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Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Water Management 157 September 2004 Issue WM3 Pages 151^158 Paper

13637 Received 12/01/2004 Accepted 15/07/2004 Keywords: floods & floodworks/hydraulics & hydrodynamics/models (physical) David E. Werth Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA Daniel E. Cheek Project Engineer, Hodges, Harbin, Newberry & Tribble Inc., Macon, GA, USA

Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets
D. E. Werth PhD, PE and D. E. Cheek MS
Formed suction inlets are often used to improve approach flow hydraulics to large vertical turbine pumps. Current design guidelines require that the pump bell be removed and the pump modified to allow for attachment of the formed suction inlet. The present research study was aimed at developing a dimensionless design procedure for a formed suction inlet based on pump bell diameter, which does not require removal of the bell, allowing for greater flexibility and economic feasibility for use in existing pump intakes. Model studies have shown this type of inlet to be successful at alleviating adverse hydraulic phenomena, but the results and design procedures are typically private and proprietary and are not readily available in the public domain. A formed suction inlet which can be constructed outside the sump and consists primarily of flat sides has been developed. The relatively simple geometry should minimise construction costs. In addition, the inlet is designed for use under existing pumps and does not require pump removal or modification. This inlet has been proved to be effective in a wide variety of pumping applications and is shown in Fig. 1. However, the relatively complex geometry can substantially increase the cost, and the need to remove the pump bell often limits its applicability as a corrective measure when retrofitting an existing pumping station. Therefore, it would be useful to have additional options and design guidance available for alternative formed inlets which are less costly and can be easily used on existing pumps. Private modelling laboratories have developed alternative formed inlet designs in the past; however, this information is often proprietary and not readily accessible for use by other design engineers. The present research is, in part, a result of numerous model studies which were conducted to develop alternative FSIs for a variety of inlet configurations. Each of the inlets was developed with the intention of utilising the existing pump bell. This paper presents the results of this study and proposes a set of functional design guidelines which can be used by engineers to develop an FSI based on pump bell diameter. 2. EXISTING KNOWLEDGE A commonly used type of FSI was developed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and is known as the Corps Type 10 inlet. The Type 10 design was originally published by Fletcher and Oswalt2 and entitled Geometry Limitations for the Formed Suction Intake. This document was recently rescinded from the public domain for unknown reasons. This design is also used as the standard for the Hydraulic Institute (HI) Standard Pump Intake Design manual.3 The Hydraulic Institute’s Standard suggests that the FSI may be a ‘fix all’ for adverse sump pit hydraulics. However, the USACE Type 10 inlet is often considered costly and difficult to build. The FSI has the potential to be very beneficial for certain pumps and pump pit designs, especially for those pump sumps that are being retrofitted for a higher capacity or corrected for existing hydraulic problems. Antunes and Holman4 noted that the FSI has some tremendous advantages including its decreased sensitivity to unstable approach flows, and the ability to raise sump floors because they require less submergence. This reduces the elevation of the impeller and the excavation required for the pump sump. This Werth ž Cheek 151

NOTATION BH inlet height at the back wall D pump throat diameter d pump bell diameter EH inlet height at the entrance IL overall inlet length IW inlet width at entrance W pump bay width

1. INTRODUCTION Formed suction inlet (FSI) devices have often been used on large vertical turbine pumps for a variety of reasons. They are relatively insensitive to high cross-flow conditions, eliminate sub-surface vortex activity, and may reduce the required minimum pump submergence to minimise surface vortex activity. The authors have previously presented a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of FSIs and outlined the preliminary findings of the study.1 This paper is intended to expand upon the preliminary work and present the results of the experimental study.

