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Understanding

Centrifugal Pumping
BOOK
Turbine Technologies, Ltd., 410 Phillips Street, Chetek, WI, 54728 USA.
Phone: 715-924-4876, Fax: 715-924-2436, www.turbinetechnologies.com
Classroom Basics
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UNDERSTANDING CENTRIFUGAL PUMPING
Copyright 2013 by Turbine Technologies, Ltd.
BOOK 1: Understanding Centrifugal Pumping - Classroom Basics
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INTRODUCTION
Upon completion of this book, the student will have a good understanding of important issues related to centrifugal
pumping, including; the relationship of gravity and velocity, pressure head, pump impeller sizing, fuid specifc
gravity and viscosity, system friction head, suction head/lif, Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) and Cavitation.
Tis knowledge will serve as the foundation for learning to efectively operate a live centrifugal pump system.
Turbine Technologies, Ltd., LabVIEW, National Instruments are trademarks of respective systems and equipment used in equipment
manufactured by Turbine Technologies, Ltd.
Copyright 2013 by Turbine Technologies, Ltd.
All rights reserved. No part of this lesson series may be reproduced, translated or transmitted in any form or by any means without
the permission of Turbine Technologies, Ltd.
Turbine Technologies, Ltd., 410 Phillips Street, Chetek, WI, 54728 USA.
Phone: 715-924-4876, Fax: 715-924-2436, www.turbinetechnologies.com
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Copyright 2013 by Turbine Technologies, Ltd.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Book 1: Introduction to Centrifugal Pumping - Classroom Basics
Lesson 1: Dene Centrifugal Pumping/Introduction of Primary Components ......................................4
Focus 1: How Gravity and Velocity Relate to Centrifugal Pumping
Focus 2: Sizing an Impeller
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 1
Lesson 2: Specic Gravity of a Fluid (Why head is expressed in feet) ................................................ 10
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 2
Lesson 3: Viscosity of a Fluid ...................................................................................................................... 12
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 3
Lesson 4: Friction and Friction Head ......................................................................................................... 14
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 4
Lesson 5: Introduction to Suction Conditions .......................................................................................... 17
Focus 1: Suction Lift
Focus 2: Capacity and Suction Lift
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 5
Lesson 6: Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) & Introduction to Cavitation ........................................ 23
Focus 1: Net Positive Suction Head Available (NPSHa)
Focus 2: Net Positive Suction Head Required (NPSHr)
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 6
Lesson 7: Cavitation Another Word for Trouble .................................................................................... 29
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 7
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Centrifugal pumps are used in many applications
including water, sewage, petroleum and petrochemical
pumping. Tey have become a primary component of
many industries. A centrifugal pump is a machine that
gives energy to a fuid. Tis energy infusion can cause a
liquid to fow, rise to a higher level, or both.
Te centrifugal pump is a very simple rotary machine
which consists of two major parts: 1) impeller (rotating
component) and 2) volute (the stationary structure or
casing). Te fgure shows these two parts (along with the
eye, which is the fuid inlet into the volute).
Te centrifugal pumps function is as simple as its design.
It is flled with liquid and the impeller is rotated (usually
with an electric motor). Te impeller vanes grab the
liquid and fing it, giving it energy, which causes it
to exit the impellers vanes at a greater velocity than it
possessed when it entered.
Figure 1.1: Pump Primary Components
Lesson 1: Dene Centrifugal Pumping
Student will understand what a centrifugal pump is, what the major components of a centrifugal pump are, what
pumping head is, and how to size a pump impeller.
IMPELLER
EYE
VOLUTE
Approximate Lesson
Duration: 25 min.
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Figure 1.4: Centrifugal
Pump Impeller
What does a real
centrifugal pump look like?
What does a real
centrifugal impeller look like?
Figure 1.2: Impeller Outward Flow
Tis outward fow (finging) reduces the pressure at the
impeller eye (the center where the inlet piping allows the
fuid to enter the casing), allowing more liquid to enter. Te
liquid exits the impeller at its edge (peripheral velocity) and is
collected in the casing (volute) where its velocity is converted
to pressure before it leaves the pumps discharge.
Figure 1.3: Commercial
Centrifugal Pump
EYE
DISCHARGE
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Focus 1: Lets Fling Stones!
(How gravity and velocity relate to centrifugal pumping)
Gravity is one of the more important forces that a centrifugal pump must overcome. You will fnd that the relationship between
fnal velocity, due to gravity, and initial velocity, due to impeller speed, is a very useful one.
Lets use an example thats easy to visualize to better understand what were talking about.
If a stone is dropped from the top of a building, its speed (velocity) will increase at a known rate of 32.2 feet per second for
each second that it falls. Tis increase in velocity is known as acceleration due to gravity.
If we ignore the efect of air resistance on the falling stone, we can predict the velocity it will hit the ground based upon its
starting height of the ground and the efect of acceleration due to gravity (thats 32.2 feet per second PER second).
Now, with help of mathematics and even Sir Isaac Newton himself (you remember that he discovered this thing called gravity),
a convenient equation was developed which describes the relationship of velocity, height, and gravity as it applies to a falling
body, like that stone as:
Where:
v = the velocity of the body in f/sec
g = the acceleration due to gravity @ 32.2 f/sec/sec (or f/sec
2
)
h = the distance through which the body falls
For example, if a stone is dropped from a building 100 feet high:
Te stone, therefore, will strike the ground at a velocity of 80.3 feet
per second (about 55 miles per hour).
v
2
= 2 32.2
ft
s
2
100 ft, which gives us...
v
2
= 6440
ft
2
s
2
v = 6440
ft
2
s
2
= 80.3
ft
s
v
2
= 2gh
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Now, lets reverse this scenario. Tat same equation allows
us to fgure out how fast we would have to throw that stone
(initial velocity) upward from ground level for it to reach the
top of the building (100 feet). Tis is true because the fnal
velocity of a falling body happens to be equal to the initial
velocity required to launch it to get it to that same height
from which it fell (got that?). Using the example above, the
initial velocity required to throw the stone to a height of 100
feet is 80.3 feet per second, the same as its fnal velocity.
So what does dropping and throwing stones have to do with
pumping? Heres the cool part: the same equation we used
for the stone applies when pumping water with a centrifugal
pump. Te velocity of the water as it leaves the impeller
determines the head developed. In other words the water
is thrown to a certain height. To reach this height it must
start with the same velocity it would attain if it fell from that
height.
So, if we rearrange the falling body equation we get:
Now we can determine the height to which a body (or water)
will rise given a particular initial velocity. For example, at 10
f per sec:
1. Calculate the velocity of a marble at impact if it is dropped from a 6 story building (each story is 12 f. high).
Disregard any air resistance.
2. At what speed would we need to launch the marble from the ground level to reach the top of the building?
3. If you were to try this with several diferent initial velocities, you would fnd out that there is an interesting
relationship between the height achieved by a body and its initial velocity. Tis relationship is one of the
Afnity Laws of centrifugal pumps which can be studied independently.
Lesson 1, Focus 1
h =
v
2
2g
h =
10
ft
s

