30 August 2017

EC pump motor designed by ebm-papst for the Cornelius’ ecoFLO® Smart Pump System cuts energy use by 50% for large UK pub retailer

One of the UK’s largest pub retailers and brewers has cut the energy used by its beer cooling systems by more than 50%, through investing in the ecoFLO® Smart Pump System. This system uses an EC pump which has been specially developed by ebm-papst. EC technology gives you high performance, silent speed control and long life expectancy in a product which is the same size as the old, power hungry AC products it replaces.

Cornelius ‘ecoFLO® smart pump system’
The Head of Brewing and Operations at the leading brewery chain

The challenge:

ebm-papst were asked by Cornelius to develop a variable speed pump suitable for their new beer cooler, which is both:

A retrofit option - direct replacement for the original AC pump used for the beer coolers.

A new build option - for use in a new energy efficient beer cooler

Cornelius offer sustainable, energy efficient technology and wanted a pump that would deliver both increased life expectancy and significant energy savings for their customers. Existing beer cooler products on the market use traditional, fixed-speed AC pump motors; which don’t allow the performance to be varied to meet the demand. They also have a short life expectancy - around 2.5 years.

The Solution

The new pump motor uses EC technology, this is a brushless DC motor with a built in variable speed drive, which consumes significantly less power than its AC equivalent. It also has 4 times the life expectancy. The EC motor’s onboard electronics provides intelligent control options, which enables the pump speed to be programmed to meet customer-specific requirements. The ecoFLO® is the most energy efficient pump on the market. It offers controllability which enables customers to program the speed / performance to match their trading patterns. The addition of a standby setting allows the cooler to run at lower duty overnight, rather than being switched off. This minimises problems with product quality, which can often be seen when the cooler is switched off.

By adopting a variable speed EC pump motor in the beer cooler, considerable energy savings have been made throughout the system. These savings have resulted from the reduction in power consumption of the pump motor and refrigeration circuit. The cooling system now benefits from a reduced workload due to lower pump speeds, therefore consumes less power. In addition to the retrofit option, a new beer cooler using the ebm-papst EC pump technology delivers approximately 70% energy saving compared with a standard beer cooler.

The Results

The implementation of the system followed more than 12 months of performance and energy trials. The trials were conducted in more than 50 outlets; demonstrating an astonishing average energy saving of more than 50% per cooler, when compared to the units fitted with industry standard pumps.

The pump motor is now offered by Cornelius as the ‘ecoFLO® smart pump system’. It can be fitted as a retrofit option to existing remote beer coolers, and has also been designed into the Cornelius energy efficient ecoFLO® beer cooler.

The EC pump motor provides:

Energy Savings: 42% reduction in power consumption compared to the original AC motor.

Extended life: EC motors life expectancy of 10 years (Average 2.5 years for AC motor)

Intelligent control: Numerous control functions, enables customer settings.

EC Variable speed: Reduces load on the refrigeration circuit, thereby reducing power consumption.

Standby Function: When not in use, the cooler can run in standby to save energy.

Following a successful trial of the technology, one of Cornelius’s customers are proactively rolling it out to all 1,800 of their facilities, across their entire estate.

The system controls the run time of the cooler during periods when no beer is being sold, without impacting product cooling during serving sessions. In addition to significantly shrinking each site’s energy footprint, the move will result in a reduction in operational costs and a reduction in the levels of CO2 output. The latter was a key driver in their move to change systems.


ebm-papst were asked by Cornelius to develop a variable speed pump suitable for their new beer cooler. The new ebm-papst EC pump motor provides energy savings, controllability and increased reliability compared with the standard AC pump motor typically used on beer coolers. When fitted as a retrofit option, the new ecoFLO® smart pump system is approximately 42% reduction in power consumption which can give the customer a payback of less than 1 year. Considering that life expectancy of the EC pump is 10 years compared with the typical 2.5 years for the standard pump, it offers significant financial and CO2 savings for the end user.

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Hannah Morphew
Office Administrator
E-Mail: Hannah.Morphew@uk.ebmpapst.com