KSB
Startup process 
3 
Drive 
4 
Torque 
4 
Drive starting torque 
4 
Nominal speed 
5 
Operating point 
5 
H _{s}_{y}_{s} /Q change: 
5 
Starting method 
7 
DOL starting 
7 
Stardelta starting 
8 
Auto transformer 
11 
Shaft coupling 
11 
Rigid shaft coupling 
11 
Examples of rigid shaft coupling types 
11 
Shaft efficiency 
15 
Pump efficiency 
15 
Mechanical power 
16 
Power input 
17 
Special terms pertaining to pump input power 
17 
Electrical power 
17 
Switchgear and controlgear 
18 
Applicationspecific switching and control functions 
20 
Additional monitoring functions to safeguard reliable operation of the pumps 
20 
Apparent power 
20 
Effective power 
20 
Starting torque 
21 
Factors influencing torque: 
21 
Breakaway torque 
22 
System characteristic curve 
22 
Locationspecific subscripts 
23 
Runup time 
24 
Rotational speed 
26 
Specific speed 
27 
Similarity conditions 
29 
Geometric similarity 
29 
Kinematic similarity 
30 
Dynamic similarity 
30 
Efficiency scaleup 
32 
Performance coefficient 
33 
Head coefficient 
33 
Flow coefficient 
34 
Strouhal number 
35 
Affinity laws 
35 
Establishing characteristic coefficients by means of the affinity laws: 
36 
Affinity laws 
36 
Flow velocity in a crosssection 
38 
Piping 
38 
Open system 
41 
Pump power output 
44 
Economic efficiency 
45 
Life cycle costs 
45 
LCC analysis − Key financial factors 
47 
Pump system 
48 
Accumulator 
48 
Principal standards, directives and regulations applicable to accumulators 
53 
NPSH 
53 
NPSH required by the pump (NPSHr) 
57 
When specifying the NPSHr, it is also necessary to provide information on the relevant cavitation criterion. Criteria include: 
57 
Head 
59 
Fitting 
63 
Bellmouth 
66 
Intake chamber 
67 
Head loss 
68 
Recommended flow velocities 
68 
Head loss in a pipe 
69 
The equation for the head loss of a flow in a straight length of piping with circular crosssection is:
69 

Head losses for plastic and smooth drawn metal pipes 
72 
Head losses in valves and fittings 
72 
For all fittings a differentiation must be made between two forms of pressure loss: 
76 
Influence of highly viscous fluids on the system characteristic curve 
77 
Influence of nonNewtonian fluids on the system characteristic curve 
77 
Axial thrust 
77 
Mechanical axial thrust balancing 
81 
Designbased axial thrust balancing 
81 
Axial thrust balancing at the impeller 
83 
Axial thrust balancing via balancing devices 
86 
Inlet conditions 
87 
Absence of swirl 
88 
Uniform velocity distribution 
90 
Absence of vortices 
91 
Measures to be taken to prevent airentraining vortices 
93 
Measures taken to prevent submerged vortices 
93 
Disturbancefree approach flow examples 
94 
Startup process
The startup process refers the process by which the drive is activated and accelerated until the operating point of the pump is reached. There are several starting methods to make this stage of operation as low in impact as possible.
The torque (T _{p} ) of the pump that is transferred by the shaft coupling is directly related to power (P) and rotational speed (n). When the centrifugal pump is started up, the torque versus speed curve is almost a parabola. The starting torque provided by the asynchronous motor, however, must be greater for the rotor to reach operating speed.
This motor torque, together with the voltage, has a direct impact on the current drawn by the motor and thus also characterises the buildup of heat in the motor winding. Impermissible heat buildup in the motor should be avoided by limiting the runup time and/or current.
Drive
Centrifugal pumps are usually driven by electric motors. Piston engines (e. g. diesel engines) and gas and steam turbines also provide drive power, however. Hydraulic engines are rarely used. Electric motors and turbines generate uniform torque, whereas piston engines produce non uniform torque. This irregularity is largely compensated by implementing appropriate design measures (e. g. flywheels, changing the number of cylinders and their arrangement).
In the low power range (up to 1 kW), singlephase AC motors (see Alternating current) with squirrelcage rotors (see Asynchronous motor) are the preferred choice of drive.
The medium to high power range (up to 8000 kW) is dominated by threephase motors (e. g. asynchronous motors) with squirrelcage rotors.
Another option in the top power range are synchronous motors due to their relatively high level of efficiency and ability to compensate reactive power. In storage power stations, they operate as generators in turbine mode.
Torque
Torque is a physical quantity and describes a force couple that acts on a body (e.g. impeller of a centrifugal pump) and accelerates (startup process) or decelerates it, or works against an opposing torque of equal magnitude (starting torque). It is the product of force and lever arm. Its symbol is T and the unit is N m.
Drive starting torque
In the context of drive systems, starting torque refers to the torque that is applied to accelerate the machine to the nominal speed when it is switched on (see also starting method).
Nominal speed
Nominal speed (n _{N} ) is a suitable, rounded speed value for classifying the speed range (see Nominal value). Nominal speed is no longer the speed previously agreed on in the supply contract, but typically a deviating, rounded, and generally applicable speed such as 2,900, 1,450, or 980 min ^{–}^{1} (rpm) for a mains frequency of 50 Hz or 3,500, 1,750, 1,180 min ^{–}^{1} (rpm) at 60 Hz.
Operating point
The operating point of a centrifugal pump is the intersection of the pump characteristic curve (H/Q curve) and the system characteristic curve H _{s}_{y}_{s} /Q. H/Q is the pumpbased variable, H _{s}_{y}_{s} /Q the the systembased variable. See Fig. 1 Operating point
Fig. 1 Operating point:
Definition of a centrifugal pump's operating point
The operating point's position shifts if the position or the gradient of the pump characteristic curve H/Q and/or the system characteristic curve.
H _{s}_{y}_{s} /Q change:
H/Q changes but H _{s}_{y}_{s} /Q remains unchanged:
• This takes place in the case of variable speed centrifugal pumps (see Closedloop control) (See Fig. 2 Operating point) or
Fig. 2 Operating point:
Operating point’s position changes from B1 to B3 on the system characteristic curve Hsys/Q, resulting from an increase in pump speed from n1 to n3
• When centrifugal pumps of the same size are started up and operated in parallel. See Fig. 3 Operating point
Fig. 3 Operating point:
Operating point’s position changes from B1 to B3 on the system characteristic curve Hsys/Q when starting a second and third identical pump in parallel
H _{s}_{y}_{s} /Q changes but H/Q remains unchanged:
• The system characteristic curve may change during operation as a result of increased head losses (e.g. throttling via check valves, pipe incrustations) or changes in static head (e.g. fluid level fluctuations in tanks).
• Exact correspondence between the design and duty points (the latter referring to those specified by the customer) and the operating points only exists in rare cases. The operating point is often matched to the required data by throttling. See Fig. 4 Operating point
Fig. 4 Operating point:
Operating point’s position changes from B1 to B3 on the pump characteristic curve H/Q as a result of increased throttling
Starting method
The squirrelcage motors used for centrifugal pumps (see Asynchronous motor) have high starting currents. For motor ratings below 4 kW, the DOL starting and soft starting methods are used, while the stardelta, auto transformer, soft starter and frequency inverter methods are preferred for motor ratings above 4 kW.
DOL starting
For DOL starting, the three motor winding connections are wired in delta configuration from the outset. This means that the full mains voltage is immediately applied to the stopped motor, i.e. the entire starting torque is available right from the beginning. The operating speed will be reached within a very short period of time.
This starting method is the most favourable one for the motor, even if the starting current increases to 8 times that of the nominal current. Since this can place a demanding load on the power supply mains when larger motors are involved and cause voltage dips for adjacent devices, it is important to observe the provisions issued by the energy supply companies for DOL starting of motors with ratings above 5.5 kW in public lowvoltage mains (400 V).
In actual practice, motors with ratings up to 7.5 kW are also started directly. See Fig. 1 Starting method
Fig. 1 Starting method: Motor terminal board of a threephase asynchronous motor: matching the supply voltage by selecting the configuration via jumpers
Stardelta starting
Stardelta starting is used to drive machines with a high moment of inertia and limit the starting current of an asynchronous motor connected in delta configuration. For stardelta starting, the armature winding is initially connected to the power supply mains in a star configuration, and the motor is brought up to speed in this configuration. At switchover, delta current is theoretically all that is required and corresponds to the current rotational speed.
The result is a reduction in starting current of 1/3 as compared with delta DOL starting. The same relation applies to torque. See Figs. 2, 4 Starting method
Fig. 2 Starting method: Starting curve for current I and torque T of squirrelcage motors in stardelta configuration (Y = star configuration; ∆ = delta configuration; P = pump)
Fig. 4 Starting method: Starting curve for current I and torque T for canned motors (designations as in Fig. 1)
Stardelta starting can only be used for threephase motors whose winding connections are not connected internally, but are routed separately outwards. The delta connection may only be established after the machine has run up to speed in order for the targeted reduction in starting or inrush current to be realised. The torque produced with the star configuration must be sufficient to accelerate the driven machine to about its nominal speed. Switching from star to delta can be effected manually or automatically.
In practice, the stardelta configuration comprises a contactor circuit that allows the motor winding connections to be switched between the external conductors and the star point. Both switching states are interlocked in operation. Automatic switchover is possible if additional control relays are used. See Fig. 3 Starting method
Fig. 3 Starting method: Star delta configuration with contactors; simplified schematic without control and safety equipment
Switching the configuration from star to delta will cause current and torque peaks, which increase the mechanical load placed on coupled components. Very smooth starting and stopping can only be achieved via electronic solutions such as a soft starter or frequency inverter.
Auto transformer
An auto transformer typically finds application in highpowered motors to ease starting. To this end, it reduces the voltage (and thus the starting current) supplied to electric asynchronous motors. The transformation ratio of the transformer further reduces this current by the square of the reduction. Auto transformers are the most frequently used type of starting transformer for cost reasons.
Shaft coupling
The shaft coupling is the connecting element between the electric motor and the pump hydraulic system. Slipfree shaft couplings employed in centrifugal pumps are divided into rigid and flexible shaft couplings.