2
2 32.2
ft
s
2
h =1.55 ft
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UNDERSTANDING CENTRIFUGAL PUMPING
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We have a centrifugal pump that is spinning at 1800 RPM. What impeller diameter would be needed
to fing the water up 122 feet (a.k.a. develop a head of 122 feet). _________________
Lesson 1, Focus 2
Focus 2: Sizing an Impeller
As a fnale to this section, lets apply what we have learned to a practical application. Follow each step carefully and you will
gain a good understanding of how this works (youll feel so smart).
Problem: We have a centrifugal pump that is spinning at 1800 RPM. We need to fgure out what impeller diameter would be
needed to fing the water up 200 feet (a.k.a. develop a head of 200 feet).
First we must calculate the initial velocity required to develop a head of 200 feet. Using our falling body equation from before:
We also need to know the number of rotations the
impeller undergoes each second:
1800 RPM / 60 sec = 30 RPS (Revolutions per Second).
Now we can compute the number of feet a point on
the impellers rim travels in a single rotation: 113 f/sec
divided by 30 rotations/sec = 3.77 f/rotation
Since distance traveled per rotation is the same as the
circumference of the impeller we can compute the
diameter using the circular relation formula as follows:
Terefore an impeller with a diameter of approximately
14.4 turning at 1800 RPM will produce a head of (fing
water up) 200 Feet.
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Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 1
Please answer all of the following questions without referring to the text (formulas excepted). If you can
answer all questions, you are ready for Lesson 2. If not, please review Lesson 1 and retake certifcation
quiz.
1. Name 3 areas centrifugal pumps are used in.
2. What are the 2 main components of a centrifugal pump?
3. What typically drives a centrifugal pump?
4. Calculate the velocity of a cue ball that was dropped from a 100 foot building as it hits the ground.
5. How fast would you need to throw that cue ball upward from ground level for it to reach the top of the
100 foot building?
6. What would the diameter of a pump impeller have to be to throw water up that high?
I certify that I have answered all certifcation quiz questions correctly and am ready for the next lesson.
____________________________________ _____________________________
Your Signature Date
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UNDERSTANDING CENTRIFUGAL PUMPING
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Te Specifc Gravity of a substance is the ratio of the weight of
a given volume of the substance to that of an equal volume of
water at standard temperature and pressure (STP). Assuming
the viscosity of a liquid (see Section 1, Part 3) is similar to
that of water, the following statements will always be true
regardless of the specifc gravity:
1) A Centrifugal pump will always develop the same head in
feet regardless of a liquids specifc gravity.
2) Pressure will increase or decrease in direct proportion to a
liquids specifc gravity.
3) Brake HP required will vary directly with a liquids specifc
gravity.
Figure 2.1 illustrates the relationship between pressure (in
psi) and head (in f).
We can see that the level in each of the three tanks is 100
feet. Te resulting pressure at the bottom of each varies
substantially as a result of the varying specifc gravity. Now, if
we keep pressure constant as measured at the bottom of each
tank, then it would stand to reason that the fuid levels would
vary in a similar way.
Notice that the specifc gravity (remember defnition) of Jet
Fuel is only 82% that of water, while ethylene glycol will be
110% of water. It is very interesting to look up a chart of the
specifc gravity of a number of liquids. Tis really gives you a
feel for how things compare and may even surprise you. For
instance, olive oil has a specifc gravity of 91% while glucose
is around 140%. One element well talk about later is the
Viscosity of the liquid.
A centrifugal pump can also develop 100 of head when
pumping water, jet fuel, and ethylene glycol. Te resulting
pressures, however, will vary just as those seen in the fgure.
If that same pump requires 10 HP when pumping water, it
will require 11 HP when pumping ethylene glycol and only
8.2 HP when pumping jet fuel (based on the specifc gravity
ratios).
Te preceding discussion of Specifc Gravity illustrates why
centrifugal pump head (or pressure) is expressed in feet.
Since pump specialists work with many liquids of varying
specifc gravity, head in feet is the most convenient system of
designating head. When selecting a pump, always remember
that factory tests and curves are based on water at STP. If you
are working with other liquids always correct the HP required
for the specifc gravity of the liquid being pumped.