The most commonly accepted, and only readily available performance and design guidance for this type of pump inlet has been from the US Army Corps of Engineers Type 10 inlet. Water Management 157 Issue WM3

Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets

The first five inlet Werth ž Cheek The overall length was measured from the entrance of the formed suction inlet to the back wall. often these studies are typically applied to specific design criteria. MODEL TESTING The major components used in the experiments were the model basins. 3. researchers used this formed inlet idea and applied it to their specific criteria. Much of the work done to investigate FSIs is model studies of actual designs. Once an acceptable working design was found. This is not always possible in existing stations where it may not be feasible or ideal to shut down the pump for an extended period of time. it was desirable to develop an inlet which could be constructed outside the sump. the scale and flow rate of sump configuration 1 were varied in order to verify the inlet’s effectiveness over a range of flow rates. There is a lack of information on FSIs in scientific literature. was referred to as sump configuration 1 and was used to optimise a preliminary design that eliminated any undesirable hydraulic problems located inside the FSI. researchers described inlet dimensions in terms of the impeller or throat diameters. Four separate basins. To use the Type 10 as a retrofit device requires removal of the existing pump bell and modifications to the pump itself. Therefore. not all of the examples reviewed in the literature were designed with back walls. In some cases. USACE Type 10 inlet studies are usually part of the design process. and could be implemented without emptying the sump. it was assumed that the impeller diameter is typically 60% of the bell diameter. 1. Tullis5 noted that for these reasons. information regarding formed suction inlets rarely becomes available to the engineering community and results found during model studies are not shared among researchers. This would eliminate the need to remove the pump or pump bell. a series of model tests were conducted with a variety of inlet geometries and approach flow conditions. each with unique approach flow geometries. with the exception of a simple radius at the back wall of the inlet. A secondary aim was to develop an inlet which could easily be used to retrofit an existing pumping station. 4. DESIGN DEVELOPMENT To reach a starting point for the laboratory study.is especially helpful in areas with a high water table or when excavating in rock. shown in Fig. previous designs for FSIs were considered. often with the aid of a physical hydraulic model study. then lowered into the sump and placed directly under the existing pump bell. Eight FSI designs were constructed and tested in four different inlet configurations during this study. there are no standardised design criteria in which one set of dimensions may be applied to any situation. 2. which eliminates the possibility of generalising the model study to develop substantial design data for the inlet itself. cost is always a factor. not the centreline of the impeller shaft. This has curbed its attractiveness as an acceptable alternative for solving hydraulic problems that occur in pump sumps. The first basin. This could be accomplished by developing an inlet which had primarily flat panels. and could be considered more of a concept or idea rather than a certain specific shape. As these Fig. However. with the exception of the USACE Type 10 inlet. not research studies. but is also economical and easy to build. the FSI and the model pump. In the past. The primary aim of the study was to develop an FSI which not 152 Water Management 157 Issue WM3 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets . Furthermore. The Type 10 inlet replaces the typical pump bell. were used in the design development.5–7 In order to directly compare the dimensions between FSIs based on bell diameter and those based on impeller diameter. The main disadvantage of FSIs is that. The range of values found during a review of literature for the overall FSI inlet dimensions was as follows: Overall Overall Overall Overall inlet width (IW): 1·39d–2·13d inlet length (IL): 2·05d–2·28d entrance height (EH): 0·53d–1·0d backwall height (BH): 0·24d–0·81d only provides uniform approach flow conditions at the pump. To accomplish these aims. The FSI has little available documented information on its performance with reference to a particular design.

