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Centrifugal pump also known as the hydrodynamic pump which works on the principle of centrifugal force. These types of pumps are used at refinery off-sites, food industries, power stations, textile industries, rubber industries, and other process industries. Centrifugal pumps rely on kinetic energy rather than rotary pumps that use mechanical means to move liquid. Centrifugal pumps use kinetic energy to process.
Below-mentioned are some of the dos and don’ts while using centrifugal pumps for pressure testing. These will help you design and troubleshoot pump systems.
Dos and Don’ts:
Use Pressure Gauges:
While using centrifugal pumps, make sure your pump has a pressure gauge on the discharge side. It will help you diagnose pump system problems. Having a pressure gauge on the suction side also helps in signalling various problems.
Never run a pump at zero flow:
Do not let a centrifugal pump run at zero flow for a longer period of time. The pressure switch in the residential systems shuts the pump down when the pressure is high which means there is no flow. So, do not let the pump run at zero flow.
Problems of water hammer:
Be aware of the water hammer problems. This problem occurs particularly in large piping systems such as municipality water supply distribution systems. These systems have long gradually upwards and downward sloping pipes. The solution to this problem would be the pressure/vacuum reducing valves at the high and low points.
The pressure at a high point:
You need to calculate the level of pressure of the high point in your system. The pressure may be low enough for the fluid to create a vapor pocket which will decide the performance of the system. The pressure can be increased by installing a valve at some point past the high point. You can adjust the pressure at the high point by closing the valve.
Based on the total head and flow rate, you should select your pump. The flow rate will depend on your requirements. The selection of the pump starts with acquiring detail knowledge of the system. If you are replacing the existing pump then, of course, there is no problem. But if you are replacing an existing pump with problems and looking for a pump for the new application then you need to know how the system works.
You should avoid pumping in reverse direction:
You should avoid running a pump in a different direction as it might prob=vide damage to the pump. If the pump is started while running backward then it will provide damage to the pump shafts. The simplest solution is to install a check valve on the discharge line to avoid such problems.
Avoid high points and pockets:
You should avoid pockets or high points where air can accumulate in the discharge piping. An ideal pipe run is when the piping slopes up from the pump to the outlet. This ensures that any air on the discharge side to be evacuated to the outlet.
Centrifugal pumps are an essential device for testing as compared to many pumps. The main mechanism of the centrifugal pump is to convert the centrifugal force to kinetic energy. So, while using this essential pump remember the above-mentioned dos and don’ts.
Among the different types of pumps in the market, generally, large centrifugal are considered for industrial uses. These pumps function like water turbines but in reverse direction. Technically, a centrifugal pump uses a motor to move an impeller inside. The rotational energy here is converted into kinetic energy. This energy then pushes the water through the casing or the chamber. The water enters the chamber or the casing through an “eye” where it strikes the impeller and moves it.
Commonest Uses of Centrifugal Pumps
These pumps are used in various industries and have many applications. Most often these types of pumps are seen in power plants and refineries. Often the municipal water supply uses these pumps for supplying water. In addition to that, a good quality pump comes with a Teflon bellow mechanical seal. These are often used for wastewater management, drainage and irrigation, and floodwater protection.
Other uses of the centrifugal pump are in fire-fighting sprinkler systems and air conditioning systems. In addition to these, the pumps are most appropriately used in industries like pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, chemicals, paints, hydrocarbons, food, and beverage, as well as a sugar refinery.
• You must choose a reliable manufacturer of centrifugal pumps. Choose a manufacturer that builds spare parts as well. You should be able to return to the manufacturer for spare parts if ever the pumps require repairs.
• Make sure that the manufacturer you are choosing is licensed and registered. This would ensure that you are choosing genuine products and parts. You could also get discounts on the products you purchase if you choose to do so from a manufacturer directly.
• Before placing an order for industrial pumps, you must compare the prices. You must make sure that you are choosing pumps at reasonable prices. However, you must never compromise on the quality of the products you purchase.
So, there are innumerable uses of such pumps in every industry. You just need to know what uses you have. Just choose the right model of pumps for your purpose.
Centrifugal pumps are one of the most widely used rotatory machines in the industry. Selection of the correct centrifugal pump for your required application is an important task. Often, customers are confused when it comes to selecting a right centrifugal pump.
Do you know the key criteria to consider while choosing a centrifugal pump? No! Find them below.
The top five factors to consider while choosing a right centrifugal pump:
1. Materials of Construction (MOC)
Since your pump is going to be in direct contact with the fluid, the construction material should be chosen accordingly. Otherwise, the fluid would harm and corrode the parts. And, soon your pump would be junk.
2. Flow rate
You should have clear data of flow rate (volume per unit time) needed. Once you know the flow rate, you can choose the right pump size depending on the viscosity of fluid. Other factors that affect flow rate are a static lift, friction losses and differential pressure in the line.
3. Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH)
NPSH is the difference between the fluid pressure at pump suction and fluid vapour pressure. It is denoted in terms of height of the liquid column. NPSHr, the required NPSH of a pump is specified by the manufacturer, while you have to calculate the available NPSHa. As a rule of thumb, the required NPSHr of a pump should always be lower than the available NPSHa of the system. Else, there would be an issue of cavitation.
4. fluid Properties And External Environment
External environment decides the metallurgy of your pump? Are you going to employ pump in minus temperature condition? Or is it going to be used in too hot surrounding? You would require cryogenic metallurgy for a low-temperature condition. Similarly, for hazardous condition ‘fire safe tested’ pumps are required.
Just as the external condition is important, the complete specifications of the fluid in line should be clear to you.
5. Important features of fluid to consider are:
- Vapour pressure
- Nature of fluid: Whether Abrasive or Non-abrasive? Or whether it is acidic, basic or neutral?
With all these points in mind, you can select right centrifugal pumps for any application without any confusions.