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MAJOR FACTORS AFFECTING THE PUMP PERFORMANCE

Pump or Pumping system is a major equpment in any process or power plants. So the equipment should opearate properly
to give best output in terms of performance. However, there are many factors which influence the pump performance. Out of
those, the main (major) factors which affect the performance of pump are:
Impeller design
Improper priming
Insufficient NPSH
Reduced capacity
Wrong direction of rotation
Clogging of suction pipeline and impeller
Improper shaft alignment
Packing troubles
Noisy operation
This article will explain these points in short.
IMPELLER DESIGN:
Backward curved blades, 2<90
Forward curved blades, 2>90
Radial blades , 2=90
The following table provides a guideline for pump performance with various blades.

Forward curved blades, 2>90


Backward curved blades, 2<90
No of blades 12-16 60
Blade angle, 2 40 145
Hydraulic efficiency 80% 70%
Power consumption low high
application Changing operating condition Fixed duty operation
losses low high

IMPROPER PRIMING:
All the air in the pipe line should be expelled completely
The pump should be primed completely before starting
Suction pipe should be 1m below the lowest water level
It should be completely air tight
Eccentric reducers should be used if necessary to avoid air pockets in pipe line
INSUFFICIENT NPSH:
NPSH= (Patm-Pv)/ g hs hfs
NPSH depends on the temperature of the operating liquid
Variation in water level is considerable Lowest level should be taken in to account for NPSH determination
Frictional losses should be kept minimum by selecting suitable diameter.
It is commonly accepted the static head in the pump will be maintained as 6.7m for water with a temperature of 10-
20c
NPSH avaiable > NPSH required
REDUCED CAPACITY:
One of the main reason for the reduced capacity is increased head
Total head > designed head
Pump or the impeller should be changed to obtain the rated capacity
WRONG DIRECTION OF ROTATION:
This cause the rated capacity and head will not be obtained
Pump fails often to operate
Remedy :
o arrow cast is indicated in pump casing
o care should be taken while mounting the impeller
CLOGGING OF SUCTION PIPELINE AND IMPELLER:
Suction pipe is clogged by some bricks, woods often
Strainer is clogged by paper, leaves
To rectify this pipeline should be inspected periodically
IMPROPER SHAFT ALIGNMENT:
It is due to misalignment of motor and pump shaft
It results in the vibration and noisy operation
To avoid this two shafts should be aligned properly
NOISY OPERATION:
Air leakage in the pump
Shaft misalignment resulting in the vibration
Cavitations
They can be reduced by proper dynamic balance of the shaft and impeller
The cavitations is reduced by properly designing the pump with suitable NPSH
Considerable points while installing centrifugal pumps at site to reduce
vibration
want2learn September 2, 2016 No Comment

For proper functioning of the centrifugal pumps in any plant the following points need to be taken care while installing.
Checking the site before installation:
Make sure the foundation concrete is of sufficient strength.
Only place the pump set on a foundation whose concrete has set firmly.
Only place the pump set on a horizontal and level surface.
Refer to the weights given in the Pump general arrangement (GA) drawing.
All structural work required must have been prepared in accordance with the dimensions stated in the outline
drawing/general arrangement drawing.
Improper installation in potentially explosive atmospheres:
Comply with the applicable local explosion protection regulations.
Observe the information in the data sheet and on the name plates of pump and motor.
Installing the pump assembly:
Always install the pump set in horizontal position to ensure proper self-venting of the pump. Refer Fig. 1:

