Introduction to Efficiency
Efficiency can be stated as the act of being adequate in performance with a minimum of waste or effort. For example, an efficient engine runs well while using only a small amount of gasoline. An efficient worker gets the job done using the minimum amount of time.
Efficiency can be measured in several way. These measurements of
efficiency, known as efficiency ratings, are useful for monitoring
progress. The efficiency ratings compare the work required with
the work accomplished in a meaningful way.
Efficiency is concerned with the transfer of energy. Let's consider
a very simple system - a hammer driving in a nail. In this system,
we are transferring energy from the hammer to the nail.
Efficiency can be improved by achieving balance - by matching all
of the components in the system. For example, pumps have to match
hydraulic systems and, in the example above, hammers have to match nails.
A small hammer is ineffective at driving in a large nail and vice
versa. The hammer must match the nail in order to provide the most
efficient transfer of energy.
Vector forces also contribute to efficiency. When
you swing your hammer to hit a nail, the motion of the hammer is a vector.
When the vector's direction is the same as the nail's direction,
the system is very efficient and the nail is driven in. But if the
vector's direction is different from the nail's direction, then the hammer
glances off the nail and is not as efficient.
Both balance of components and vector forces can be important in the water/wastewater field.