News: Frankly Speaking
Now available! Franklin’s new solar selection software is an integral tool to sizing and selecting the proper solar water pumping system for each project. This new software includes both SubDrive Solar and Fhoton™ Solar products. Selection criteria includes an easy three step process based on location, needed water, and total dynamic head. It has all the functionality of the current selector, but is enhanced with new features.
- Dynamic switching between Standard US and Metric Sizing criteria
- More flow type options (Example: liters/minutes/seconds)
- Solar panel sizing now more user friendly on main Selection Criteria page
- Multi-language option to support English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese
- Additional languages to be added with future enhancements
- Dynamic wire sizing feature that provides the wire size recommendation in Metric and AWG, based on user input
- Application search results displayed in table layout that can be quickly sorted based on criteria for a specific job
- Addition of “Volume per Watt” column to better compare and select which system maximizes your investment
To access and use this new software, click here.
Below are 9 tips to avoid VMS motor failure, written by Franklin Electric’s Steven Ulrich, Senior Portfolio Manager for Large Surface Pumps.
- Know your max flow and head requirements, and then properly size your VMS pump according to your application pre-installation.
- A VFD does not give your VMS pump supernatural abilities. Overloading can still occur if the pump is not sized properly. Ensure your overloads are set properly to take the pump offline should a problem develop.
- When setting up a pump system to be controlled by a VFD, follow the VFD manufacturer's guidelines concerning the need for output filtering to reduce damage to the motor insulation system from voltage spikes. Using a motor with a Class F or H insulation system would give the motor a higher temperature rise rating and ensure the insulation holds up better under warmer operating conditions.
- Properly set up the throttling valve at pump startup if the transducer and PID feedback are not monitoring the pump’s discharge side.
- One option is to install a fixed orifice flow control valve on the pump discharge line to prevent it from going beyond its recommended operating range.
- Follow the manufacturer owner's manual closely and test repeatedly.
- To achieve results backed by proper testing, partner with one manufacturer (for both the VMS pump and the VFD) that tests the products working together and can prove their performance.
- When buying your VMS and VFD, choose a manufacturer with a proven history of on-site product support to ensure future challenges or questions are quickly resolved and maximum performance is continued.
- When using a VFD on any pump, including a VMS pump, bearing failure from VFD-induced shaft voltage and the resulting bearing currents can be prevented with the use of ground shaft rings, or it can be reduced significantly with the use of a dv/dt filter.
To read the full article on Tips to Get the Most from VMS Pumps, click here.
In 2016, Franklin Electric is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Little Giant® - one of its leading brands for plumbing, HVAC, dewatering, utility and a variety of other pumps. Recently, at the employee celebration held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the company was recognized by Mick Cornett, Mayor of the City of Oklahoma City, with the issuance of a proclamation for reaching this historic milestone. In addition, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Gregg Sengstack, and Franklin Electric Vice President and President of North America Water Systems, DeLancey Davis spoke about the longevity of the company and how it revolves around great people.
To view the video, click here.
National Driller magazine talked to our own Scott Stayton on the 2016 South Atlantic Jubilee show floor about the new SubDrive Connect and the value it will have for you.
In addition to the Enhanced Features software package, the SubDrive Connect and MonoDrive Connect family incorporates the new 5 hp SubDrive50 Connect model – which is the only constant pressure drive of its size that will run a 3 hp, single-phase motor. Curious about the Enhanced Features?
Our pump expert, Steven Ulrich, Senior Portfolio Manager for Large Surface Pumps, recently wrote an article identifying the keys to getting the most out of your Vertical Multi-Stage (VMS) pumps. Truth is, VMS pumps have become popular because they provide increased pumping efficiency along with energy savings. With a variety of nominal flow ratings and the benefit of multi-staging, the technology features a wide range of discharge pressures and pump horsepower ratings to cover a multitude of hydraulic applications. Combine one of these fixed-speed pumps with a variable frequency drive (VFD) controller, and the affinity laws will provide even more versatility. However, there is a misconception that a VFD allows the VMS pump to function properly without having to appropriately size it according to the application. This article helps you understand how to evaluate the application before installation to ensure a long-lasting, productive and efficient pump.
To read the full article in Pumps & Systems, click here.
DeLancey Davis, Franklin Electric Vice President and President of North America Water Systems, has been appointed to the Hydraulic Institute’s 2016-2019 Board of Directors. The Hydraulic Institute is the global authority on pumps and pumping systems. As a Board member, Davis is focused on defining organizational priorities and helping guide the Hydraulic Institute’s strategic direction.
“It’s an honor to represent Franklin Electric as part of the Hydraulic Institute’s Board of Directors,” said Davis. “As the largest association of pump industry manufacturers in North America, we have some lofty, yet achievable goals. I look forward to collaborating with the HI board in addressing critical issues confronting the industry.”
The Hydraulic Institute is not only the largest association of pump industry manufacturers, but it has also established itself as the leading spokesperson for the North American pump industry. HI has served companies and pump users by providing pumping standards and also serves as an intermediary when discussing industry information.
