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How to Check Vendor Data Sheet and Performance Curve for a Centrifugal Pump?

(from Process Engineer Point of View) Page 1

Behnaz Motamed Check the site data 14 Check

Preferred operating
Senior Process Engineer vs. Project Design Basis. Preferred operating region is 70-120%
BEP (based on API-610).
Aug 2019, Rev. 00 Check the pump
performance as follows:
15 Check allowable operating
Check the pump tag  Pump performance data shall be in region
accordance with performance curve Allowable operating region is from
numbers, description, number of
(such as RPM, efficiency, power, minimum continuous stable flow to
pumps in running and standby vs.
NPSHR, BEP and so on). No maximum expected operating flow
designer's data sheet.
discrepancy is allowed. (based on API-610).
 Pump impeller diameters to be Max expected flow is usually (not
Check the flow rate same as the figures on performance always) considered as 120% BEP by
Calculate the pump rated capacity curve. According to API-610, the Vendor.
by this formula: pump curve for maximum and
minimum impeller diameters shall
Normal flow rate x pump over-
design factor (obtained from Project be included as well as rated 16 Check the maximum head
at rated impeller
Design Criteria). impeller.
The maximum head produced by the
e.g: Rated Flow > 1.1 * Normal Flow
pump at rated impeller is called “Shut
11 Check the rated power off head”. The corresponding pressure
Check the suction and Rated Power = Head * (Max. at the shut-off head is called “Shut off
discharge pressure vs. Density) * 9.81 * Rated Flow / 36 / pressure”. The shut-off pressure is very
designer's data sheet. Efficiency / 1E5 important for pump downstream
Differential pressure = Discharge system design pressure.
pressure - Suction pressure  Check shut-off head vs. figure on
See also Note 1 (on next page)
12 Check the minimum flow performance curve
 Minimum continuous stable flow  Calculate:
(MCSF or Qmin) is the minimum 𝐻𝑒𝑎𝑑 @ 𝑆ℎ𝑢𝑡 𝑜𝑓𝑓
Check pumping liquid, allowable flow for which vibration
𝐻𝑒𝑎𝑑 @ 𝑅𝑎𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑃𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑡
the pumping temperature and will not exceed specified limitation.
This flow is specified by Compare the above ratio with shut-
physical properties off head factor. This factor can be
manufacturer and it is around 30%
of rated flow. obtained from Project Design
Check the differential head Process Engineer is responsible to
Criteria. It is usually around 1.2 and
above ratio shall not exceed shut-off
differential head (m) = differential check size of recycle line by this head factor.
pressure (bar) * 1E5 / density / 9.81 flow. Data sheets for other device
such as restriction orifice or control (Please be noted in sample attached
See also Note 1 (on next page) data sheet, there is some deviation
valve located on this line shall be
also rechecked. that has been approved by the
Check NPSHA vs. designer's  Minimum continuous thermal flow
data sheet  Calculate shut-off pressure (barg) by
(MCTF) is the minimum flow for
NPSHA = Suction pressure – Vapor which a maximum permissible following formula:
pressure (m.liquid) pump temperature is anticipated. Shut-off Pressure = [maximum head
NPSHA is calculated for the worst MCTF prevents pump failure due to @rated impeller * (Max. Density) *
case and this is a case in which flashing of the liquid. This flow is 9.81 / 1E5] + MSP
minimum NPSH is available. usually equal or less than MCSF.
MSP: Max Suction Pressure (barg)
See also Note 2 and item 18 of this  Shut-off pressure is usually reported
checklist. in Vendor data sheet in “NOTE”
13 Check the BEP
Check starting condition The peak of the efficiency curve is  Check pump downstream system
known as the best efficiency point design pressure vs. pump shut-off
P&ID to be considered to see (BEP). According to API-610, rated pressure. In case it is less than shut-
whether an interlock causes to capacity shall be within the region of off pressure, it should be corrected
pump start automatically or not. If 80-110% BEP, moreover BEP shall (look also for PSV valves if they are
there is not any interlock for auto- preferably be between the rated point capable to mitigate excessive
start, machine will be started with and the normal point. pressure).
discharge valve open manually.
Pump should not operate too far from  Design pressure of pump suction
BEP, because when pump operates line (from isolation valve to suction
Check whether the pump is away from BEP, cavitation and nozzle) is usually compare with
utilized continuously or vibration will occur and bearing /seal pump shut-off pressure. Check
intermittently. life will be reduced. design pressure of this line as well.
How to Check Vendor Data Sheet and Performance Curve for a Centrifugal Pump?
(from Process Engineer Point of View)

