Drives for water pumping

  • Overview
  • Products
  • Case studies
Drinking water production

Drinking water production

Whether surface water or groundwater is used for water production, Danfoss AC drives can help optimize the process and reduce energy and maintenance costs. A typical application is the control of deep well pumps, where the integrated advanced minimum speed monitor secures sufficient lubrication to protect the pump. Energy savings are achieved by selecting wells based on water level height. The VLT® AQUA Drive is also widely used in the desalination industry for controlling inlet and high-pressure pumps as well as booster pumps in relation to energy recovery.

Drinking water distribution

Drinking water distribution

Within the water supply, drinking water distribution is typically the largest energy consumer. At the same time, 25–50% leakage is not unusual. By dividing the water distribution into pressure zones, the average pressure can often be reduced by 30–40%. The VLT® AQUA Drive is very widely used in boosting pumping stations to regulate pressure in each pressure zone. Integrated application software functions, such as Sleep mode, Dry run detection, Automatic Energy Optimization (AEO), Cascade control, Automatic flow compensation and Ramp functions help simplify the installation and make it more reliable, reduce the risk of water hammer, control pressure and reduce energy consumption. 



With access to water resources becoming scarce in some regions of the world, efficient and sustainable irrigation is becoming more and more important. It’s all about supplying enough water to get maximum crop yield without using more water and energy than absolutely necessary. Danfoss AC drives adapt pressure or flow rate to the actual need. And integrated application software functions help to both protect the pipe system by limiting pressure boost and cut energy consumption.

The ultimate solution, and a very fast-growing trend, to reduce energy consumption is to use solar-powered pumps. Danfoss Drives has developed a dedicated inverter series exactly for this purpose. The VACON® product range includes a specially designed encapsulation for this environment and advanced software, meaning that operation is possible even when clouds are partially blocking sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic panels.

Wastewater canalization system

Wastewater canalization system

Energy optimization and SCADA control of the wastewater canalization system is also a fast-moving trend. By using the VLT® AQUA Drive’s integrated deragging function, it is possible to improve pump efficiency by 15–30% and also drastically reduce maintenance costs. The deragging function prevents pump efficiency from dropping by increasing clocking and extends pump maintenance intervals. Using an AC drive together with a SCADA system also offers the possibility to secure maximum utilization of the volume capacity in the canalization system in relation to storm water overflow.

Reduced leakage and energy consumption go hand in hand

Reduced leakage and energy consumption go hand in hand

The energy used in the water distribution system typically represents 60–80% of the total energy consumption for the whole water supply system. By adapting the pressure to the real need using pressure zones and boosting pumping stations, you can achieve energy savings of 25–40%. At the same time, you can reduce water leakage by 30–40%.

Regulating the pressure in the network can also provide the following benefits:

  • a 40–55 % reduction in the amount of new pipe breaks 
  • a reduction in maintenance costs and expensive pipe and road repair
  • limited risk of bacteria and contamination of tap water (infiltration)
  • extended service life of the network 
  • postponed investment in plant upgrades
  • reduced risk of water hammer

The Jurex seed company saves 35% on irrigation pump energy consumption

The Romanian seed company Jurex srl installs VLT® AQUA Drive frequency converters in its new irrigation pumping station.


Case studies

  • Keeping the Water Flowing with the VLT® AQUA Drive FC 202

    In early 2023, the Warren County Utility District (WCUD) in middle Tennessee was faced with a dilemma. The water tank in their Short Mountain (SM) pressure zone required cleaning and repairs as part of federal compliance regulations, but with only one tank in the pressure zone, as is the case with many rural municipalities, they had few options to maintain water service to customers while the tank was out of service during the washout process and while repairs were completed. WCUD maintains a 4.0 MGD Water Treatment Plant, six storage tanks, four remote pump stations, into four pressure zones with approximately 650 miles of mains to serve 9,000 customers in rural portions of Warren and five adjacent counties.

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    Breaking the Pump Clog Cycle with Danfoss VFDs and Built-in Deragging

    The Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was struggling to keep up with demand at one of its main sewage pressure reducing stations. Myrtle Beach, a popular tourist destination, uses approximately 15 million gallons of water per day (MGD) or 5.5 billion gallons of water per year. The South Regional Pressure Reducing Station handles approximately 3 MGD and is controlled by suction pressure and a PID (proportional-integral-derivative) loop.  Its purpose is to reduce pressure on the south side of the sewer district to enable the other stations to pump more.

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    Bringing clean drinking water to rural Kenya with 100% renewable resources

    A solar-powered desalination plant in Kenya gives the community affordable, clean, and sustainable drinking water and irrigation water.

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    Jersey Water desalination plant boosts efficiency by 38%

    For a recent major upgrade to its La Rosière desalination plant, Jersey Water chose VLT® AQUA Drive from Danfoss. With dedicated water-industry functionality, this drive provides outstanding harmonic performance and high efficiency.

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    Utility’s Growth Fueled by VFD's

    Management of water and wastewater is a major issue in the central highlands of Arizona, which gets only about 12 inches of precipitation a year. To handle growing water demands, the City devised a strategic water management plan that included creating a modern municipal water system with effective monitoring, control and pumping technology – a development made possible by Danfoss variable frequency drives (VFDs).

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    Engineering Tomorrow Drives University Pool Pump Efficiency

    The recently enlarged Health and Wellness Center at Western Oregon University has also been recognized as one of the country’s best-in-class facilities in terms of design and practices — earning LEED Gold certification. Because of its dual commitment to aquatics and sustainability, the Center jumped at the chance to dramatically cut the swimming pool’s electricity consumption with two Danfoss VLT® AQUA Drives, which are specifically designed to meet the challenges of water applications.