The new FhotonTM SolarPAK is a modular, compact, and flexible system solution to meet your solar water pumping requirements. By utilizing quality components, innovative thinking, global market inputs, and our technical expertise in groundwater pumping, Franklin Electric has developed a rugged, high-output system which tackles the challenges of harsh and remote environments.
In addition, its new design is more user friendly and allows for installation flexibility. Fhoton’s motor control algorithm and hardware design enable the end user to get a higher solar- or photon-to-water energy conversion ratio, which means more water with less sunlight needed. It can drive a broad range of submersible and surface motor types and can be used in a new solar array or retrofit to an existing array in many cases, providing added application flexibility. No other system delivers the features, benefits, and reliability of Fhoton SolarPAK in just one package.
- High-flow system for faster tank-fill and significant water output
- Proven motor and pump technology for long-term reliability
- Robust IP66, NEMA 4 enclosure minimizes impact from wildlife, insects, dust, and weather
- Optimized for use with DC solar array
- Operating status and fault conditions indicated by multi-color LED
- Simple installation with no required maintenance
- Soft-start feature prevents water hammer and increases system life
- Terminals provided for an optional data communications board
- Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) for maximizing efficiency of input power
- Allows use of new solar array or retrofit to existing array (subject to size and performance check)
- Built-in diagnostics and protection
- cULus and UL approved
Franklin has launched the new SubDrive Connect and MonoDrive Connect family of variable frequency drives that provide constant water pressure. The new “Connect” platform features a NEMA 3R rated enclosure and offers Wi-Fi connection for use with the FE Connect mobile application.
This new platform optimizes system performance, delivers more precise pressure and system diagnostics on screen, simplifies lead-lag installation, and provides contractor peace of mind. In addition to the Enhanced Features software package listed below, the family incorporates the new 5 hp SubDrive50 Connect model.
Controller Enhanced Features
- Analog Pressure Transducer Input
- System Pressure Shown on Drive Display
- Moisture (Wet Floor) Sensor Input
- Auxiliary Control Input
- Run and Alarm Contacts (NO/NC)
- Traditional SubDrive Pressure Sensor Supported
Mobile App Enhanced Features
- Real-time System Monitoring (PSI, Hz, Amps, Volts)
- Advanced Pressure Transducer Settings
- Drawdown/Cut-in Pressure
- Built-in Duplex Alternator
- Real-time Clock for Date and Time Stamps
- Improved Fault Log Download Speed
A true story told by Mark Reeder, Director of Innovation & Field Marketing...
“I needed a new water heater. I totally fit the scenario of the procrastinating homeowner who had delayed the inevitable replacement for too long. So, there we were, my plumbing contractor and me, looking at a basement still damp from when my water heater let go and all my hot water had literally gone down the drain.
What’s the Best Option for Me?
I knew I had two options. I could either go with a tankless water heater or a conventional water heater. I hadn’t had the time to research the tankless option -- you know, that supposedly provide a never-ending supply of hot water without storage -- so I decided to talk with my plumber about them. 'What did he think of them? Was it a good option for my home? How much more would it cost?' Actually, I already knew it was going to cost more. I also knew that he was probably going to make more money, and he wouldn’t have to lug a conventional heater to my basement. Seemed like a nice win-win. But, I wanted to discuss and hear his professional opinion and ask questions.
Options Cut Short
Do you know what his response was? He said, 'Yeah, a lot of people like the tankless water heaters and we carry them, but I don’t have one on the truck.'
End of conversation and end of story. I was on the fence about it anyway, I wasn’t really sure about the product’s benefits, I was pressed for time, and I needed hot water. The conventional system would give me that.
How many times in the water industry does this very scenario play out? Why is it that so few water systems contractors offer their customers options, and just think in terms of 'getting someone back in water'? People, and especially homeowners, want options and to be part of the decision process. Water treatment, constant pressure, and battery back-up protection all come to mind. When we don’t offer the homeowner that opportunity, we leave money on the table.”
Recently, multiple contractors have shared their pump and motor photos with us. Here is what they had to say…
“Just pulled this bad boy out of the well. It’s been running like a champ since 1979! In 1999, we built a new house, and rather than installing a new well we just hooked the new house to the existing well with a 1/2 hp pump that had been running for 20 years. It’s been almost another 20 years now, and it finally gave out was because of a bad check valve at the tank, otherwise it may have run for 60 years.”
-- JC Hall
“I work at a milk processing plant here in Norway, and we changed one of our submerged water intake pumps today. It was still running well, but we needed a bigger capacity one. This is the primary pump that has been frequency controlled, so it has been running 24/7. The plant was built in 1990, and we think this pump might have been in use since then. I started working there in 2000, and I know for sure it hasn't been up since then. So the pump is at least 15 years old. It sure has been durable. I can’t imagine how many gallons of water has passed through it over maybe as much as 25 years.”
-- Bjørn from Norway
“I recently pulled my wet-end Jacuzzi [Franklin pump] from the ground that was dated 1979. This operates a well that is shared between two households. The only reason for pulling it was because an electrician misdiagnosed the problem. After realizing it was a bad underground cable and that the motor was fine, I put it back in the ground. This pump has been very reliable in assisting with water accessibility to both houses for a long time.”