Rigid shaft coupling
Rigid shaft couplings are mainly used to connect perfectly aligned shafts. The slightest misalignment results in considerable extra stress on shaft couplings and adjoining shaft ends.
Examples of rigid shaft coupling types
• Sleeve coupling
• Muff coupling
• Serrated (splined) coupling
• Split muff coupling (DIN 115)
• Disc coupling
• Flange coupling
• Gear coupling
Flexible shaft coupling
Shaft couplings to DIN 7400 are resilient (flexible), slipfree connecting elements fitted between driving and driven components, capable of partially compensating axial, radial and angular misalignment and shock loads. See Fig. 1 Shaft coupling
Misalignment types
Fig. 1 Shaft coupling:
Flexibility is usually achieved by the deformation of dampening, rubber or metalelastic spring elements; their service life is heavily dependent on the extent to which misalignment has to be compensated. Different flexible shaft coupling designs are available. See Fig. 2 Shaft coupling
Coupling types
Fig. 2 Shaft coupling:
If shaft misalignment occurs between the driver and the pump as a result of, for example, temperature fluctuations in the fluid handled (on heat transfer and hot water pumps), the double cardanic coupling type design is often employed. See Fig. 3 Shaft coupling
cardanic coupling for compensating shaft offset
Fig.3 Shaft coupling: Double
Gear couplings are flexible shaft connections for positive torque transmission and are particularly suited to compensating axial, radial and angular shaft offsets.
The design principle employed by curvedtooth gear couplings (see Curvedtooth gear coupling) prevents edge pressure when gears engage in the case of angular and radial offset, making these couplings almost wearfree.
The doublecardanic operating principle of curvedtooth gear couplings ensures that the reaction forces from angular and radial offsets are negligible and periodic fluctuations in the angular velocity do not occur. See Fig. 4 Shaft coupling
tooth gear coupling
Fig. 4 Shaft coupling: Curved
A coupling with spacer sleeve (see Back pullout design) allows the shaft seal and pump bearing
assembly to be removed without removing the pump casing and the drive. See Fig. 5 Shaft coupling
type coupling
Fig. 5 Shaft coupling: Spacer
If precise data on the influence of the frequency of starts and the ambient temperature is not
available, the load can be calculated on the basis of factors specified as reference values. No fixed value is laid down for the ratio of maximum torque to operating torque. This means that all
coupling types can be taken into consideration according to their specific suitability. The calculation of the loading by torque shocks relates therefore to the maximum torque (see Starting torque).
The calculation method for sizing flexible couplings given in DIN 740 only applies on the assumption that the coupling is the sole torsionally flexible element of a rotor, reducing the installation to a linear twomass system. In all other cases it is necessary to carry out a vibration calculation.
Shaft efficiency
Shaft efficiency is also known as pump efficiency.
Pump efficiency
Pump efficiency (η) is also referred to as coupling or overall efficiency and characterises the ratio of pump power output (P _{Q} ) to power input (P) for the operating point in question:
Pump efficiency (η) is the product of mechanical (η _{m} ) and internal efficiency (η _{i} ).
The best pump efficiency (ηopt) is the highest efficiency for the rotational speed and fluid handled as specified in the delivery contract.
For centrifugal pumps whose mechanical design does not clearly separate the pump shaft from the drive shaft, such as is the case with closecoupled pumps and submersible motor pumps, the efficiency of the pump set (η _{G}_{r} ) is specified in place of pump efficiency (see DIN 24 260) (Gr stands for group). This figure describes the ratio of pump power output (P _{Q} ) to the power consumed by the driver (see Drive), which is measured at an agreed position (e.g. at the terminals of the motor or where an underwater cable starts).
Achievable pump efficiency is very much a function of specific speed as well as the size and type of the pump and increases as these two variables increase. Reference values for achievable efficiency of modern centrifugal pump types are based on statistical analyses of the values for existing pumps. See Figs. 1 and 2 Pump efficiency
Fig. 1 Pump efficiency:
Attainable efficiency η of singlestage volute casing pumps without diffuser, and efficiency gain Δη by using a diffuser, as a function of specific speed ns
Fig. 2 Pump efficiency:
Attainable efficiencies η of multistage highpressure pumps (acc. to KARASSIK) as a function of specific speed ns
Mechanical power
Mechanical work (A) is performed when a force (F) causes movement in time (s) in the direction of the force applied.
With respect to rotational movement, mechanical power is the product of torque (T) and angular velocity (ω) (see Rotational speed).
Power input
The power input of a centrifugal pump (pump input power) is the mechanical power taken by the pump shaft or coupling from the drive. The SI unit of measurement for power input is watts (W). Input power
Calculation must be based on the flow rate (Q) at the inlet crosssection of the centrifugal pump if the fluid handled exhibits substantial compressibility. Pump input power can also be defined more precisely in conjunction with centrifugal pumps.
Special terms pertaining to pump input power
• Optimum pump input power (Popt): power input at the operating point of best efficiency
• Maximum pump input power (P _{G} ): highest pump input power of the operating range as defined in the delivery contract
• Zeroflow pump input power (P _{0} ):
Pump input power when Q = 0 m ^{3} /s (see Characteristic curve)
Electrical power
Electrical power (P) is the product of voltage and amperage (active current). The unit is watts (W).
Electrical power can be defined with respect to alternating and threephase current, whereby a distinction is made between the output types apparent power, effective power, and reactive power (also see Power).
Electrical power is supplied to the consumer by the power company. Many electrical consumers, such as alternatingcurrent and threephase motors, require effective (P _{W} ) and reactive power (P _{q} ). Whereas effective power is converted into mechanical power, reactive power is used to build and dissipate the magnetic fields. It fluctuates periodically between generator and load. The intensity of this energy over time is quantified by the reactive power.
Power companies must also provide apparent power (P _{S} ), since only active current I _{w} = I · cos φ may be used to calculate power if a phase shift between current and voltage occurs about angle φ in AC circuits. This current is in phase with the voltage, and the current component shifted by 90 degrees with respect to the voltage is the reactive current (Iq = I · sin φ). The product of voltage (U) and (apparent) current (I) is apparent power (P _{S} ). Definitions:
Effective power 
P _{w} =U • I • cos φ 
Reactive power 
P _{q} =U • I • sin φ 
Apparent power 
Ps=U • I 
P _{s} ^{2} =P _{w} ^{2} + P _{q} ^{2}
Apparent power is typically specified not in watts (W), but in voltamperes (VA), and reactive power in voltampere reactives (var).
Fig. 1 Electrical power:
Correlation between reactive power, effective power and apparent power
Switchgear and controlgear
Switchgear and controlgear as defined by IEC 60947 for electronics applications encompass all electrical components and devices that are used to activate, deactivate, and protect electrical consumers and include switches, contactors, residual current devices, and motor protection switches.
Pump control units are pumpspecific electrical switchgears and controlgears that contain all electric and electronic components required to safeguard proper operation of the connected pumps. Models that start and stop one or more pumps as a function of the fluid level are typical and are primarily used for single and dualpump applications. See Figs. 1 and 2 Control unit
Fig. 1 Switchgear and controlgear: Level control with level measured by float switches; dryinstalled pumps (can also be used for wetinstalled pumps)
Fig. 2 Switchgear and controlgear: Level control by continuous level measurement (pneumatic measurement with/without compressor; wetinstalled pumps)
Applicationspecific switching and control functions
• Equal distribution of operating hours
• Automatic pump changeover after a specified number of operating hours has been reached or after every start
• Pump starting and stopping in response to service demand
• Pump changeover in the case of a pump fault
• Functional check run via batterybacked realtime clock (as a function of fluid level)
• Sequenced starting/stopping if both pumps have to be started or stopped, to prevent pressure surges and minimise starting currents
• Freely selectable automatic restart after a fault
• Adjustable afterrun time
• Variable stop delays to prevent deposits in the tank
Additional monitoring functions to safeguard reliable operation of the pumps
• High water alert
• Operational availability
• Mainsindependent alarm
• Programmable general fault/"in operation" message
• Phase monitoring
• Voltage monitoring and display
• Overload detection per pump
• Thermal monitoring of pump motors
• Sensor fault / Live zero
• Fault/warning per pump
• Lowload detection (e. g. for dry running or lack of water)
• Archiving of data of the last 30 faults
• Monitoring of adjustable service intervals
Apparent power
Apparent power (P _{S} ) is calculated based on effective power (P _{W} ) and reactive power (P _{Q} ):
Effective power
Effective power is the electrical power that can be converted to other mechanical, chemical or thermal forms of power. The SIunit of measurement for effective power is watts (W).
Starting torque
Starting torque is the torque transferred by the shaft coupling during runup (see Startup process). It is calculated based on the ratio of power (P) to angular velocity (ω) and is represented as a rotational speed function.
Factors influencing torque:
• Progression of the characteristic curves for the head and pump power input in relation to flow rate and rotational speed
• Position of the operating point on the characteristic curves
• Runup behaviour of the drive as characterised by the runup time (t _{a} ) of the unit (pump and motor)
• System characteristic curve in relation to the valves fitted
• Runup time (t _{a}_{Q} ) for accelerating the liquid mass in the filled piping
t _{a}_{Q} 
Runup time of the liquid mass in the piping in s 

Q 
Flow rate in m ^{3} /s 

H 
_{0} 
Shutoff head (head) in m 
H 
_{A}_{,}_{0} 
Static part of the system characteristic curve in m 
g 
Gravitational constant in m/s ^{2} 

L 
Length of the piping in m 

A 
Crosssectional area of the piping in m ^{2} 
To illustrate the possible progression of starting torque at low specific speeds, the head (H),
power input (P), and starting torque (T _{P} ) of a radial pump are examined under different operating
conditions. See Fig. 1 Starting torque
All starting torque curves (T _{p} ) begin with the breakaway torque (T _{P}_{L} ) to overcome bearing and seal static friction. They reflect the increase in torque along with rising rotational speed (n) and
the increase in power input (P) as a function of increasing flow rate (Q). These processes occur either at the same time or in succession.
In contrast to centrifugal pumps with low specific speeds, a different starting torque curve develops at high specific speeds (e. g. propeller pumps) due to the increasing flow rate and decreasing power input (characteristic curve). More starting torque is therefore required for starting against a closed gate valve (points I and II would be located above line AB) than for starting against empty, unpressurised piping (point III would be located below the operating point (B)). This characteristic must be observed.
