Pump electric usage comparisons

ChrisL

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2007
97
I have begun looking at replacing my Superpump with something which could give me electricity savings. I saw that my 1.5 hp superpump flow rate curves match almost exactly with a full rated .5 hp whisperflo. I then went to the maximum electricity used in each. The Superpump says its 1.5 hp draws a maximum of 1.1 Kw. The Whisperflo .5 hp energy efficient model draws a maximum of 5.6 amps at 220 volts. I was told that this converts to 1.2 kilowatts (5.6 times 220 volts), which is more than the 1.5 hp superpump. I have no idea if this is correct as my understanding of the relationship between watts and amps is limited, at best. The Pentair website also indicates that the standard motor draws slightly less in amperage than the energy efficient motor (5.5 amps v. 5.6 amps). Can anyone help?

I am also looking at two speed pumps. I am not sure if they would play well with my with my solar heater unless I got a controller that could turn them on high every time the actuator turned on my solar, but that is a different issue. The low speeds seem to max out at just over 20 feet of head and my panels are on the second floor roof, about 20 feet up.
Chris
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,848
Pleasanton, CA
I think that the 1.1 kw for the superpump is not the energy use but the equivalent HP in kw. This is often used in Europe as a metric rather than HP. The 1.5 HP Superpump draws about 7.2 amps at 230v. The 0.5 HP Whisperflo draws 5.6 amps at 230v. So the Whisperflo would draw much less energy than the Superpump (1.3 kw vs 1.7 kw).

Generally, two speed pumps will not maintain enough pressure at low speed to keep the vacuum release closed so I wouldn't count on that.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
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LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
The 1/2 HP WhisperFlo is not as energy efficient as the rest of the WhisperFlo line. If you look at the specs you will see that the 3/4 HP WhisperFlo draws the same amount of power as the 1/2 HP but the 3/4 HP moves more water. Basically they just put a lower flow impeller on the exact same motor, which is kind of silly in my book.

watts = amps * volts. However real life measurements are usually different than the listed specs.

You have an ideal situation for a variable speed pump like the IntelliFlo. If you are in one of the higher electrical rates areas it will pay for it's self fairly quickly. If your electrical rates are on the low side it might not be worth it.
 

ChrisL

Well-known member
Apr 3, 2007
97
Thanks. Would the intelliflo or another variable speed pump "know" how to deal with the solar panels and keep enough pressure to keep the vacuum release closed?
 

mas985

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 3, 2007
12,848
Pleasanton, CA
ChrisL said:
Thanks. Would the intelliflo or another variable speed pump "know" how to deal with the solar panels and keep enough pressure to keep the vacuum release closed?
The Intelliflo is a great choice for pools with solar panels. You can set the speed (or flow) to the lowest level possible while still keeping the vacuum closed. Although you may want to set the flow for best solar efficiency which is usually between 40 and 60 GPM. Usually, this is enough of a flow rate to keep the pressure at the top of the panels above 0 PSI.
 

JasonLion

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
May 7, 2007
37,879
Silver Spring, MD
The IntelliFlo VF, the more expensive model, can be set to maintain a constant flow rate, which should take care of it. The IntelliFlo VS would need to be told to change speeds, which might require a fairly expensive adapter to your current solar control system or a new control system (unless you already have a Pentair automation system).