Centrifugal pumps have long been used for a variety of purposes in different industries. In a processing facility, however, centrifugal pumps provide essential service in the piping system. Due to the centrifugal pump’s important role, you have to choose the right centrifugal pump for your facility.
Mismatched pump selection can damage the pump itself, and you may experience less than stellar efficiency and performance. To choose the perfect pump for your specific applications inside your process facility, you have to understand the hydraulics basics of centrifugal pumps. The basics include design, head curve, resistance, and duty point.
Design and Head Curve
System design factors into the sizing of your pump for your piping system. Oversized or undersized pumps can only lead to circulation, vibration, noise, and cavitation issues. On the other hand, the head curve helps the pump supplier provide you with a pump with the right capacity and head that matches the operating conditions of your facility.
Duty Point and Resistance
The duty point refers to the flow of the pump when the head of the pump equals the resistance head. In turn, the resistance head refers to the head required to overpower the static head and friction head of your piping system. These two factors also help your pump supplier pick out the correct pump for you.
Besides the hydraulics, you also need to know about the mechanical considerations to choose the perfect centrifugal pump. Among other details, you have to choose pump sealing based on your system and application. You have to think about the maintenance and reliability of different centrifugal pumps. You also have to remember high-pressure conditions to know the appropriate pressure retaining casing.
All in all, when looking for a centrifugal pump, you need to look at the entire picture—the whole piping system. By “entire system”, it means it includes the design requirements, suction piping, and even the goals of both the project engineer and maintenance engineer. The pump supplier can help you with all of these details you have to think about.