The new operating system, iQFlo, uses an exclusive QuantumFlo algorithm that eliminates typical PID problems in variable speed pressure control. It also enhances power savings and system energy performance, helping in efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of inefficient competing pumping packages. With many facilities seeking solutions that comply with regulations and save money, QuantumFlo’s iQFlo offers a cost-effective solution to fill the needs of the market.
The innovation of the iQFlo stems from the new technology that the company developed, as well as realizing the weaknesses of systems currently used in the market. QuantumFlo’s new technology ensures short payback periods on pump retrofits and new pump packages using the new iQFlo system, making it an easy investment for decision makers in the industry. Representative partners are available to recommend the most efficient and effective solutions for project managers, architects and industry consultants.
Although variable speed technology has significantly reduced the cost of pressure boosting over the past 10 to 15 years, many manufacturers who developed these systems based their basic sequencing on their existing “constant-speed” controllers. Constant speed controllers simply look at the system pressure, and if it drops, the pump turns on. If the system pressure is constant for a pre-configured time, the system turns off and the process is reset.
Properly designed variable speed controllers are designed to only consume the exact amount of energy required for a given demand by applying a percentage of pump energy. Constant speed is like driving your car with the gas pedal to the floor and regulating the speed with your brake pedal. Variable speed understands that, by changing the fuel consumption, such as backing your foot off the gas pedal, that significant energy savings can be realized. This time, when other pumps are running at full speed but there is no longer a demand, is called stand-by losses. This is time that the pump is waiting for a timer to tell it to shut down.
Since variable frequency drive (VFD) control regulates the energy consumption all the time, these stand-by losses are mitigated. Unfortunately, due to inexperience with VFD control by the industry, nearly all manufacturers still use these timers to wait for a time to begin forcing a reduction in speed (therefore energy) since the control technology is still based on constant speed systems. In addition to the wait-time,
most VFD-based PID algorithms will stall when the pressure is at a steady-state condition (neither high nor low versus set point) causing the system to remain in this stand-by loss condition rather than reducing to minimum speed. These two conditions are (in many cases) the difference between a 50 percent energy reduction and an 88 percent energy reduction with iQFlo. To truly capitalize on the energy efficiency of the drive, deliver lower life-cycle cost and improve payback revenue, the stand-by loss component must be addressed.
iQFlo is a departure from the standard technology, which takes existing firmware on the drive and basic sequencing code and makes it work as well as possible to sequence the pumps on or off when demand is present or void. Nothing has been customized to address the stand-by losses because the software in the VFD is rudimentary and general. iQFlo has taken this software off the VFD and developed a new solution with special algorithms designed to eliminate stand-by losses and increase the speed at which the system cost is recovering costs since it is evaluating the energy impact of the system every 10 milliseconds, changing the speed and impact of the energy usage continuously. This software takes the control off the drive and centralizes all decision-making within the programmable logic controller (PLC), which operates at speeds up to 100 times faster than the firmware loaded on the VFD.