Should the vortex be slightly stronger in the prototype. particularly regarding air entrainment. turbulence levels. 2. In all. The studies were conducted according to the 1998 Hydraulic Institute Standards. no vortex greater than a weak type 2 was permitted in the model. was constructed based on the one principle that gives the Werth ž Cheek 153 Water Management 157 Issue WM3 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets Flow to lab pump Trash screens to be located here (typ) . Figs 3 and 4 show two of the model inlets To evaluate the effectiveness of each of the designs. vortex formation may be slightly less intense in the model than in the prototype. and turbulence levels within the pump. curved backwall.3 The HI Standards indicate several acceptance criteria that are to be used when evaluating this type of structure. the inlets themselves were constructed at the Entrance height Overall length same scale as the intake structures. it would still be far less intense than that required to ingest or pull air out of solution. velocity distributions around the throat of the pump. a series of measurements and observations were recorded during the testing of each inlet. Some designs were tested to determine the optimum dimension to both minimise size yet provide acceptable conditions. A summary of the 0˝5d 2˝42d prototype pump and Froude 0˝92d 2˝42d 0˝75d 2d scale model information for 0˝75d 2˝5d each sump configuration is 0˝75d 2˝25d shown in Table 2. To overcome this limitation. and vortex activity are evaluated. The inlet was deemed acceptable if pre-swirl was less than 58. 0˝75d 2˝5d 0˝75d 2˝5d 5. such as a well-developed type 2 or very weak type 3. Inlets that failed to meet the established acceptance criteria were modified until acceptable. over 60 tests were conducted at varying flow rates and water levels. The last three were built using these parameters and tested in different approach flow conditions. A summary of the different designs is shown in Table 1 and more complete details can be found in a master’s thesis by Cheek. These measurements included vortex activity. pre-swirl of flow entering the pump.Flow straightening baffle FSI Control valve (typ) Orifice flow meter Baffle wall Circulating water pump (typ of 3) Control valve Flow Piers (typ) Elbow Flow from lab pump Plan view False walls Fig.8 Each of the designs tested was constructed entirely of flat panels. velocity and turbulence variations were less than 10% and no vortices greater than a type 1 or weak type 2 were observed entering the inlet. with the exception of a simple-radius. inlet design 1. Summary of model configurations As the inlets were designed using models of existing intake structures. velocity distributions. RESULTS 0˝75d 2˝5d The first FSI. It should be noted that while care was taken to minimise scale effects by ensuring fully turbulent flow in the model. Inlet design 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Width 2˝78d 2˝78d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d 2d Backwall height 0˝5d 0˝5d 0˝5d 0˝5d 0˝5d 0˝5d 0˝5d 0˝5d Table 1. In particular. pre-swirl. Sump configuration 1 configurations were used to develop an acceptable working design based on dimensionless parameters. Each model was constructed as an undistorted Froude scaled model with a length scale sufficiently large to ensure that the Reynolds number (Re) at the model pump bell exceeded 16105.

4 154 Water Management 157 Issue WM3 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets . To verify the need for the vertical wall at the entrance to the inlet. type 2 surface Werth ž Cheek Fig. The water level was chosen as the minimum suggested level as indicated in the 1998 HI Standards. Inlet design 2 was then tested in sump configuration 1 and was found to still have some flow separation along the flat part of the roof at the entrance where the turning vanes were located. After testing this design in sump Fig.configuration 1. Instead of the entrance height being equal to the backwall height. Final formed suction inlet. but were observed entering the inlet. 4. test inlet No. a 0·3d half-round piece was added to the top front edge of the entrance. However. tests were conducted with and without the wall in place. Table 3 presents a summary of the results of the final inlet 4 design when placed in sump configuration 1. test inlet No. Type 3 surface vortices were harder to find and broke up quickly. which eliminated the separation at the turning vanes. 3. Next. This eliminated surface vortices and prevented them from entering the pump. and a vertical backwall extending from the backwall fillet vertically to the top of the inlet. Inlet designs 3 and 4 were modified to reflect the bay widths and bell clearances recommended in the 1998 HI standards. the pre-swirl angle and velocity data were within criteria. The turning vane configuration and entrance were modified to eliminate the need for a radius at the top of the inlet. a vertical curtain wall was extended from the front of the inlet to above the water surface. which helps to eliminate vortices and dampen adverse flows caused by poor approach angles. The initial geometry was chosen to fit within the pump bay of sump configuration 1. and centre floor splitter. it was increased to 0·92d. In addition. Inlet design 2 was built exactly as inlet design 1 with two exceptions. it was noted that type 4 surface vortices were entering the inlet and there was a large separation zone occurring along the roof of the formed inlet. two sidewall fillets. It had an internal geometry consisting of a backwall fillet. the 2·78d width of inlet 2 was less than ideal for retro-fit applications. Four turning vanes were also added at the entrance to straighten the flow entering the inlet. Formed suction inlet. This causes the flow to accelerate. At the minimum recommended water level. 2 FSI a distinct advantage over conventional wet-pit intakes: a constantly decreasing cross-sectional area. Although inlet design 2 met the acceptance criteria for vortex formation most bay widths for pump sump pits are only 2d. Inlet 4 performed very well and was well within the established criteria.

