaics. Grundfos India´s factory also received the gold certification in 2011 from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). In August 2013, the Grundfos office building was elevated to a LEED EB Platinum certification. Our green building is Platinum LEED EB rated.
Installing a rooftop solar power plant which would generate estimated power of 78,000 kWh with a reduction of 70 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Partnered with NDTV earlier this year for a campaign calling ´Mission Energy´ to create awareness on energy conservation.
Hosting a Facebook page called ´Ek Boondh Pani´ through which we share water conservation tips and facts and engage with our members to spread awareness.
Helping Indian industries and corporates save both energy and water through the energy and water audits in their existing buildings which is a complete system analysis of the energy and water consumption. Interestingly, we have a self-committed target of energy conservation in industries to the extent of 1.5 MW annually and are proud to have been able to successfully achieve this feat year on year.
As a leader in pump technology, Grundfos spends around 5 per cent of its turnover on R&D globally. Our production technology, designs and materials are constantly examined and improved. It is due to the continuous focus to develop and produce breakthrough technologies, that Grundfos pumps are well-known for their innovation, energy efficiency and reliability.

Do you witness a growing demand pattern for energy-efficient pumps in India?
It is heartening to note that we see an increased awareness and demand for energy efficient pumps. Considering that sustainability is not only the need of the hour but has always been one of our core values, we focus a lot on innovation that helps us to develop and produce high-efficiency pumps which bring down the consumption of energy and water. We have in fact, taken our commitment to sustainability a step further and are working on introducing new ways of re-using resources. So we are developing ways to ensure that our products can be recycled to the largest extent possible.

Also, in line with the trend towards tapping renewable energy, we are also committed towards the development of pumps that can operate on renewable energy supply. We have so far sold over 8,800 solar pumps across the country especially in rural and tribal areas where grid power is unavailable, or of poor quality and unreliable. These pumps have proven to be highly successful and have helped create a positive impact on the socio-economic lives of thousands of people.

-Rahul Kamat
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