You are on page 1of 12



To measure and plot the Head-Discharge and Efficiency-Discharge

Characteristics for a centrifugal pump when operated at a constant speed
To determine the specific speed of the pump Ns

A centrifugal pump is a rotodynamic pump that uses a rotating impeller to increase the velocity
of a fluid. Centrifugal pumps are commonly used to move liquids through a piping system. The
fluid enters the pump impeller along or near to the rotating axis and is accelerated by the
impeller, flowing radially outward into a diffuser or volute chamber, from where it exits into the
downstream piping system. Centrifugal pumps are used for large discharge through smaller

A pump is a device for supplying energy to a fluid. The effect of supplying energy can be studied via the
mechanical energy equation.

This equation neglects all shearing stresses. Note: all nomenclature is defined at the end of the section. In general,
the power originates from a pressure change (P 2 > P 1), a change in kinetic energy (v 2 2 > v 1 2 ), a change in
level (z 2 > z 1), or as friction ( F ). Since friction is always present in mechanical devices, the energy supplied goes
partly into friction and the rest to one of the other effects cited. For the pump used in the present experiment, the
following assumptions are made.
- E = 0 no internal energy change
- v 2 = 0 no kinetic energy change
- Q h = 0 no heat generated or lost
- z = 0 no significant height change
The energy balance simplifies to

Thus, the actual shaft work done (W s) is the total work (W T ) minus friction losses

Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH)

NPSH = difference between the static head at the suction inlet and the head at the inlet at the vapor pressure.


The TecQuipment centrifugal pump test rig

Tachometer (for measuring and setting r.p.m.)


Even though I personally prepare this lab report, I would like to elaborate it for better understanding
of both party. I gather this from the lab coordinator, fluid mechanics lecturer and from other suitable

The maximum volume flow rate through a pump occurs when its net heat is zero H=0, this flow rate
is called the pump free delivery achieved when there is no flow restriction at the pump inlet or
outlet. In other word there is no load on the pump. At this operating point. volume flow rate is large
but H is zero, the pump efficiency is zero because there no useful work. At the other extreme, the
shutoff head is the net head that occurs when the volume flow rate is zero achieved when outlet port
of the pump is block off. Under these conditions, H is large but volume flow rate is zero. pump
efficiency is also zero. Between the two the pumps net head may increase from its shutoff value
somewhat as the flow rate increases, but H must eventually decreased to zero as volume flow rate
increases to its delivery value. The pumps efficiency reaches its maximum value somewhere
between he shutoff condition and the free delivery condition. This is called best efficiency point


The main elements of the system are a centrifugal pump, a rotameter to measure flow, a valve to control flow, a
differential pressure (DP) cell to measure pressure, and a reservoir, as shown in the figure below. The pump is
driven by an electric motor, and the shaft connecting the motor to the pump is provided with a torque indicator.
The motor is provided with a speed controller and tachometer.

In operating the equipment, it is necessary that the intake from the reservoir should be at least 6 inches above the
intake. The liquid should also be clean and free of sediment. At start-up and at other times (as indicated by the
next paragraph), air may be in the lines. This will be observed as air bubbles flowing through the rotameter. Do
not attempt to make any measurements as long as air bubbles are observed. If the problem does not clear up
after a few minutes of operation, the system has a leak and is in need of repair. In normal operation, the speed is
to be controlled using the speed controller and tachometer, flow is to be controlled using valve V-3, pressures are
to be determined from the DP cell readings, torque is to be measured from the torque meter employing a strobe
light, and flow is to be determined from the rotameter reading.

The wattmeter allows measurement of electrical power input to the motor. Determine the appropriate k factor
based on the wiring of the wattmeter. The k factors can be located in the lid of the wattmeter. Do not make any
changes in the existing connections.
The rotameter reads flow rate directly in gallons per minute for a fluid having a specific gravity of 1.0. If water is
used, flow can be read directly from the rotameter. The rotameter reading is obtained from the position of the
widest part of the float.

Speed Control
The speed control regulates the motor rpms. To start the motor, set the control to zero, and flip the on-off switch
to on. Flip the brake switch to forward, and adjust the control until the desired speed is indicated on the
tachometer readout.
Flow Control
The valve V-3 controls the flow. With the pump in operation, adjust the valve to produce the flow rate desired, as
indicated by the rotameter float.

Torque Meter
The torque meter is provided with a vernier scale and indicates torque in lbf -in. A stroboscopic light is necessary
for reading the meter and this stroboscope should also be used to check the indicated motor speed in rpms.


The electrical mains supply was switched on to the apparatus.

The suction and delivery valves were checked whether fully opened
Tachometer was checked, and torque meter to see if they are zeroed properly. If not, correction or
service are needed
Reservoir was filled to at least 6 inches above the intake to the pump. Submergence of the return
line is desirable.
Power switch was pressed
Speed control was adjusted to produce the desired pump speed (2000rpm/3000rpm) Adjust the
discharge valve to obtain the desired flow rate, obtain 8 data points covering the maximum range

Single Centrifugal pump
Pump speed 70rps

Centrifugal pump in parallel combination

Pump in series combination


The performance of a centrifugal pump can be shown graphically on a characteristic curve. A typical
characteristic curve shows the total dynamic head, brake horsepower, efficiency, and net positive
Suction head all plotted over the capacity range of the pump.
Non-dimensional curves which indicate the general shape of the characteristic curves for the various
types of pumps. They show the head, brake horsepower, and efficiency plotted as a percent of their
values at the design or best efficiency point of the pump.
The head curve for a radial flow pump is relatively flat and that the head decreases gradually as the
flow increases. Note that the brake horsepower increases gradually over the flow range with the
maximum normally at the point of maximum flow
The performance or characteristic curve of the pump provides information on the relationship
between total head and flow rate. There are three important points on this curve.