The new, Grundfos TPE3 in-line, dry-runner pump joins the company’s MAGNA3 circulator with a number of built-in, “intelligent” functions. Both pumps include the FLOWLIMIT and heat energy meter, for example. The TPE3 is currently available in sizes up to 2.2 kW, with a performance range of up to 25 m head and 80 m³/h flow.
Grundfos’ business development manager Marcus Fich answers questions about what makes the TPE3 unique and the important space that it fills in the current Grundfos product portfolio.
Q: It sounds like the TPE3 is quite similar to the MAGNA3 pump. What is the difference?
A: While they might sound similar, they are two very different types of pumps. It’s like comparing a hatchback to a sedan.
One is a wet-runner circulator – the MAGNA3 – and the other is dry-runner, vertical, in-line pump – the TPE3.
When we introduced intelligent functions like FlowLIMIT in the MAGNA3, it was a game-changer. The MAGNA3 has been replacing a lot of existing wet-runner pumps in heating installations. The market has accepted its design and functionality, and competitors are now starting to include some of the same functionality in their products.
The MAGNA3’s groundbraking efficiency has been setting new standards for circulators. Now we are moving into the ballgame with these small, inline pumps like the TPE3. It is built on the same aesthetics and design principles as the MAGNA3.
But still, the MAGNA3 is a wet-runner, and wet-runners are not suitable for all applications. So the development of a dry-runner with at least the functionality of the MAGNA3 was the logical consequence.
And besides, the TPE3 does not only have the functionality of the MAGNA3, it also has additional, built-in functionalities. One of these is the possibility to use independent sensors for Delta T or Delta P control.
Q: You say the TPE3 will be available up to 2.2 kW. What if I need a bigger pump?
A: The existing portfolio – TPE series 1000 and 2000 – will still be available to cover the full range we have offered until now.
Q: With all the new built-in functionality, isn’t it difficult to commission the pump?
A: Of course the new functionalities need to be set up correctly to work properly. The commissioning can be done using the TPE3’s display. The display takes a try or two getting used to if you’re not familiar with the menu structure.
Another easy option is using Grundfos GO for iOS and Android devices, which is designed to help with these tasks. It includes wizards to set up the different functions and allows you to create a report after commissioning is finished.
Q: Can you give an example of how the built-in functions help solve problems in “real-life” applications?
A: Sure. Let’s take a look at a chilled water application. Although the TPE3 is a dry-runner, the motor is connected to the pump – and thereby the cold water – via the shaft. In humid environments, this could lead to condensation in the motor. This is not a problem when the TPE3 is in operation, as the motor then produces heat, which brings the motor temperature over the dew-point.
But in a stand-by, the story is different. So the TPE3 has a function called “Standstill Heating,” which applies AC voltage to the motor while it is not running. This voltage is not enough to start the pump, but it is enough to heat up the motor to a temperature above the dew point. It is a very simple way of protecting the motor at no additional hardware cost.
Q: Since you put more intelligence and controls capability into the TPE3, is there not an increased demand for integration into automation or management systems?
A: Of course, and we take care of this in different ways. First of all, we offer the possibility of a standard, “hard-wired” integration. This means we use standard signals like analogue and digital inputs and outputs to exchange data between the pump and the automation system. If the built-in I/O’s are not enough, you can get additional I/O on request, and that enables the connection of standard PT100/PT1000 sensors needed to for Delta T control, for example.
For the transmission of more data and sometimes even more detailed data, we offer a wide range of communication modules. These allow for a so-called bus communication between the pump and the automation or management system. The communication modules support many different communication standards like BACnet, Modbus, Profibus, LON and others. In addition, we offer a GSM module that allows the TPE3 to be connected to the “Grundfos Remote Management System” GRM.
Q: What if I do not need so many features?
A: You should really only pay for the functionality you need. That is why we will also be offering a stripped-down version, the TPE2, without the sensor and a simple non-graphical display.
Q: So – sum it up for me. Why should I care about the TPE3?
A: When we started the journey with the MAGNA3, getting to top effiency was our end game. Now it’s about functionality, inter-operability and versatility. You can add in all these I/Os, for example.
The TPE3 is a best-in-class, efficient, vertical in-line pump up to 2.2 kW that builds upon the
groundbreaking features and functionalities from the MAGNA3. And we’re proud of it.
“When we started the journey with the MAGNA3, getting to top effiency was our end game. Now it’s about functionality, inter-operability and versatility.”
Marcus Fich, Grundfos Business Development Manager