including one with significant cross-flow. 7 and 8) were constructed based on the dimensionless parameters developed during inlet 4 design.Sump configuration 1 1 1 1 1 2 3 4 Prototype bell diameter: cm [in. Plan view of the recommended design Sump configuration 2 was tested for a variety of flow rates.33d IW = 2. 5. without dewatering the pumping station.] 51 330 [226 000] 34 068 [150 000] 22 712 [100 000] 9084 [40 000] 4996 [22 000] 13 627 [60 000] 17 170 [75 600] 6814 [30 000] Reynolds number (at bell entrance) 1˝0 ¾ 105 1˝1 ¾ 105 1˝2 ¾ 105 1˝6 ¾ 105 1˝6 ¾ 105 1˝1 ¾ 105 1˝1 ¾ 105 1˝1 ¾ 105 Table 2. The dimensionless inlet design is shown in Figs 5 to 7. 3 and 4 and B are shown in Figs 8. Q: l/s [ft3/s] 14˝6 16˝1 17˝7 22˝4 23˝2 14˝6 17˝4 13˝3 [0˝52] [0˝57] [0˝63] [0˝79] [0˝82] [0˝51] [0˝61] [0˝47] Prototype flow.42d Backwall fillet Vertical fillet Floor splitter 90° A Fig. these vortices tended to dissipate and break up as the entered the inlet. Several points around the pump bell exceeded the Werth ž Cheek 155 Water Management 157 Issue WM3 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets . Visual observations indicated that the flow was less uniform within the inlet and that the slightly reduced length was not beneficial. much stronger air-entraining surface vortices were observed when the wall was removed.] 289˝6 236˝2 193˝0 121˝9 91˝4 162˝5 188˝0 116˝8 [114] [93] [76] [48] [36] [64] [74] [46] Model scale 15˝7 12˝8 10˝5 6˝6 5˝0 9˝25 9˝45 7˝26 Model flow. The design development testing led to a relatively simple FSI which can be easily constructed outside an existing sump and installed by divers. An additional test was conducted with inlet configuration 5 which shortened the inlet slightly to 2·25d. the addition of a vertical wall greatly reduced the sensitivity of surface formation to water levels.0d Sidewall fillet ∆d 0. Due to the sensitivity of surface vortex formation to water level. However. These inlets were constructed based on the bell diameters of pumps for three uniquely different sump configurations. 0. three additional inlets (inlets 6.] 52˝6 52˝6 49 49 42˝9 42˝9 40˝9 40˝9 [20˝7] [20˝7] [19˝3] [19˝3] [16˝9] [16˝9] [16˝1] [16˝1] Pre-swirl: degrees 1˝2 1˝2 0˝8 1˝3 1˝5 1˝0 1˝0 1˝6 Surface vortex intensity Type Type Type Type Type Type Type Type 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Sub-surface vortex intensity Type Type Type Type Type Type Type Type 1^2 1^2 1^2 1^2 1^2 1^2 1^2 1^2 Vertical wall No Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes Velocity criteria met Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Turbulence criteria met Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Table 3. 6. and with minimum station down-time. The additional sumps were referred to as sump configurations 2. it is recommended that the vertical wall be included. Actual model studies for these sumps were conducted and the final formed inlet was installed and tested. Summary of inlet 4 results vortices were observed with and without the wall in place. ADDITIONAL VALIDATION To further validate the final design. It was also noted that at water levels 10% below the recommended minimum submergence. Again. Model parameters Prototype flow rate: m3/h [gallons/min.] 4996 [22 000] 4996 [22 000] 9084 [40 000] 9084 [40 000] 22 712 [100 000] 22 712 [100 000] 34 068 [150 000] 34 068 [150 000] Model scale 5˝0 5˝0 6˝6 6˝6 10˝5 10˝5 12˝8 12˝8 Model water level: cm [in. Q: m3/h [gallons/min. while vortex intensity was unchanged with the wall in place.56d 0.15D B A Turning vane 0. 9 and 10 respectively. Preswirl and turbulence levels were well within criteria.