Breakaway torque
Breakaway torque refers to the maximum torque required to set interconnected stator and rotor components into motion. Instead of static friction forces, sliding friction forces will then apply.
System characteristic curve
The system characteristic curve (see Characteristic curve) represents the relationship between the system head (H _{s}_{y}_{s} ) and the flow rate (Q). It is often parabolashaped and does not generally pass through the origin of the H/Q coordinate system. The curve becomes progressively steeper as throttling increases. See Fig. 1 System characteristic curve and Fig. 4 Operating point
Fig. 1 System characteristic curve: Diagram of a cooling tower system and system curves at variable water levels in the river
The intersection of the pumpspecific H/Q curve with the systemspecific curve Hsys/Q determines the operating point. See Fig. 1 Operating point
The shape and position of the system characteristic curve result from the equation used to determine the system head (Hsys):
p 
Static pressure 
v 
Flow velocity 
z 
Geodetic height 
H 
_{L} Head loss (see Pressure loss, Pressure head) 
ρ 
Density of fluid handled 
g 
Gravitational constant 
Locationspecific subscripts
e 
Defined inlet crosssection (suction tank) See Head Fig. 2 
a 
Defined outlet crosssection 
s 

d 

e,s 
Relate to the system's suction side, i.e. to the portion between the crosssections e and s See Head Fig. 2 
d,a 
Relate to the system's discharge side, between the crosssections d and a 
The 
expression (v _{a} ^{2} – v _{e} ^{2} )/(2 ∙ g) is a negligible quantity if the system's crosssections in e and a 
are of adequate size or of approximately the same size.
In practice, this expression is seldom of any significance. The expressions (p _{a} – p _{e} )/(ρ ∙ g) and (z _{a}
– z _{e} ) are independent of the pump's flow rate (Q).
Therefore, the relationship between the system head (H _{s}_{y}_{s} ) and the flow rate (Q) is evidenced mainly in the head losses (H _{L} ) which can be calculated by means of the following equation:
ζ 
Loss coefficient (Head loss) 
v 
Flow velocity in a characteristic crosssection (of crosssectional area A) 
As the flow velocity (v) is the quotient of the flow rate (Q) and the crosssectional area (A), and
assuming a constant loss coefficient (ζ) and sufficiently high Reynolds numbers (see Model
The reason for the system curve's parabola shape becomes clear. For the vertex of the system characteristic curve at Q = 0, we have:
From the above equation it follows that the system characteristic curve shifts vertically in the H/Q _{s}_{y}_{s} coordinate system if the system's tank pressures (pa, pe) and the geodetic head H _{g}_{e}_{o} = z _{a} – z _{e} vary. H _{s}_{y}_{s}_{,}_{0} is often referred to as Hstat in the scholarly literature.
Thus for instance, we have the following equations for a cooling water system (see Cooling water pump) comprising a pipe drawing water out of a river, a cooling water pump and a discharge line leading into a cooling tower basin: See Fig. 1 System characteristic curve
H A = z a  z e + H v.e,s + H v.d,a
H A,0 = z a  z e
p _{a} = p _{e} = p _{b} v _{a} = 0 v _{e} = 0
(see Atmospheric pressure) (negligible flow velocities at a) (negligible inlet velocities in the intake structure from the river)
H _{L} Head loss (pressure losses at inlet and outlet, pressure losses through valves or elbows, pressure losses caused by pipe friction, passage through the condenser and by abrupt changes of crosssection etc.)
z _{a} – z _{e}
Difference in geodetic head of the water level in the cooling water basin and in the river bed.
As the water level in the river (z _{e} ) fluctuates, the system characteristic curves will shift accordingly. See Fig. 1 System characteristic curve
Runup time
The runup time is the period of time during which the drive (see Drive) is started and accelerated up to the operating point of the centrifugal pump. It is calculated from the acceleration torque (T _{b}_{.}_{m}_{i}_{t}_{t}_{e}_{l} ) averaged over the rotational speed (n):
The calculation made with this formula will only produce useful values, however, if the acceleration torque is approximately constant across the entire speed range. Should the TM and TP curves approach each other considerably at certain points, the runup time must be calculated in sequence using a computational or graphical method. To this end, the speed range is split into sections (Δni) in which constant acceleration torque values (Tbi) are used for calculation. See Fig. 1 Runup time
The runup time (ta) is the product of the sum of the individual steps: See Fig. 1 Runup time
The rundown time (t _{d}_{o}_{w}_{n} ) is calculated in the same way as the runup time. The only difference is that the acceleration torque (T _{b}_{i} ) is replaced with the starting torque T _{P}_{i} = f (n), which produces a load, or deceleration, torque in this scenario:
Fig. 1 Runup time:
Determining the runup and rundown time of a centrifugal pump
Rotational speed
Rotational speed (also called speed, or speed of rotation) can be quantified as the number of revolutions a rotating system makes within a defined period of time. The unit used for rotational speed is s ^{–}^{1} (rev/s); pump speed is generally given in min ^{–}^{1} (rpm).
The rotating frequency of the pump shaft therefore characterises a pump's rotational speed (n). It should not be confused with specific speed (n _{s} ) and is always defined as a positive figure.
The pump direction of rotation is specified as clockwise or anticlockwise and is separate to the defined direction of rotation of the impeller, which, when turning to the right with respect to the direction of inflow, is clockwise.
The selection of pump rotational speed is closely related to the characteristics of the pump hydraulic system (circumferential speed, impeller, specific speed), as the overall strength and economic efficiency of the pump and drive system need to be taken into account.
Most pumps operate at rotational speeds between 1000 and 3000 rpm but frequently reach in excess of 6,000 rpm with special gearing and turbine drives.
Larger centrifugal pumps (e.g. cooling water pumps for power stations), however, are typically mated to slowrunning electric drives that are very costly. Reduction gears between the drive and pump maintain today's low pump speeds of just 200 rpm.
Rotational speed (n) is proportionate to angular velocity (ω), the latter of which is more conducive to physical calculations and is the quotient of the plane angle and time interval. The unit is rad/s. The rad (radiant) is equal to the plane angle (57.296 degrees), which intersects an arc of 1 m in length as the centre angle of a circle with a 1 m radius.
This is represented with the number 1 in practice. The following relationship exists between rotational speed (n) and angular velocity (ω):
Specific speed
The specific speed (ns) is a characteristic coefficient derived from the similarity conditions which allows a comparison of impellers of various pump sizes even when their operating data differ (flow rate and head at best efficiency point, rotational speed). The specific speed can be used to classify the optimum impeller design and the corresponding pump characteristic curves. See Fig. 1 Specific speed
Fig. 1 Specific speed:
Influence of specific speed ns on centrifugal pump impeller design; the diffuser elements (casings) of singlestage pumps are outlined (blue).
Defined as the theoretical rotational speed at which a geometrically similar impeller would run if it were of such a size as to produce 1 m of head (H _{o}_{p}_{t} ) at a flow rate (Q _{o}_{p}_{t} m ^{3} /s at the best efficiency point, the specific speed is expressed in the same units as the rotational speed:
Q 
_{o}_{p}_{t} in m ^{3} /s 
Flow rate at η _{m}_{a}_{x} 
H 
_{o}_{p}_{t} in m 
Head at η _{m}_{a}_{x} 
n 
in rpm 
Pump speed 
n _{s} in rpm 
Specific speed 
A dimensionless characteristic coefficient in accordance with DIN 24260 can be established using the following equation:
n 
in s rpm ^{}^{1} 
Rotational speed 
Q 
_{o}_{p}_{t} in m ^{3} /s 
Flow rate at η max 
H 
_{o}_{p}_{t} in m 
Head at η max 
g 
= 9.81 m/s ^{2} 
Gravitational constant 
The following relationship exists between the numerical values of the dimensional and dimensionless coefficients:
n _{s} = 333 · n _{s} *
The values to be inserted in the above equation are the optimum head Hopt for one stage in the case of multistage pumps, and the optimum flow rate Qopt for one impeller half in the case of doubleentry impellers.
The fluid flow through the impeller changes with increasing specific speed, i.e. radial impellers have low specific speeds, mixed flow ("diagonal") impellers have a higher specific speed range and axial impellers have the highest specific speeds. Establishing the specific speed ns via a
graph:
See Annex, Specific speed, Fig 2
Establishing the specific speed nS via a graph
Fig. 2 Specific speed:
Diffuser elements on radial casings such as volute casings are also required to become larger and larger with increasing specific speed as long as the flow can be guided through the impeller in a radial direction. Eventually (i. e. at high specific speeds) the flow can only exit axially, e.g. via tubular casings.
The specific speed's numerical value is also needed to select the influencing factors required for the conversion of pump characteristic curves, for example, if fluids of higher viscosity or solids laden fluids are pumped).
In AngloSaxon countries the specific speed is called "type number K" in accordance with EN
12723 and ISO 9906. In the USA it is referred to as N _{s} (pump specific speed), with the flow rate being specified in gallons/min, the head in foot and the rotational speed in rpm. The conversion
factors are:
K = n _{s} / 52.9 and N _{s} = n _{s} ∙ 51.6
Similarity conditions
The similarity theory requires that three essential conditions be met for hydraulic model tests:
geometric (length), kinematic (velocity) and dynamic (forces) similarity between the model (M) and the fullscale version (G). Kinematic and dynamic similarity are grouped together under the heading of physical similarity (see Affinity laws).
Geometric similarity
In order to fulfil the condition of geometric similarity, all the linear dimensions of the model
pumps (I _{M} ) and the corresponding dimensions of the fullscale version ("prototype") (I _{G} ) must
have the same ratio (m _{I} ; model scale):
The geometrically similar reproduction of a pump and its system environment in model form is only required for sections relevant for the actual flow analysis. Establishing geometric similarity on the discharge side of the system is irrelevant if the fluid flow analysis is confined to the pump's suction side.
The fullscale version's wall surface roughness can only be reproduced in the model with limited accuracy, which is insufficient to achieve a microscopic level of geometric similarity, meaning that the boundary layer flow and the resultant pressure losses arising due to wall friction can only be examined to a limited extent.
