Intelligent additive management system for improving pumping efficiency in closed circuits

Implementation period

September 2020 – March 2021

Scope of work

Digital technology



This project has been funded by the national programme for clusters support “Ayudas a Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras” (AEIs).


SMART PUMPING is an industrial research project aimed at reducing pumping costs. For this purpose, the influence of different chemical additives was studied, under other conditions, to reduce the apparent viscosity of the liquid and, therefore, to reduce the energy required for pumping.

In the global market, reducing production costs is a great advantage. The increase in the cost of electricity means that in systems where circulation is continuous throughout the year, the cost of pumping is high.

The development of SMART PUMPING is especially interesting for the agri-food industry since it pumps temperature-conveying liquids (cold and heat) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


SMART-PUMPING can reduce these pumping costs by adding additives to the system, reducing the fluid’s apparent viscosity. This is achieved by damping the generated turbulences, decreasing the head loss. The final consequence is a reduction in costs and an increase in competitiveness.

To achieve this, the following tasks were proposed:

  • Analyse the additives available on the market that was tested in a representative system of an industrial environment.
  • Define the input/output and control variables for developing the system control algorithms.
  • Develop a smart monitoring and control system to enable predictive maintenance.


The correct dosing of these additives is possible thanks to the integration of monitoring systems and 4.0 technologies. Through digitisation, not only can consumption be reduced, but maintenance is facilitated by giving operators more information to optimise the interval at which they stop the system.

To calculate the optimal conditions for additive aggregation, a simulation plant was built to perform the battery of tests (D.O.E.). The parameters analysed were, among others, the amount of additive, the temperature and the length of the pipe.

The selected additives have been shown to reduce the apparent viscosity of the coolant or heater.

The type of additive, the additive concentration and the temperature at which it circulates play a relevant role in this viscosity reduction.

The development of dosing and pumping algorithms has made it possible to automate the addition of these chemicals.

In addition to the benefits directly associated with less pumping, such as lower energy consumption and longer pump life, the digitalisation of the pumping system facilitates control and maintenance tasks.