25d that were tested with a 1. A prototype cross-flow of Sidewall fillet 0·78 m/s (2·5 ft/s) was present in front of the first inlet.5d Backwall fillet 0.) apart to Backwall fillet facilitate a vertical pier which was used to attach the vertical wall above the inlet entrance. 6.42d vertical vanes rather than three at the entrance resulted in less flow separation at the inlet entrance. It was found that a series of five 0. will be recommended regardless of the maximum allowable velocity deviation. Although these tests demonstrated determined that a misalignment of the pump bell above the inlet was causing some flow separation at the pump bell. This conBell centred above hole in top of inlet figuration was not effective Sidewall fillet EH = 0. Sump configuration 2 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets Werth ž Cheek To lab pump uniform within the intake. a vertical 2. End view of the recommended design additional inlet vanes as well as the vertical backwall fillet are relatively minor modifications from the design used with straight approach flow conditions and rather than have two different configurations. 1 75d Max clearance between bell vertical wall prevents flow .55d straight approach flow.75d and required the use of a Floor splitter BH = 0. . pre-swirl and turbulence levels were well within the established criteria and overall conditions were extremely 156 Water Management 157 Issue WM3 Flow Flow Sluice gate (full width) Screen chamber Sluice gate (full width) Screen chamber Baffle wall Plan view Fig. 8.Sump configuration 3 was tested to investigate the impact of a sloping floor upstream of the inlet. The Note: Inlet is bolted to floor . pre-swirl and turbulence levels were well within the established criteria and overall conditions were extremely uniform within the sump.22d 25% of the bell velocity. Control valve . The inlets in sump configuration Vertical fillet 4 were placed a prototype distance of 30 cm (12 in.3d 0. IL = 2 5d and inlet is 1 25 cm (0 5 in. Velocity. which was nearly twice the HI recommended maximum cross-flow of 0. which agrees with previous modelling experience. eliminating the need for a dividing bay wall between inlets. . Velocity.) from travelling past the Section B entrance to the inlet.0d fillet that was installed near the back of the pump improved Section A conditions during high cross-flow events. The introduction of the two Fig. In addition. effectively Vertical fillet Turning vane simulating an intake without dividing bay walls. Tests were conducted without Vertical wall a vertical wall. Sump configuration 4 was tested to investigate the impact of cross-flow directly in front of the inlet. Elevation view of the recommended design However. Fig. but it was later approach flow conditions. some structural support will probably be required to support the vertical wall and a short bay wall or pier could be placed between Floor splitter inlets to provide this support.5d vertical wall above the inlet 45˚ similar to the configurations 0. This indicates that proper From lab pump alignment of the bell over the opening in the inlet is essential. 7.