Kinematic similarity
Kinematic similarity requires the proportionality of the corresponding velocity vectors in the model (v _{M} ) and the fullscale version (v _{G} ) (see Velocity triangle). The requirement of a constant velocity scale can strictly speaking only be fulfilled in conjunction with geometric and dynamic similarity:
Any deviation from geometric similarity will result in a roughly equal deviation from kinematic similarity. In model tests, deviations from kinematic similarity often manifest themselves via discrepancies between the degree of turbulence in the model flow and the flow in the fullscale version. This degree of turbulence has an influence on the change from laminar to turbulent flow (see Boundary layer, Fluid mechanics), on the possible occurrence of flow separation, and therefore on flow losses. Often, these cannot be assessed with sufficient accuracy on a model.
Experience has shown that the different types and structures of the boundary layers in the model and the fullscale version result in only minor deviations from kinematic similarity provided that there are no significant differences in flow separation zones and investigations are not concerned with areas close to surfaces such as those of vanes.
Dynamic similarity
In order to fulfil the requirement of dynamic similarity, a defined scale ratio (mf) must apply to all forces (F) which determine flow phenomena in both the model (M) and the fullscale version (G).
Apart from the twophase effects in twophase flow, the forces of significance in hydraulic pump modelling are inertia, gravity, pressure and friction.
Dynamic similarity with regard to the inertia and gravity forces in a model and fullscale version is expressed by the fact that the Froude number (Fr) is constant:
v 
Characteristic flow velocity 
l 
Characteristic length 
g 
Local gravitational constant 
The same applies to the Reynolds number (Re):
Re 
_{M} = Re _{G} 
v 
Kinematic viscosity of the fluid handled 
Dynamic similarity with regard to the pressure and inertia forces present in the model and the fullscale version is expressed by the same values of the Euler number (Eu):
Eu 
_{M} = Eu _{G} 
P 
Characteristic pressure (pressure difference) 
ρ 
Fluid density 
g 
Local gravitational constant 
In the case of centrifugal pumps, the Euler number expresses the relationship between the pressure rise in the pump (i.e. the characteristic pressure difference) and the circumferential
velocity at the impeller outer diameter (u2) (i.e. the characteristic velocity) and is as such termed
the head coefficient. Achieving the same Euler number or head coefficients in both the model
and the fullscale version requires that both geometric and kinematic similarity are ensured and
that the same Froude and Reynolds numbers are present in both the model and the fullscale version.
When transient flows with a frequency f are involved, the Strouhal number comes into play. In hydraulic modelling, a frequent deviation from dynamic similarity arises from the fact that the Froude or Reynolds numbers in the model and in the fullscale version are not the same due to technical reasons relating to the tests. Many years of experience have enabled certain ranges of these numbers to be obtained in the model and the fullscale version without substantially impairing physical similarity (see Efficiency scaleup).
Efficiency scaleup
Efficiency scaleup takes account of the influence of the Reynolds number (Re number) on the pump's efficiency. When two geometrically similar centrifugal pumps are compared, either the larger one, the one with the higher speed or the one handling a fluid of lower viscosity usually exhibits a higher pump efficiency. This means that when transferring data established on a test model to a lifesize prototype, the pump efficiency measured on the model must be scaled up. The precondition is however that geometrical similarity has been maintained in all components including surface roughness and clearance gap width (see Similarity conditions).
Thus this change in efficiency is only a consequence of the change in the Reynolds number resulting from the change in pump size, rotational speed and viscosity.
Larger centrifugal pumps generally have higher Re numbers. According to the laws of fluid mechanics, these pumps exhibit lower flow losses within certain limits and therefore feature a higher internal efficiency.
As it is almost impossible to achieve exact geometrical similarity, it is important to take into account that the additional influence of the machine size has the same effect as that of the Re number. The influence of pump size on pump efficiency is of practical significance in all cases where efficiency measurements are performed on reduced scale models of larger pumps (see Pump test facility) This allows an evaluation of the anticipated efficiency of the lifesize pump to obtain the pump input power, for instance, which would have exceeded the installed test facility power.
There are as yet no universally applicable rules for efficiency scaleup. In all cases, the efficiency scaleup method used must be clearly defined between user and manufacturer before the model test takes place. Examples of approximation equations for efficiency scaleup are those given by Pfleidererand Ackeret:
The Re number should be calculated on the basis of the circumferential speed of the impeller outlet diameter.
Practical examples for the use of efficiency scaleup equations are found in international standards: "Hydraulic Institute: Standards for centrifugal, rotary and reciprocating pumps. 14th ed, Cleveland 1983" and "IEC 497: International code for model acceptance tests of storage pumps. 1976" (12/2011 edition).
Performance coefficient
The performance coefficient (λ) is a characteristic coefficient identifying the pump input power. The following equations are yielded in conjunction with the pump power output (PQ) and pump input power (P):
ρ Density of fluid handled
η Pump efficiency Circumferential velocity at the impeller outlet Impeller diameter at the outlet
D
U
_{2}
_{2}
b _{2}
φ Flow coefficient
ψ Head coefficient
Head coefficient
Impeller outlet width
The head coefficient (ψ) is a characteristic coefficient derived from the corresponding physical quantity according to the affinity laws and used to characterise the operating behaviour. It characterises the head (H) of the pump:
When the head varies at constant rotational pump speed, ψ ~ H. The head coefficient (ψ) is therefore indicative of the ordinate (analogous to H) on H/Q curves plotted in a nondimensional representation. In conjunction with the specific energy (Y), this results in:
Flow coefficient
The flow coefficient (φ) is a dimensionless quantity used to describe the volume flow rate. It is also referred to as the volume or volume flow coefficient and characterises the flow rate (Q).
When the flow rate varies at constant rotational pump speed, vm ~ Q and therefore φ ~ Q.
The flow coefficient (φ) is therefore indicative of the abscissa (analogous to Q) on H/Q curves plotted in nondimensional representation. With reference to the vane inlet and outlet diameters, the following equations are obtained:
With regard to the head coefficient, it is preferable to adopt the flow coefficient related to the impeller outlet.
Strouhal number
The Strouhal number is defined as follows:
w 
velocity of flow around a body (for propellers, the relative velocity at the impeller outlet is used) in m/s 
f 
vortexshedding frequency (sought excitation frequency) in s1 
d 
characteristic quantity of the separating vortices (thickness of profile surrounded by the flow) in m 
The 
dimensionless number plays an important role in hydroacoustics and characterises transient 
flow 
phenomena in all cyclically operating prime 
S _{r} = 0.2 to 0.24 (flow along the plate)
Affinity laws
When investigating flow phenomena, cost factors often favour the use of models which are
geometrically similar to the original, fullsized equipment (see Similarity conditions). For this
type of testing it is necessary that models are not only geometrically similar, but are also
subjected to similar physical conditions.
The physical laws (differential equations including boundary conditions) applied must remain
invariant under similarity transformations. This is achieved by dividing all relevant physical quantities by exponential products characteristic of the configuration to be tested so as to obtain ratios of the unit 1.
Physical similarity is achieved if the ratios (see Characteristic coefficient) of the original and the model are the same. The relationships established between the physical quantity of the original and that of the model by means of the characteristic coefficients are called affinity laws.
Using characteristic pump parameters such as the impeller diameter (D), rotational speed (n ), gravitational constant (g) and the density of the fluid handled (ρ), various characteristic coefficients can be established for a centrifugal pump assuming frictionless, incompressible, noncavitating flow.
Establishing characteristic coefficients by means of the affinity laws:
• Flow velocity (v / (n · D))
• Pressure (p / (ρ · n ^{2} · D ^{2} ))
• Specific energy (Y / (n ^{2} · D ^{2} ))
• Head (g · H / (n ^{2} · D ^{2} ))
• Flow rate (Q / (n · D ^{3} ))
• Power input (P / (ρ · n ^{3} · D ^{5} ))
The following model laws thus apply to two geometrically similar centrifugal pumps operating under physically similar conditions:
Affinity laws
• Flow velocity in a crosssection
• Pressure
• Specific energy
• Head
• Flow rate
• Power input (assuming identical pump efficiencies)
• Flow coefficient
• Head coefficient
If Δh _{s} = Y (see Specific energy) is inserted, the pressure coefficient in its known form can be established:
As pump efficiencies are more or less dependent on friction conditions, they are subject to other conversion laws (see Efficiency scaleup). The selection of characteristic quantities to determine the characteristic coefficients is largely arbitrary. For instance, when studying the theory of flow in radial impellers (see Impeller), the impeller's circumferential speed (u), its outlet diameter (D) and the outlet width (b) of the vane passage are selected as characteristic quantities. These are used to establish two characteristic coefficients, where Δh _{s} is the isentropic increase (see Entropy) of the generalised specific enthalpy of the fluid handled.
As a general rule, a length (l) and a velocity (v) are selected as characteristic quantities for flow investigations. Flows subject to friction are characterised by the kinematic viscosity (ν). The Reynolds number (Re) can be derived from these and also gives the ratio of inertia force to friction force.
If gravity has to be taken into account as an external force, the characteristic coefficient of the acceleration due to gravity (gravitational constant) is g · l / v ^{2} . Its reciprocal value is the Froude number (Fr).
It expresses the ratio of inertia force to the force of gravity. If further physical phenomena such as compressibility, heat transfer and surface tension etc. have to be taken into account, further characteristic coefficients must be introduced.
As characteristic coefficients are not independent of one another, it becomes impossible to achieve physical similarity when multiple characteristic coefficients require consideration.
Model tests are widely used to investigate fluid mechanics, design strength and heat transfer problems.
Flow velocity in a crosssection
The flow velocity (v) in a crosssection is the volumetrically averaged flow velocity in a specific
flow crosssection (e. g. a pipe crosssection).
The unit of measurement for flow velocity is m/s.
Q Flow rate in m ^{3} /h
A Crossselectional area in m ^{2}
This relationship produces standard reference values for determining the flow velocity in piping (see Piping).