Iet Iue|
S. Gk. = 0.82
Water
S. Gk. = 1.0
Lthy|ene G|yco|
S. Gk. = 1.1
43.3 SI 3S.S SI
47.6 SI
100 It.

100 It.

100 It.

Spec|f|c Grav|ty ressure Var|at|ons at Constant nead
Lesson 2: Specic Gravity of a Fluid
(Why head is expressed in feet)
Chances are pretty good that you will be pumping a liquid other than water in your feld. Te good news is that in
pumping, each liquid is compared to water (at a standard temperature and pressure) to get a handle on how a pump
will perform when pumping it. Tis comparison is known as Specifc Gravity. Tis section will explain Specifc Grav-
ity and how it relates to head.
Figure 2.1: Specifc Gravity Comparisons
(pressure related to head)
Approximate Lesson
Duration: 10 min.
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What is the basic defnition of Specifc Gravity?
You have a gallon of mercury with a Specifc Gravity of 13.5. When you weigh a gallon of water at STP,
the scale reads 8.3 lbs (something to keep in mind). What will the scale read when you weigh a gallon of
mercury?
A train (yes, a train) leaves Chicago carrying 500 gallons of diesel fuel (specifc gravity of 0.82) for its
engines, and travels at 50 MPH toward Topeka, which is 400 miles away. Te engines combine to burn
50 gallons of fuel per hour. How much less will the train weigh when it gets to Topeka?
Lesson 2
Knowledge Certication Quiz: Lesson 2
1. What is the specifc gravity of water at standard temperature and pressure?
2. If 3 identical tanks are flled with 3 mystery fuids to a height each of 50 feet and the pressure readings
at the bottom of the tanks all read the same pressure, what does that tell us about the specifc gravity of
each fuid.
3. Te 3 tanks from question 2 are drained. One is flled with water to 100 feet. Te second is flled with a
Mystery Fluid A to 100 feet. Te third is flled with a Mystery Fluid B to 100 feet. If the volume in each
tank is 1,000 gallons and Mystery Fluid 1 has a Specifc Gravity of 0.8 and Mystery Fluid B has a Specifc
Gravity of 1.2, how much does each tank of mystery fuid weigh if the water weighs 8.3 lbs/gallon.
I certify that I have answered all certifcation quiz questions correctly and am ready for the next lesson.
____________________________________ _____________________________
Your Signature Date