Fig. 1: Figure showing the foundation of pump


Position the pump on the foundation and use a spirit level to align shaft and discharge nozzle. Permissible
deviation: 0.2 mm/m.
If required, use shims (2) to adjust the height. Fit shims between the baseplate/foundation frame and the foundation
itself; always insert them to the left and right of the foundation bolts and in close proximity to these bolts.
For a bolt-to-bolt clearance > 800 mm, insert additional shims halfway between the adjoining holes. All shims must
lie perfectly flush.
Insert the foundation bolts (4) into the holes provided.
Use concrete to set the foundation bolts (4) into the foundation.
Wait until the concrete has set firmly and then align the baseplate.
Tighten the foundation bolts (4) evenly and firmly.
Grout the baseplate using low-shrinkage concrete with a standard particle size and a water/concrete ratio of 0.5.
Produce flow-ability with the help of a solvent.
For low-noise operation the pump set can be mounted on vibration dampers upon confirmation by the manufacturer.
In this case, only fasten the flexible elements at the baseplate after the piping has been connected.
Expansion joints can be fitted between pump and suction/discharge line.
Observe the permissible forces and moments at the pump nozzles.
Take appropriate measures to compensate thermal expansion of the piping.
The suction lift line/suction head line has been laid with a rising/downward slope towards the pump.
The nominal diameters of the pipelines are at least equal to the nominal diameters of the pump nozzles.
To prevent excessive pressure losses, adapters to larger diameters have a diffuser angle of approximately 8.
Thoroughly clean, flush and blow through all vessels, pipelines and connections (especially of new installations).
Before installing the pump in the piping, remove the flange covers on the suction and discharge nozzles of the
pump.
Use a filter with laid-in wire mesh (mesh width 0.5 mm, wire diameter 0.25 mm) of corrosion-resistant material. Use
a filter three times the diameter of the piping. Conical filters have proved suitable.
The volute casing and casing/discharge cover take on the same temperature as the fluid handled.
Make sure the space between the casing cover/discharge cover and the bearing cover is sufficiently vented.
Never close or cover the perforation of the bearing bracket guards.
Never insulate the casing cover and the bearing bracket.
Make sure that the coupling is correctly aligned at all times.
Always check the coupling after the pump has been installed and connected to the piping.
Also check the coupling of pump sets supplied with pump and motor mounted on the same baseplate. Refer Fig. 2.

Fig. 2: Checking the spacer-type coupling with a dial gauge

Mark the installation position of the coupling by dotting marks (balancing condition).

Remove the coupling spacer.

While the pumps coupling is disengaged, also check the direction of rotation.

Check the alignment of the coupling halves with a dial gauge (see Fig. 2). Admissible run-out of coupling face (axial)
maximum 0.1 mm. Admissible radial deviation, measured over the complete circumference, maximum 0.2 mm.

After having installed the pump set and connected the piping, check the coupling alignment and, if required, re-align
the pump set (with the motor). Any differences in shaft centre height between the pump and the motor are
compensated by means of shims.

Check the coupling alignment.

Unscrew the hexagon head bolts at the motor.

Insert shims underneath the motor feet until the difference in shaft centre height has been compensated. Refer Fig.
3.
Fig. 3: Pump Set with Shim

Re-tighten the hexagon head bolts.

Check that the coupling and shaft can easily be rotated by hand.

Always operate the pump set with a coupling guard. If the customer specifically requests not to include a coupling
guard in Vendors delivery, then the operator must supply one! Observe all relevant regulations for selecting a
coupling guard.

Reinstall the coupling guard and step guard, if any.

Check the distance between coupling and coupling guard. The coupling guard must not touch the coupling.

Check the available mains voltage against the data on the motor name plate.

Select an appropriate start-up method.

Change the motors direction of rotation to match that of the pump.

Observe the manufacturers product literature supplied with the motor. Never check the direction of rotation by
starting up the unfilled pump set. Separate the pump from the motor to check the direction of rotation.

Never insert your hands or any other objects into the pump. Check that the inside of the pump is free from any
foreign objects.

The correct direction of rotation of motor and pump is in clock-wise direction (seen from the motor end). If the
direction of rotation is incorrect, check the connection of the motor and the switchgear, if any.

Click here to know about causes and effects of piping vibration

Click here to know about vibration monitoring methods.