Piping
Piping is used to transport fluids. The inside diameters of piping are classed according to the nominal diameters (DN). The permissible load capacities as determined by the maximum internal pressures are classed according to nominal pressures (PN). The recommended upper
limit for the flow velocity (v) is approx. 2.3 m/s for discharge lines and approx. 1.8 m/s for
Economic efficiency should be taken into account when selecting the dischargeside velocities in the case of long piping and extended periods of operation. Due to the fact that suctionside piping is shorter in length, the NPSH conditions are particularly important for the selection of the suctionside velocities. The selected suction line's inside diameter is often larger than the pump suction nozzle.
Expansion joints are built into the piping system to absorb movements in the piping, whatever
their cause may be. As well as compensating movements, they also separate the pump from the
piping in order to prevent vibration transmission. Sometimes expansion joints are also used with
pumps to ensure that their connection to the piping does not result in the transmission of any stresses or strains. See Fig. 1 Piping
Fig. 1: Piping: Expansion
joints' compensating movements (lateral compensation)
If expansion joints are employed, those used to connect the pump and the piping should be
frictiontype expansion joints for the transmission of the axial forces (also braced expansion joints). This is necessary to ensure that the forces resulting from differential pressures do not act upon the pump, as these are often considerably higher than the permissible flange forces. These forces also shift the pump towards the suction side. This would severely affect the pump's alignment, as its mounting is not designed for this movement.
A distinction is made between closed and open piping systems. Unbraced expansion and
dismantling joints turn a technically closed pipeline into an open one.
Closed system
The closed system features frictiontype connections for the transmission of axial forces, e.g. flanges and rigid dismantling joints. The axial force arising from the internal pressure is absorbed by the pipe wall and the pipe connections. The supports and fasteners of a closed piping system are only required to handle its weight and dynamic forces. Thermal expansion is absorbed by flexible pipe supports or by expansion joints. See Fig. 2
compensation)
Fig. 2 Piping: Articulated expansion joint (lateral
The approximate spans (ls) for waterfilled steel pipes should be established using the following equation:
The wall thickness (b) of steel pipes subjected to internal pressure are calculated in accordance with EN 134803. For pipes mainly subjected to static load conditions, the following roughly
applies:
In the case of changes in temperature, the change in length of a straight pipe is calculated according to the following equation:
Open system
The open system has socket joints, flexible dismantling joints and axial expansion joints without tie bolts that provide compensation for thermal expansion. See Fig. 3 Piping
joint
Fig. 3 Piping: Axial expansion
As an external force, the axial force arising from the internal pressure must be absorbed by anchorage points at the beginning and the end of the piping and at any change of direction or crosssection.
Adequate guidance in the form of clips or roller bearings must be provided to keep the piping from buckling.
anchoring
Fig. 4 Piping: Pipe end
anchoring
anchoring
Fig. 5: Piping: Branch
Fig. 6 Piping: Elbow
Pump power output
The pump power output (P _{Q} ) is the useful power transmitted to the fluid handled by the centrifugal pump. The unit is watt (W).
It is defined as:
If the fluid handled is compressible, the density (ρ) is conventionally agreed to refer to the condition in the pump suction nozzle or the arithmetic mean (ρ _{s} + ρ _{d} )/2.
Economic efficiency
Economic efficiency is the ratio between the measurable increase in value and the expenditure required to achieve this increase. This concept is extremely important within the context of life cycle costs.
Life cycle costs
Life cycle costs (also see LCC) are the total costs incurred throughout the service life of a pump system. They are used to compare the economic efficiency of various technical designs. The LCC equation is determined in accordance with the guidelines of EUROPUMP and the Hydraulic Institute.
The life cycle costs associated with the operation of a pump or pump system are determined by calculating the annual costs of operation plus the interest and depreciation for the noncurrent assets, like the machinery and buildings, for a variety of alternatives.
In the case of centrifugal pumps, energy (Ce), operating (Co) and maintenance costs (Cm) account for the largest proportion of the life cycle costs. See Fig. 1 Life cycle costs
breakdown throughout service life (example)
The energy costs are calculated as follows:
Fig. 1 Life cycle costs: Cost
The calculation applies to one specific operating point only. Given that pump operation usually involves a broad flow rate range, a pro rata calculation must be performed for the various flow rates involved. The individual results are then added together, taking the load profile into account.
The costs of operation and maintenance must be determined on a casebycase basis and are dependent on the level of automation, operating period and maintenance requirement of the system.
LCC analysis − Key financial factors
• Energy price increase (inflation)
• Interest and discount rate
• Expected system life (calculation period)
Calculating the current costs associated with a specific cost element:
Based on empirical evidence, the following factors can be derived for dimensioning an economically efficient pump system or piping:
See Fig. 2 Life cycle costs
Fig. 2 Life cycle costs:
Diagram (example) illustrating the payback period of flow adjustment by variable speed pump drives (y) and by throttling of dischargeside valves (x), taking into account all life cycle costs involved
• Having high flow velocities in narrow piping reduces the cost of the system, but increases energy requirements and wear.
• If operating periods are long, the energy costs are the dominant factor. This means that any extra costs for energysaving measures such as speed adjustment (see Closedloop control) pay off very quickly.
• If operating periods are short, investments should be low and flow velocities can be high.
• A smaller number of fairly large pumps often produces higher levels of efficiency, resulting in lower energy costs. However, as the number of redundant pumps increases so does the capital expenditure.
Pump system
In centrifugal pump technology, the pump system, or simply the system, encompasses the space through which the fluid handled flows, excluding the pump itself. A differentiation is made in the system between the suction and the discharge side, where each side is equipped with an appropriate tank and piping including all requisite valves.
The suction side of the system is situated between the system's inlet crosssection (A _{e} ) and the pump's inlet crosssection (As); the discharge side is located between the pump’s outlet cross section (A _{d} ) and the system's outlet crosssection (A _{a} ), which has to be specifically defined. See Fig. 2 Head
The system's energy consumers include accumulators, coolers, condensers, highlevel distributing tanks, all of which account for a significant proportion of energy consumed, but also piping as well as fittings and valves.
Accumulator
An accumulator is a vessel which is partly filled with liquid and partly with gas (often air); its internal pressure is generally higher than atmospheric pressure. Accumulators store fluids to be handled under increased pressure (e. g. in pressure booster systems) in order to attenuate surge pressures and serve as energy storage devices to prolong the rundown time of centrifugal pumps. A transient flow analysis determines the accumulators' size and the valves, compressed air supply connections and instrumentation used.
Accumulators for automatic pressure control in water supply systems (see Pressure booster system) are usually installed vertically; horizontal installations are rare. See Fig. 1 Accumulator
Fig.1 Accumulator: Automatic pressure control in water supply systems
Accumulator size is determined by the pump set's number of starts per hour (Z). The number of startups depends on a variety of factors; information on the frequency of starts should be obtained from the electric motor suppliers (see Frequency of starts).
At startup pressure (pe), the lowest water level selected must ensure that air can under no circumstances enter the discharge line. The accumulator volume (V) should therefore be selected
so that it is 25 to 40 % larger than the effective accumulator volume (J) required. A compressed
air shutoff valve may be provided as an additional component. Its purpose is to prevent compressed air entering the discharge line. In the case of unfavourable piping layouts (e. g. in
domestic water supply systems) and horizontal vessels, the water level must be checked; if necessary, the connection must be placed at a lower level (e. g. dome).
A safety allowance of 25 % is included in the equation given below for accumulator sizing.
correction value K
Fig. 2 Accumulator:
The proportion of usable water volume (S) in relation to total volume (V) depends solely on the startup and stop pressures and can be calculated as follows:
In setups with more than one of the same pump, increasing the number of starts and stops by
periodically switching between the pumps allows a reduction of accumulator size. Membrane type accumulators are often provided for smaller units; these eliminate the need for a compressed air shutoff valve or a compressor. In this case, an extra 25 to 40 % of volume in addition to the effective volume (J) is not required.
The number of pumps in a pressure booster system has no bearing on the calculation of the
accumulator volume. If several pumps with different flow rates are employed, the mean flow rate
of the largest pump should be used in the equation. For systems in which several pumps are
flowcontrolled, and only the base load pump is started and stopped as a function of pressure, the accumulator size should be calculated in relation to this base load pump.
A 
subdivision of the calculated accumulator volume between several accumulators is desirable 
if 
such smaller vessels can be accommodated more easily in the available space, and the system 
costs are thereby reduced. When dividing the volume between two accumulators, the pressure settings for pump startup and stopping can be set in such a way that the second accumulator is filled with air only.
If the volume is divided between more than two accumulators, these must be connected via the
gas (air) side to ensure that each accumulator is evenly used. See Fig. 3 Accumulator
Fig. 3 Accumulator: Schematic for a water supply system as pressure booster system
As a proportion of the accumulator's air content is gradually absorbed by the water under pressure, the compressed air in the vessel must be topped up from time to time, usually by means of a compressor. The compressor size is determined by its suction capacity (Q _{k} ). Compressor selection depends on the time (T) required to fill the whole accumulator volume. It is assumed that only two thirds of the accumulator volume (which corresponds to the water level at stop pressure) must be filled with compressed air. The filling time should not exceed eight hours.
The suction capacity in m ^{3} /h is:
The compressor's operating pressure should as a minimum correspond to the pump's maximum stop pressure. The safety valve on the compressor must be preset so that the maximum permissible operating pressure of the accumulator is not exceeded.
In accordance with the accident prevention regulations for pressure vessels (German Gas and Waterworks Professional Association, Düsseldorf), fitting a safety valve on accumulators for centrifugal pumps is not mandatory as long as the H/Q curves (see Characteristic curve) of the pumps do not exceed 1.1 times the maximum permissible operating pressure for the vessel, and steps are taken to prevent critical overspeeding of the pumps.
The accumulators are welded, cast, riveted and, occasionally, finished in stripwound construction (for very high pressures and temperatures in the chemical industry). The materials used are steel plate (boiler plate), nonferrous metal plate, cast steel and plastic. The design and operating data of commonly used accumulators are standardised.