17 Check the maximum power Check the NOTE section

at rated impeller 21 Note 1
This section to be reviewed from
Maximum power at rated impeller to be For vertical pumps, calculated head by
Process point of view. All notes that
same as the figure on performance designer to be corrected if suction and
were kept as “HOLD” at design stage to
curve. discharge nozzles are not at the same
by finalized by Vendor.
Developed (or corrected) head =
Check the pump suction and
Check NPSHR at rated 22 calculated head + height of liquid to be
18 capacity
discharge lines
pumped to discharge nozzle + friction
Suction and discharge lines size and loss - static head
 NPSHA shall be greater than NPSHR rating to be checked vs. P&ID. For example, designer calculates
by a safety margin which is specified following items:
by Project Design Criteria; Usually a
Check the pump nozzle Discharge pressure = 26.62 barg
safety margin of about 0.6 to 1 m is
sufficient, but there may be other
23 connections
Differential pressure = 26.60 bar
Differential head = 422.5 m
criteria that to be checked by
Process engineer. Size of suction and discharge nozzles Look at the pump general arrangement
shall be equal or smaller than related attached to this file:
 Some manufacturers provide two
lines. Rating of these nozzles should not Considering friction loss as zero and
NPSHR curves for vertical can pump.
be less than rating of relevant lines. upstream vessel LLL as 1500 mm:
One for the first stage impeller
suction eye, and the other for the Developed head = 422.5 + 2.862 + 0 -
suction nozzle. Check the pump casing
• Check reported NPSHA at 1st stage
24 auxiliary connections
1.5 = 423.8 m
then: corrected differential pressure =
impeller by the following formula:
Casing auxiliary connections to be 423.8 x 642.1 x 9.81 / 1E5 = 26.68 bar
NPSHA @1st stage impeller = NPSHA
checked vs. pump general arrangement. Corrected discharge pressure = 26.70
@suction nozzle (calculated by
designer) + Liquid Height – Friction All casing auxiliary connections (such as barg
Loss vent and drain) should be reflected on
Liquid Height is from 1st stage process P&ID by process engineer.
impeller to suction nozzle Moreover, destination of these Note 2
 For reciprocation pumps (which is effluents to be carefully investigated
not applicable to this checklist), such as possibility of: For vertical can pump, some
acceleration head is also to be • Vent to safe location manufacturers provide two NPSHR
considered for calculating of NPSHA. • Low pressure flare curves. One for the first stage impeller
• High pressure flare suction eye, and the other for the
• Cold or acid gas flare suction nozzle.
• Closed drain Look at the pump data sheet attached
• Open drain to this file:
In case of flaring, back pressure of the
Max/Actual suction specific NPSHA = Suction pressure - Vapor
19 speed is not usually checked
flare shall be less than the pressure that
pressure (m.liquid)
fluid is vented.
by Process engineer. For information, it
NPSHA is calculated for the worst case
is calculated as follows:
and this is a case in which minimum
Type of pump seal plan is not
Actual Suction Specific Speed = 25 checked by Process Engineer.
NPSH is available.
𝑛 𝑄𝐵𝐸𝑃 Standard for seal plan is API-682. It can For this pump: NPSHA = [(0.02 + 0.98) -
𝑁𝑃𝑆𝐻𝑅𝐵𝐸𝑃 3/4 be used when checking of seal plan 0.868] x 1E5 / 640.1 / 9.81 = 2.1 m
P&ID is done by Process Engineer. (Barometric pressure is 0.98 bar, See
BEP in this formula is for max impeller
diameter site data section)
Q BEP : US GPM 26 Check heating and cooling As it was explained in item 18 of this
checklist, NPSHA at 1st stage impeller is:
NPSHR: ft This part to be compatible with Vendor
utility consumption list. In addition to NPSHA @1st stage impeller =2.1 + 2.862
n: rpm
cooling water flow rate, operating (Pump Length) - 0.162 (Loss) = 4.8 m
Maximum amount is extracted from condition of CW shall be also checked.
“Project Specification for Centrifugal
Pumps” and it is about 11000 (GPM, ft,
rpm). Check the sump
27 arrangement

If pump is located in the sump, the

20 Check the utility conditions arrangement to be checked vs. pump
vs. Project Design Basis. general arrangement. Behnaz Motamed , August 2019, Page 2