Pumping systems are used extensively in industry to provide cooling and lubrication services, to transfer fluids for processing, and to provide the motive force in hydraulic systems. In fact, many manufacturing plants rely on pumping systems for their daily operations. In the manufacturing sector, pumps represent 27% of the electricity used by industrial systems[1]. Pumps are also used extensively for water and wastewater transfer and treatment.

Energy-efficient operation of industrial pumping systems requires a system-level approach that takes into account both the supply and demand sides of the system and how each of the components interacts in relation to shifting demand patterns and operating conditions.

Top Ten Energy Efficiency Measures for Pumping Systems

  1. Shut down pumps when not needed by manufacturing processes
  2. Operate the minimum number of pumps that systems require
  3. Use variable speed control instead of throttle valves for flow control
  4. Trim or change pump impellers on oversized pumps
  5. Reduce pipe and valve pressure loss
  6. Re-optimize pumping system when system requirements change
  7. Restore internal clearances
  8. Replace worn throat bushings, wear rings, impellers, pump bowls
  9. When purchasing new pumps ensure that they are of proper sized/selection
  10. When fully worn, replace standard efficiency motors serving pumps with NEMA premium

You can read related TIP SHEETS AND PUBLICATIONS to improve performance and save energy, accumulated over time by the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Learn more with the PUMP SYSTEM INFO CARD, explore additional resources specific to Better Plants partners, and connect with the pumps-subject matter expert below.

[1] Improving Pumping System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry. Second edition, May 2006.



The pumping systems sourcebook was developed for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO). AMO undertook this project as a series of sourcebook publications. Other topics in this series include: compressed air systems, steam, fan systems, process heating, and motor and drive systems.

Improving Pumping System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry (Second Edition)

This sourcebook is designed to provide pumping system users with a reference that outlines opportunities for improving system performance. It is not meant to be a comprehensive technical text on pumping systems; rather, it provides practical guidelines and information to make users aware of potential performance improvements. Guidance on how to find more information and assistance is also included.



Access free software tools to help assess your pumping system.

Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT)

The Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT) is a free online software tool to help industrial users assess the efficiency of pumping system operations. PSAT uses achievable pump performance data from Hydraulic Institute standards and motor performance data from the MotorMaster+ database to calculate potential energy and associated cost savings. The tool also enables users to save and retrieve log files, default values, and system curves for sharing analyses with other users.


Subject Matter Expert - Daryl Cox

Daryl has been a member of the research staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) since 1990. He has been heavily involved in the analysis of failure characteristics for fluid system components used in commercial nuclear power plants. His current focus is energy optimization efforts in industrial pumping systems and managing interactions with industrial program partners in the Better Buildings, Better Plants Program for the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office. Daryl is a Qualified Specialist and Senior Instructor for the Pumping System Assessment Tool (PSAT) software tool and has conducted training on the tool for over a decade. Daryl is a former member of the ASME Operations & Maintenance Working Group on Air-operated valves and currently participates in codes and standards development for energy assessment of pumping systems. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. He was formerly employed with the Tennessee Valley Authority, where he served on the corporate staff supporting engineering design for the nuclear power program and environmental qualification of safety-related components.

You can reach Daryl with pumps-related questions at coxdf@ornl.gov