E. and sidewall fillets should be included. E. Although it may be possible to significantly reduce the water level to below the minimum submergence suggested in the 1998 HI Standards. Furthermore. which. back wall height. 0·75d. 1·5d. (c) The fact that this inlet design is completely composed of straight pieces with the exception Formed Inlets of the curved back wall makes it very advantageous for construction purposes and therefore costs. 10. the ability to prefabricate the prototype FSI and simply lower it into place will greatly reduce the down-time for correcting the hydraulic problems occurring in the pump sump. Furthermore. Finally.Control valve Orifice flow meter From lab pump To lab pump Fig. and CHEEK D. as demonstrated with sump configuration 4. Sump configuration 4 the effectiveness with cross-flow velocities of nearly twice the HI recommended value. CONCLUSIONS The purpose of this paper is to present an efficient and economical FSI design that meets all of the 1998 HI acceptance criteria. using flat components. further research is required to determine the upper limits of this value. Flow (b) This formed suction inlet design was not affected by severe cross-flow conditions. WERTH D. 0·5d. d. 5. Water Management 157 Issue WM3 backwall fillet. The ability of the FSI to straighten the incoming approach flow between the time it enters the inlet and reaches the bell is a tremendous advantage over conventional wet pit pump intakes. (d ) This formed suction inlet design was model tested for flows ranging from 4996 m3/h (22 000 gallons/min) (prototype flow) to 51 330 m3/h (226 000 gallons/min). length. it was determined that the final FSI design is effective at straightening cross-flow before it reaches the impeller. (e) Surface vortices were highly dependent on water levels. The final design is applicable over a range of flow rates and approach flow conditions and effectively meets the acceptance criteria mentioned previously. the following conclusions and recommendations can be made. as well as the laboratory experiments conducted in a controlled environment. Based on the semi-theoretical and empirical considerations for the design of this FSI. 7. Consideration of a model study should be made when applying this design to flows out of this range or in configurations that may not be representative of those investigated during this study. further verification may be required for these cases. 6 and 7 illustrate these dimensions. Sump configuration 3 Flow Influent pipes Vertical wall Fig. distance from back wall to where the inlet should begin to rise up to the entrance height. in turn. so that it will be easily manufactured and assembled. Werth ž Cheek 157 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets . Figs 5. and maximum pre-swirl values were well within the acceptance criteria. 2·5d. The clearance between the pump bell and the hole in the top of the inlet should be minimised with a maximum space of 1·25 cm (0·5 in) as shown in Fig. resulting in minimum down-time for the application the pump is serving. 2003. 3. The inlet is bolted or fixed directly to the floor beneath the pump bell. 9. Proceedings of FEDSM’03 4th ASME–JSME Joint Fluids Engineering Conference. could result in tremendous savings. based on bell diameter. and is designed in an economical manner. are: width. an internal geometry consisting of a centre floor splitter. 2d. entrance height. A FSI design which is based on the pump bell diameter is proposed as a viable alternative for eliminating adverse flow phenomena occurring in existing wet pit pump sumps. The material used to construct this FSI will most likely be concrete or steel but should be specified by the design engineer for the specific application. An alternate formed suction inlet design for large vertical turbine pumps. Model baffles REFERENCES 1. and the recommended design is based on water levels equal to or greater than suggested by the 1998 HI Standards. and number of turning vanes equally spaced across the front entrance. Hawaii. (a) The optimum overall design dimensions for this FSI design.

DEMLOW T.uk. 137– 140. USA. FLETCHER B. 1053– 1063. 1^7 Great George Street. 1999. Clemson University. L. Alternate Formed Suction Inlet Design. 105. HYDRAULIC INSTITUTE (HI). USA. 2002. Proceedings of the 3rd Joint ASCE/ASME Mechanics Conference Pumping Machinery. and CORNMAN R. WERTH D. Journal of the Hydraulic Division. Department of Civil Engineering. 158 Water Management 157 Issue WM3 Design guidelines for alternative formed suction inlets Werth ž Cheek . 875– 880. 1989. LEECH J. 7. 1992. Formed suction inlets on large high specific speed pumps. Parsippany. Please email. 4. 1979. 1110-2-327. R. 6. E. 5. C. Proceedings of the 1989 National Conference on Hydraulic Engineering. University of California. DC. 3. fax: +44 (0)20 7665 2294. ASCE. E..2. Optimizing the design of a formed suction intake for large flood relief pumps. ANSI/HI 9. ANTUNES F. NJ.8–1998. CHEEK D. ASCE. fax or post your discussion contributions to the secretary by 1 March 2005: email: emma. No. New Orleans. American National Standard for Pump Intake Design. LEHR V. Journals Department. and HOLMAN W. Hydraulics Institute. F. Geometry Limitations for the Formed Suction Intake. 9. Modeling in design of pumping pits. pp. or post to Emma Holder. 1989. and OSWALT R. Masters Thesis. P. Seattle. P. Model study of new Madrid pumping station.holder@ice. TULLIS J.org. Washington. Proceedings of the ASCE International Water Resources Conference. Institution of Civil Engineers. London SW1P 3AA. USA. US Army Corps of Engineers.. 8. Engineering Technical Letter No. 1998.