The Cost of Low Pressure

When it comes to tank cleaning and sanitizing, the vast majority of the wineries and breweries that we interact with are unwittingly costing themselves time and money due to a hidden problem: low pressure. 

Contrary to popular belief, pumps do not create pressure; they create flow. The best tank cleaning machines, like our Cloud Model 360, efficiently harness the flow from the pump to maximize impingement, but they do not create flow themselves. So even though pumps (and tank cleaning machines) don’t technically create pressure, you can easily get an idea of how much impingement you’re getting by slapping a pressure gauge on your pump.  This will allow you to see how much pressure your pump/tank cleaning machine set-up is producing.

Our 20 HP pump being unloaded from our Mobile Service and Demo Sprinter Van.

Our 20 HP pump being unloaded from our Mobile Service and Demo Sprinter Van.

 The amount of pressure that the pump “produces” is directly proportional to the speed (or velocity) of the water as it travels from the nozzle of your tank cleaner to the inside wall of your tank. At a high-level, impingement is essentially a function of momentum. Momentum = Mass x Velocity. Mass is controlled by the nozzle size of your tank cleaner, and generally doesn’t change during the tank cleaning process. Velocity is the result of pressure (although it is also influenced by a number of things that we’ll discuss in future articles including: distance of throw, angle of attack, rotational speed/angular momentum). That’s why, in general: less pressure = less velocity = less impingement = more time spent getting your tank clean.

So just how much pressure does a tank cleaning machine need to clean effectively? We say at least 100 PSI. You may be able to get a tank clean using less than 100 PSI by running your equipment longer, but longer run times come at a cost. First and foremost, time is money. Secondly, running a pump at maximum output for extended periods of time will lead to the pump requiring more maintenance, a greater chance of complete breakdowns, and expensive repairs.

 For those unable to properly clean their tanks due to issues with low pressure, high payroll costs and employee safety can also be topics of concern. We recently visited a local winery that had their employees manually scrubbing the interior tank walls from ladders because the winery lacked the appropriate pump and tank cleaner to do the job. The process was extremely labor intensive, and took two days per tank to clean!  For demonstration purposes, we ran our 20 HP pump (capable of 120 PSI) and Model 360 tank cleaner for one 20-minute cycle, and thoroughly cleaned an entire tank. 20 minutes…

 Investing in a tank cleaning pump capable of achieving 100 PSI or more should be an easy decision for your operation. You’ll save time and money, improve  safety and morale among your maintenance staff, and increase the time and man-power you have available to focus on your core business goals.

Interested in learning more about Cloud Company’s turn-key pump and tank cleaning machine systems? Give us a call at 805-549-8093! Or fill out the form below to schedule a demo with our Mobile Service and Demonstration Sprinter Van!