Principal standards, directives and regulations applicable to accumulators
• American Petroleum Institute: API 610
• American Society of Mechanical Engineers:
ASMEBoiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section IX
• German Pressure Vessel Society:
AD regulations
• Federal Ministry of Economics: Protection of Labour Act (Federal Bulletin 4/1980) and Steam Boiler and Pressure Vessel Act
• DIN 3171, DIN 4661, DIN 4810 and EN 962
• German Organisation for Technical Standards in the Gas and Water Industries (DVGW): DVGW Worksheet W 314
• TRD Technical Rules for Steam Boilers
• German Federation of Technical Supervision Associations
• Regulations of shipbuilding classification societies, e. g. German Lloyd (GL)
NPSH
The term NPSH is the abbreviation of "net positive suction head" and is an important factor in evaluating the suction characteristics of a centrifugal pump. It allows a prediction to be made regarding the safety margin required to avoid the effects of cavitation during operation.
In the EN 12723 standard the German term "Haltedruckhöhe (retaining pressure head)" is used as a synonym for NPSH. As different reference levels are defined for the two terms, their numerical value can differ by zs (difference in geodetic head between reference levels s and s'). In practice, only the NPSH value is used.
As the fluid flows through the centrifugal pump's impeller, the static pressure – relative to the pressure upstream of the impeller – will drop, especially at the inlet to the vane passage. The extent of the pressure drop depends on the rotational speed, the fluid density and viscosity, the impeller’s inlet geometry, the operating point and the velocity profile of the approach flow.
In order to avoid cavitation or to limit it to an acceptable level, the pressure upstream of the impeller must exceed the vapour pressure level of the fluid handled by a specified minimum margin. Assessing the likelihood of occurrence, extent and impact of cavitation in a centrifugal pump requires comparison of two NPSH values: the NPSH required by the pump NPSHr and the NPSH available in the system, NPSHa.
The system's NPSH, i.e. NPSH available (NPSHa) is defined as
Point s refers to the suction nozzle's centre. If the pump's design does not feature a suction nozzle, as is the case with inline pumps with weldedin pipes (i.e. weldedin pumps) or submersible pumps with bellmouths, a location s which corresponds to the point s in the suction nozzle's centre must be defined and clearly specified when specifying the NPSHa value. See Fig. 1 NPSH
Fig. 1 NPSH: Position of reference points s' for the NPSH value and s for the "retaining pressure head" (in this example the flow approaches the impeller from below)
The total pressure at point s can be expressed as:
The reference point s' for the NPSH value is the impeller’s centre, i.e. the intersection of the pump shaft axis and a plane situated at right angles to the pump shaft passing through the outer points of the vane leading edge. See Fig. 2 NPSH
Fig. 2 NPSH: Position of
reference point s' for various types of pump impellers
The system's NPSH is thus established as follows:
Inserting the values at the system's inlet crosssection gives:
The head loss also includes any entry losses and pressure drops across valves and fittings etc.
NPSH required by the pump (NPSHr)
The definition of the NPSH required by the pump (NPSHr) is similar to that of the system's NPSH, i.e. the symbols in brackets have the same meaning:
However, a significant difference is that the sum of the parameters defined by the terms in the brackets must not fall below a minimum value (min) specified for a given pump and application.
If this condition is not met, the occurrence of cavitation cannot be ruled out.
When specifying the NPSHr, it is also necessary to provide information on the relevant cavitation criterion. Criteria include:
• Incipient cavitation, NPSHi
• A certainextent of the cavitation zone on the vanes
• Start of head drop as a result of cavitation (NPSH _{0} )
• Cavitationinduced head drop by 3 % (NPSH _{3} )
The first three criteria are less common, and providing evidence for NPSHi requires demanding and expensive testing. For this reason, it is commonly agreed that NPSHr = NPSH _{3} .
The cavitation criteria listed above and their related NPSH values are dependent on the operating point. See Fig. 3 NPSH
Fig. 3 NPSH: NPSHr for various criteria as a function of the relative flow rate Q/Qshockfree
The illustration shows the curves for NPSHR of a specific impeller as a function of the relative flow rate. The parameters shown are the cavitation phenomena, e. g. the length (Lcav) of the resulting bubble trail (cavitation zone) in relation to the vane spacing or pitch (t) (see Vane cascade).
If the NPSHa curve is also displayed in the diagram, it is possible to determine the type of
cavitation to be expected as a function of flow rate.
The upper curve (NPSHi) indicates incipient cavitation. If NPSHa is higher than NPSHi, cavitation will not develop and the impeller will rotate without the formation of bubbles. The lower the NPSHa value drops, the longer the bubble trail (cavitation zone) will become.
From a minimum level represented in the graph as the intersection of the lines denoting suction side and dischargeside cavitation, the bubble trail length will increase under lowflow/overload conditions at a constant NPSHa. The flow rate at this minimum level corresponds to the flow direction of shockfree entry which causes the lowest increases in fluid velocity on the pressure side and suction side of the vane. It is therefore referred to as the shockfree flow rate (Qshock free).
If the flow rate (Q) is lower than the shockfree flow rate (Qshockfree), then cavitation will
develop on the vane's suction side; if the flow rate is higher than the shockfree flow rate, then cavitation will develop on the vane's pressure side.
Establishing NPSHr is largely a matter of testing, in particular when:
• Converting the NPSH of the pump from one rotational speed to another
• On similar pumps, converting NPSH from one pump size to another
• Converting NPSH from one fluid to another (in particular if the fluid contains dissolved or undissolved gas) (see Gas content of fluid handled)
A centrifugal pump's operating point can only be operated at continuously if:
The following relationship exists between the NPSH value and the German concept of "Haltedruckhöhe” (retaining pressure head) which is no longer used:
Retaining pressure head of the system H _{H}_{A} = NPSHa – z _{s}
Retaining pressure head of the pump H _{P} = NPSHr – z _{s}
In the case of horizontal pumps, there is no difference in height (z _{s} = 0) between the reference
points for NSPH and "retaining pressure head", making the two terms identical. The following coefficients are sometimes used in connection with the NPSH value:
When hydrocarbons or hightemperature water are handled, the NPSH3 value measured is lower than that measured for cold water. This means that the required NPSH value for hydrocarbons or hot water can actually be reduced when performing acceptance tests with cold water:
• Hydrocarbons in accordance with HI (standards laid down by the Hydraulic Institute, New York)
• Hot water See Fig. 4 NPSH
Fig. 4 NPSH: Correction factor f for NPSH3 when handling hot water (based on KSB measurements)
Head
This term is an important energy concept (EN 12723) in centrifugal pump engineering. A distinction must be made between the pump head and the system head.
The pump head is the hydraulic power or pump output power (P _{Q} ) transmitted to the fluid handled relative to ρ · g · Q.
The sum of all power (positive input, negative output) represented by the pump power output (PQ) must be zero within the boundaries of the system. See Fig. 1 Head
Fig. 1 Head: Explanation of
the pump power output PQ = PQ.d – PQ.s = P – Pv.i – Pm
If the expression P _{Q}_{.}_{d} – P _{Q}_{.}_{s} represents the pump power output (P _{Q} ), the useful power output is as follows:
According to BERNOULLI (see Fluid mechanics), the equation for useful power output is:
For the pump head, this means:
If the fluid handled is compressible, the value for density (ρ) should be defined as the arithmetic mean of the density at the pump discharge nozzle and the density at the pump suction nozzle:
The system head can be established in a similar manner, taking into account the head losses (H _{L} ):
The term geodetic head (H _{g}_{e}_{o} ) is sometimes used to designate the system head. It refers to the difference in elevation, or height, between the system's outlet crosssection (A _{a} ) and the system's inlet crosssection (A _{e} ):
Under steadystate conditions (rotational speed (n) = constant), the pump head is equal to the system head.
The unit of head is metres (m). The following expressions are also used in conjunction with the term head.
Heads and their significance
• Head at BEP (H _{o}_{p}_{t} ): pump head at the best efficiency point
• Nominal head (H _{N} ): pump head for which the pump has been designed
• Upper head limit (H _{m}_{a}_{x} ): max. permissible head at which the pump can be continuously operated without suffering damage
• Lower head limit (H _{m}_{i}_{n} ): min. permissible head at which the pump can be operated without suffering damage
• Shutoff head (H _{0} ): head for a flow rate Q = 0 m ^{3} /s
• Peak head (Hpeak): head at apex (relative maximum) of an unstable H/Q curve, see Fig. 4 Characteristic curve
• Static head (H _{A}_{,}_{0} or H _{s}_{t}_{a}_{t} ): the portion of the system head (see System characteristic curve and Characteristic curve) which is independent of the flow rate (Q)
magnitudes relating to the system head Hsys
Fig. 2 Head: Illustration of the
Fitting
Fittings in a centrifugal pump system comprise all piping components which function to change the piping's direction, to install piping branches, and/or to provide a transition between different pipe crosssections.
Fittings should be shaped to offer the least possible resistance to flow in order to minimise pressure losses (see system head); where this involves increased manufacturing costs, these should be weighed against the corresponding gains in economic efficiency.
Common fittings:
Pipe bends
• Pipe bends should have a radius of curvature of R > 2 2· D + 100 +100 mm (D = pipe diameter) particularly if they are fitted immediately upstream of pump suction nozzles. Pipe bends fabricated from cylindrical segments welded together should consist of at least six segments for a 90° bend. See Fig. 1 Fitting
Ybranch
Fig. 1 Fitting: 90° pipe bend
• Ybranches' fluid dynamic characteristics make them preferable to tees. See Fig. 2 Fitting
Diffusor
Fig. 2 Fitting: Ybranch
• Its facetoface length (L) should be approximately L = 5 · (D _{2} – D _{1} )
(D = pipe diameter) when used as a diffuser in flow direction. Diffuser outlets (e.g. in the case of lowlift pumping stations and pumps for use in lowlift pumping stations should be sized such
that the discharge velocity (v) (see Flow velocity) is 1.0 to 1.5 SPdL ^{m} See Fig. 3 Fitting
_{s} SPdL.
Nozzleshaped reducer
• In contrast to a diffuser, the facetoface length of a fitting used as a reducer can be much shorter. A nozzleshaped reducer features favourable flow characteristics. See Fig. 4 Fitting
reducer
Reducer for avoiding air pockets
Fig. 4 Fitting: Nozzleshaped
• Eccentric reducers should be installed in horizontal suction lines to avoid the formation of air pockets (see Formation of air pockets). See Fig. 5 Fitting
avoiding air pockets
Fig. 5 Fitting: Reducer for
Branch fitting for avoiding air pockets
• Eccentric branch fittings should be installed in horizontal suction lines to avoid the formation of air pockets. See Fig. 6 Fitting
• For further fittings see bellmouth, intake chamber and intake elbow (see Inlet conditions).
