Application development of innovative power electronics to optimize the use of raw materials and energy in circulating pumps


Circulating pumps are mainly used in buildings to transport liquids in heating, air conditioning, drinking water and solar systems. They are also needed in chemical and engineering processes and for supplying water. In Europe alone, 14 million circulating pumps have to be replaced each year.

The innovation of “IMPROVE’s” resource- and energy-efficient model is the miniaturized power electronics that is integrated into the pumps’ motors. This increases the pumps’ usable speed range, which in turn reduces their size and therefore also the amount of material required. The optimized pump diameter and using speed control to operate the pumps can significantly increase the efficiency of the systems – by about one quarter to one third depending on the operating mode.

“IMPROVE” is working on the miniaturization and integration of the power electronics in a two-phase strategy: First, the circuitry is designed for the specific application. In the second step, the remaining components are integrated as optimally as possible using a new assembly technology. The potential of the developed solution is demonstrated by the research partners in a test device and by the construction, production and integration of the motor’s power electronics.

During the three-year project, the Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences develop the superordinate pilot and demonstration plant. The Institute of High-Frequency and Semiconductor System Technologies at the TU Berlin further develop the power electronics. The project coordinator KSB SE & Co. KGaA brings together the pumps, motor and power electronics and tests the system. After successfully completing the test, an industrial demonstration plant will be installed at the Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences that tests the pump system’s functionality. The KSB is responsible for the series development and introducing the system to the market.