Bellmouth
A bellmouth, also called a suction bellmouth in connection with centrifugal pumps, is a nozzle
shaped inlet casing component (see Fitting), often employed with vertical tubular casing pumps. The flow acceleration resultant of the bellmouth's shape minimises irregularities in the velocity distribution. Even velocity distribution ensures a uniform approach flow (see Inlet conditions); this is especially important for high specific speed pumps (see Specific speed).
In the case of vortex flow at the inlet, a flow straightener should be fitted to provide a degree of
flow straightening. See Fig. 1 Bellmouth
Fig. 1 Bellmouth: High
specific speed pump with bellmouth and flow straightener
If preswirl control has been provided downstream, there is no need to fit a flow straightener in
the bellmouth. See Fig. 2 Bellmouth
Fig. 2 Bellmouth: High
specific speed pump with bellmouth and preswirl control
Intake chamber
The intake chamber is often referred to as a pump sump. It is a collecting chamber situated directly upstream of a centrifugal pump, through which the fluid handled, usually water, flows towards the pump. This ensures that the approach flow towards the centrifugal pump is evenly balanced on all sides and free of turbulence (see Inlet conditions). Such a smooth, disturbance free approach flow is indispensable for high specific speed tubular casing pumps with propellers or mixed flow impellers because these pumps respond immediately to irregularities and disturbances in the approach flow. A simple intake chamber design is all that is required to avoid damage from cavitation and vibrations, and a possible drop in pump power output or pump efficiency caused by irregular approach flows. The risk of airentraining vortices being sucked in from the water surface is avoided by ensuring that water levels in the intake chamber are sufficient. The required excavation depth depends on the intake chamber's design and shape. See Fig. 1
Intake chamber chamber: Four different intake chamber designs
Fig. 1 Intake
Intake chambers have a simple structural shape with a rectangular floor plan. A comparison of the four different intake chamber designs reveals that, given an identical flow rate, design variant I requires the highest minimum water level, variant IV the lowest. The designs I, II and III are open intake chambers suitable for axially parallel approach flow. Design variant IV with a splitter is also suitable for perpendicular approach flow. In the case of complex inlet conditions, model tests are advisable.
A disturbancefree approach flow can also be achieved using intake elbows. Economic efficiency
should be calculated when deciding whether an intake chamber should be provided. They are often built for vertical cooling water pumps.
In power stations, operational reliability is of crucial importance for pump availability. The
intake chamber therefore represents a structural unit which must be designed and built with great care.
Intake chambers are also employed in irrigation and drainage stations where simple designs can significantly reduce construction costs
Head loss
Head losses are a result of wall friction in all types of pipelines and of local resistance to flow, for example in valves and fittings (see also Pressure loss).
Recommended flow velocities
• For cold water:
Suction line 0.71.5 m/s Discharge line 1.02.0 m/s
• For hot water:
Suction line 0.51.0 m/s Discharge line 1.53.5 m/s
Head loss in a pipe The equation for the head loss of a flow in a straight length of piping with circular crosssection is:
λ 
Pipe friction factor 
L 
Pipe length in m 
d 
Pipe inside diameter in m 
v 
Flow velocity in a crosssection in m/s (= 4 Q / π d ^{2} with Q in m ^{3} /s) 
g 
Gravitational constant in m/s ^{2} 
see 
Fig. 1 and 4 Head loss 
The pipe friction factor was established experimentally. It is only dependent on the state of flow
of the fluid handled and of the relative roughness (d/k) of the pipes through which the fluid is
flowing. For noncircular pipe crosssections the equivalent diameter in fluidmechanical terms (d) applies:
A 
Crosssection in m ^{2} 
U 
Wetted crosssection circumference in m (the free surface of an open channel is not considered) 
The 
state of flow is determined by the Reynolds number (Re) according to the affinity laws. The 
following applies to circular pipes:
Flow velocity in a crosssection in m/s (= 4 Q / π d2 with Q in m ^{3} /s)
v
Kinematic viscosity in m ^{2} /s (for water at 20 °C: 1.00 · 10  6 m ^{2} /s)
ν
Pipe inside diameter in m
d
See Fig. 4 Head loss
For hydraulically smooth pipes such as smooth drawn metal or plastic piping (e. g. PE or PVC), or in the case of laminar flow, the pipe friction factor (λ) can be calculated. For laminar flow in a pipe with a Reynolds number smaller than 2320 the pipe friction factor is independent of roughness:
If flow is turbulent, or the Reynolds number higher than 2320, the pipe friction factor in hydraulically smooth pipes can be represented by an empirical equation according to Eck (due to the fact that deviations are below 1 % if the Reynolds number is lower than 10 ^{8} ).
The pipe friction factor (λ) also depends on a further dimensionless parameter, i.e. on the relative roughness of the pipe's inner surface (d/k). Both must be specified in the same unit (e. g. mm).
See Fig. 1 Head loss
(k) is the mean absolute roughness of the pipe inner surface for which approximate values are available depending on the material and manufacturing processes. See Fig. 2 Head loss
Fig. 2
Head loss: Estimates of mean peaktovalley heights k (absolute roughness) of pipes
Above the limit curve, the pipe friction factor (λ) is solely dependent on the pipe's relative roughness (d/k). See Fig. 1 Head loss
The following empirical equation by Moody can be used for this region:
For practical use, the head loss (H _{L} ) per 100 m of straight steel pipe is shown in the diagram as a function of the flow rate (Q) and pipe inside diameter (d). See Fig. 3 Head loss
The values are valid only for cold, clean water or for fluids with the same kinematic viscosity, for completely filled pipes and for absolute roughness of the pipe inner surface of k = 0.05 mm. Dimensions, weights, water fill for new seamless or longitudinally welded steel pipes See Annex, Head loss, Fig. 4
The effect of an increased surface roughness k will be demonstrated in the following for a
frequently used set of parameter ranges (nominal diameter DN = 50 to 300, flow velocity v = 0.8
to 3.0 m/s). See Fig. 3 Head loss
The light blue region corresponds to the similarly marked region for an absolute mean roughness
of k = 0.05 mm.
See Fig. 1 Head loss
For a roughness increased by a factor of 6 (slightly incrusted old steel pipe with k = 0.30 = 300 μm (0.30 mm), the pipe friction factors (and the associated proportional head losses) in the dark blue region are only 25  60 % higher than before. See Fig. 1 Head loss
For sewage pipes the increased roughness caused by soiling must be taken into consideration. For pipes subject to extreme incrustation, the actual head loss can only be determined experimentally. Deviations from the nominal diameter change the head loss considerably, as the pipe inside diameter features in the equation to the 5th power.
A 
5 % reduction of the inside diameter, for example, leads to an increase in head loss by as much 
as 
30 %. It is therefore important that the internal diameter is not simply replaced with the 
nominal diameter in the calculations.
The head losses in plastic pipes or smooth drawn metal piping are very low thanks to the smooth pipe surfaces. The head losses established are valid for water at 10 °C. At other temperatures, the loss for plastic pipes must be multiplied by a specified temperature correction factor to account for their larger thermal expansion. For sewage or other untreated water, an additional 2030 % head loss should be taken into account for potential deposits.
Head losses for plastic and smooth drawn metal pipes
See Annex, Head loss, Fig. 5
Head losses in valves and fittings
The head loss (H _{L} ) in valves and fittings is given by:
ζ Loss coefficient See Figs. 6 to 12 Head loss
v Flow velocity in a characteristic crosssectional area A (e. g. at the nozzle) in m/s g Gravitational constant 9.81 m/s ^{2}
diagram of valve designs
Fig. 6 Head loss: Schematic
Fig. 11 Head loss: Influence on the loss coefficient ζ of rounding off the inner and outer side of elbows in square ducts
Fig. 12 Head loss: Loss coefficients ζ for butterfly, globe and gate valves depending on the degree of opening
The losses attributable to the straightening of the flow disturbances over a pipe length equivalent to 12 x DN downstream of the valve are included in the loss coefficients in accordance with the VDI/VDE 2173 guideline. The values apply to valves which have a steady approach flow, are fully opened and operated with cold water. Depending on the inlet and outlet flow conditions, the valve models and development objectives (i. e. inexpensive or energysaving valves), the loss values can vary dramatically. See Annex, Head loss, Fig. 7
Often the k _{v} value is used instead of the loss coefficient (ζ) when calculating the pressure loss for water in valves:
The k _{v} value is the flow rate in m ^{3} /h which would result from a pressure drop p _{v} = 1 bar through the valve for cold water. It describes the correlation between the pressure loss (p _{L} ) in bar and the flow rate (Q) in m ^{3} /h. Conversion to flow coefficient ζ for cold water:
d Reference (nominal) diameter of the valve in cm
For the calculation of head losses in fittings, branch fittings and adapters require a different approach. See Figs. 9 and 10 Head loss
Fig. 9 Head loss: Loss
coefficients ζ for fittings 10 Head loss: Loss coefficients ζ for adapters
Fig.
For all fittings a differentiation must be made between two forms of pressure loss:
• Irreversible pressure losses (reduction in pressure)
p _{v}
ζ Loss coefficient
Pressure loss in Pa
ρ
Density in kg/m ^{3}
v 
Flow velocity in a crosssection in m/s 

• 
Reversible pressure changes of the frictionless flow according to Bernoulli's equation 



For 
accelerated flows such as reductions in the pipe diameter, (p _{2} − p _{1} ) is always negative; for 
decelerated flows such as pipe expansions, it is always positive. When calculating the net pressure change as the arithmetic sum of p _{L} and (p _{2} − p _{1} ), the irreversible pressure losses must always be subtracted.
Influence of highly viscous fluids on the system characteristic curve
As the laws of fluid dynamics retain their validity for all Newtonian fluids, the equations and diagrams for calculating the pipe friction factors and loss coefficients for valves are also applicable to viscous fluids with a higher viscosity than water.
When calculating the Reynolds number Re = v · d / ν , one must simply substitute the kinematic viscosity of the viscous fluids ν _{z} for the water viscosity ν _{z} .
This yields a lower Re number and, according to Fig. 1 Head loss, a larger pipe friction coefficient λ _{z} (Note: the influence of the wall roughness can now often be ignored because of the larger boundary layer thickness in the flow). All of the pressure losses in the pipes and valves calculated for water are to be extrapolated using the ratio λ _{z} /λ _{w} .
Figure 13 Head loss is also suitable for general practical use: the pipe friction factor λ _{z} can be determined quickly as a function of the flow rate Q, pipe inside diameter d and kinematic viscosity ν _{z} . It must be kept in mind, however, that the coefficient λ _{w} in this diagram is only valid for hydraulically smooth pipes (i.e. not for rough pipes)! The corresponding λ _{w} can be used to calculate the ratio λ _{z} /λ _{w} .
As the static component of the system characteristic curve H _{s}_{y}_{s} , see Fig. 1 System characteristic curve and Fig. 2 Head, is not affected by viscosity, the dynamic component of the system characteristic curve for water can be redrawn as a steeper parabola for a viscous fluid.
Influence of nonNewtonian fluids on the system characteristic curve
As the flow curves are not straight lines of constant linear viscosity, the calculation of the head losses is very cumbersome. In this case, loss calculation is based on experience with particular fluids.
Axial thrust
The axial thrust is the resultant force of all the axial forces (F) acting on the pump rotor. See Fig. 1 Axial thrust
forces in a singlestage centrifugal pump
Fig. 1 Axial thrust: Axial
Axial forces acting on the rotor in the case of a singlestage centrifugal pump
• The axial impeller force (F1) is the difference between the axial forces on the dischargeside (F _{d} ) and suctionside (Fs) impeller shroud F _{1} = F _{d} – F _{s}
• Momentum (FJ) is a force which constantly acts on the fluid contained in a defined space (see Principle of conservation of momentum, Fluid mechanics). It is calculated as follows:
• F _{J} = ρ · Q · ΔV _{a}_{x} Q Flow rate ρ Density of the fluid handled ΔV _{a}_{x} Difference between the axial components of the absolute velocity at the impeller inlet and outlet
• The resultant pressure forces arising from the static pressures up and downstream of the shaft seal (ss) on the relevant shaft crosssection Ass: F _{W}_{d} = A _{W}_{d} · Δp _{W}_{d}
• Special axial forces, e.g. when changes to the vortex conditions in the clearances between impeller and casing (side gaps) occur during the startup process (see Disc friction)
• Other axial forces such as the force of the rotor weight (F _{W} ) on nonhorizontal centrifugal pumps or magnetic pull in the electric motor (F _{m}_{e}_{c}_{h} ), e.g. in closecoupled pumps
The axial thrust component (F _{1} + F _{J} ) of closed impellers (i. e. with suctionside shrouds) which are not hydraulically balanced is:
The axial thrust coefficient is essentially dependent on the specific speed (n _{s} ). For radial and mixed flow impellers, the following equation applies in the range of 6 < n _{s} < 130 rpm :
See Fig. 2 Axial thrust
Fig. 2 Axial thrust: Non
balanced impeller design with conical impeller outlet area
This equation applies to flow rates (Q) of 0.8 · Q _{o}_{p}_{t} to 1.0 · Q _{o}_{p}_{t} and to the clearance gap width s = 0,1 mm. If the clearance gap width is doubled, α increases by 8 %.
In the case of multistage pumps with diffusers (e. g. boiler feed pumps), the axial impeller force (F _{1} ) is largely determined by the impeller's axial position in relation to the diffuser. In the case of open radial impellers with no shrouds on the suction side, the axial force (F _{s} ) is much lower than on closed impellers, meaning that the axial impeller force (F _{1} ) is higher.
Open impellers with cutouts in the impeller shroud between adjoining impeller vanes develop a lower pressure force (F _{d} ), and, consequently, a lower axial force (F _{1} ) than impellers with a full discharge side shroud. See Fig. 13 Impeller
For axial propellers, the axial thrust coefficient (α) is almost equal to the degree of reaction (r _{t}_{h} ). The axial thrust can then be roughly calculated using the propeller's outside diameter (O _{D} ):
The following proportionality applies to the F _{1} component of the axial thrust (See Fig.1 Axial thrust) in the case of geometrically similar pumps at a defined rotational speed (n) and at the largest impeller diameter (D _{2} ):
The rotation of the fluid handled in the dischargeside and suctionside clearances between impeller and casing exerts a strong influence on the axial pressure forces (F _{d} ) and (F _{s} ). The mean angular velocity (see Rotational speed) of the rotating fluid handled reaches approx. half the impeller speed.
In addition, as a result of Coriolis accelerations, the inward directed clearance flow in the suctionside (i.e. outer) clearance between impeller and casing (side gap) further increases the side gap turbulences. In the dischargeside (i.e. inner) side gap of multistage pumps whose impellers are not hydraulically balanced, the process is reversed as a result of the outward directed gap flow. The vortex motion is decelerated resulting in an increase of the axial force F _{d} , and hence of F _{1} .
The axial impeller force is higher during the startup process than during steadystate operation, as during startup rotation of the fluid handled begins slowly due to disc friction caused by the action of the impeller shrouds or the braking effect of the stationary casing surfaces.
Various forms of axial thrust balancing
• Mechanical: complete absorption of the axial thrust via a thrust bearing (e. g. plain bearing, rolling element bearing)
• Designbased: backtoback arrangement of the impellers or stages (see Backtoback impeller pump) and through the absorption of the residual axial thrust via a thrust bearing
• Balancing or reduction of the axial thrust on the individual impeller via balancing holesSee Figs. 7, 9 Axial thrust
• Balancing of the complete rotating assembly via a balancing device with automatic balancing (e. g. balance disc and balance disc seat) or partial balancing via a balance drum and double drum
• Reduction at the individual impeller by back vanes (dynamic effect) See Fig. 8 Axial thrust
Mechanical axial thrust balancing
The absorption of the axial thrust by a rolling element bearing is the most efficient, costeffective solution. However, if the absence of special balancing equipment requires the use of particularly complex thrust bearings, these benefits in terms of efficiency and costs may be eliminated.
Designbased axial thrust balancing
In the case of an impeller arrangement in a pipeline pump with four stages, each featuring a 2 x 2 backtoback arrangement, a maximum of twice the normal axial thrust per stage can occur in the event that system conditions cause cavitation in two stages. See Fig. 5 Axial thrust
If, however, a more complex, parallelcoupled backtoback impeller arrangement is chosen, only the normal axial thrust per stage occurs. See Fig. 6 Axial thrust
Both pump types must be equipped with thrust bearings of appropriate strength.
Axial thrust elimination
• Doubleentry impeller arrangement (impeller, double suction pump) See Fig. 3 Axial thrust
• Twostage, backtoback impeller arrangement (backtoback and multistage pump, impeller) See Fig. 4 Axial thrust
• Multistage, backtoback mpeller arrangement See Fig. 5 Axial thrust
• Parallelcoupled backtoback impeller arrangement (e. g. pipeline pumps) See Fig. 6 Axial thrust
Fig. 3 Axial thrust: Axial
thrust balancing by doubleentry impeller arrangement
Fig. 4 Axial thrust: Axial
thrust balancing by twostage, backtoback impeller arrangement
Fig. 5 Axial thrust: Axial thrust balancing in a fourstage pipeline pump with two opposed sets of two seriescoupled impellers each
Fig. 6 Axial thrust: Axial thrust balancing in a fourstage pipeline pump with two sets of parallelcoupled opposed impellers
Axial thrust balancing at the impeller
This is the oldest method for balancing axial thrust and involves reducing the pressure in a chamber equipped with a throttling gap, usually down to the pressure level encountered at the impeller inlet. The pressure is balanced via balancing holes in the impeller.
These balancing holes may lead to variations in axial thrust balancing as a result of varying inlet conditions. See Fig. 7 Axial thrust
Fig. 7 Axial thrust: Axial thrust balancing in a singlestage centrifugal pump with dischargeside sealing clearance and balancing holes
The angular velocity has a dynamic influence on the magnitude of the axial thrust (see Rotational speed). An increase in angular velocity is mostly achieved by back vanes which are radially arranged on the rear side of the impeller.
The higher mean angular velocity of the vortices in the clearance between impeller shroud and casing results in a lower static pressure on the dischargeside impeller shroud. This results in a lower axial force Fd and thus a lower F1. See Fig. 8 Axial thrust
Most radial back vanes are designed with diameters (Dbv o, Dbv i), side space depth (a), vane height (h) and vane number (z) which vary according to requirements. The power absorbed by this method of axial thrust balancing depends on the sizing of the back vanes. The pump efficiency may drop by up to three points due to the back vanes. See Fig. 8 Axial thrust
Fig. 8 Axial thrust: Axial thrust balancing in a singlestage centrifugal pump with back vanes
A comparable effect is achieved when the impeller is balanced via the provision of balancing holes at defined areas on the discharge side without fitting a second dischargeside joint ring. The gap flow directed toward the inside creates an angular momentum in the space between the impeller shroud and the casing which increases the local angular velocity and, as a consequence, reduces the static pressure. See Fig. 9 Axial thrust
Fig. 9 Axial thrust: Axial thrust balancing in a singlestage centrifugal pump with balancing holes only
Axial thrust balancing via balancing devices
Available options
• Balance disc with balance disc seat and balancing flow return line See Fig. 10 Axial thrust
• Balance drum with balancing flow return line and thrust bearing See Fig. 11 Axial thrust
• Double drum with balancing fluid return line and thrust bearing See Fig. 12 Axial thrust
For all three types, the balancing flow (see Bypass) is returned to the pump suction nozzle (after being cooled if necessary) or to the centrifugal pump's inlet tank.
In the case of the balance disc, the gap flow (see Clearance gap loss) is low because the self adjusting axial gap (s) remains very narrow which means that the pump's efficiency is only slightly reduced. However, in the case of the balance drum, the radial clearance gaps are wider and therefore the gap flows are higher, causing a greater drop in efficiency which is then further compounded by the fact that an additional thrust bearing is required. See Fig. 11 Axial thrust
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