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INTRODUCTION

Pumps are used to transfer fluid in a system, either at the same elevation or to a new height.
The needed flow rate depends on the height to which the fluid is pumped. Each pump has a head-
discharge relationship that is inversely proportional (i.e., if a higher flow rate is needed, then less head
or pressure will be produced by the pump, and vice versa). This head-discharge relationship, also
known as the pump characteristic curve, is provided by the pump manufacturer.
Two pumps (or typically more in practice) can be combined in series to increase the height to
which the fluid can be pumped at a given flow rate, or combined in parallel to increase the flow rate
associated with a given value of head. In theory, if two pumps are combined in series, the pumping
system will produce twice the head for a given flow rate. Similarly, if two pumps are combined in
parallel, the pumping system is expected to have twice the flow rate of single pump for a given head.

OBJECTIVES

1. To demonstrate pump performance when connected in series and parallel
2. To show shut off point of pump in series and parallel
3. To analyse pump network for pipelines operating under pressure
4. To estimate power requirement for a pump as a function of its throughput, pressure increase
and efficiency

PROCEDURE

1. The equipment was set up by following some basic procedures.
2. The main power supply is switched on.
3. The appropriate pump was select and the following valve position is checked.

Pump Operation Running Pump Open Valve Close Valve
Single Pump 1, P1 1, 3 2, 3
Serial Both Pump, P1 & p2 1, 4 2, 4
Parallel Both Pump, P1 & p2 1, 2, 4 3

4. Valve V5 (as a variable parameter) is slowly opened until the flow rate reaches to a certain
level that is needed by the operation of the pump.

5. The pressure reading on the pressure indicator is observed. Flow rate and pressure is recorded
when the stable condition is achieved.
6. The observation is repeated by increasing the flow rate until reaches to a certain maximum
level that is needed by the operation of the pump.
7. The pump is turned off. Valve V5 is ensured that it is in fully close position. The main power
supply is switched off.

Pump Operation Volume Flow Rate (L/min)
Single 20 40 60 80 90
Serial 20 40 60 80 90
Parallel 40 80 120 160 180
DISCUSSION

The objective of this laboratory experiment is to measure and compare the performance of a
single centrifugal pump to that of two pumps in parallel and series configurations.

THEORY
By ssuming steady, uniform, incompressible flow between the inlet and outlet sections of a
piping system containing a pump, the energy conservation equation can be used to illustrate the
relationship between kinetic and potential energy of the fluid:
T
l P 1
2
1 1
2
2
2 2
H H z
g 2
V
g
p
z
g 2
V
g
p
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ +

(1)
where the subscripts 1 and 2 refer to inlet and exit sections, respectively . H
p
by a pump (in meters); H
l_T
represents energy losses (in meters) from friction, turbulence, fittings,
etc.; p is the static pressure (in Pa); is the fluid density (in kg/m
3
); g is the gravitational constant (in
meters/sec
2
); V is the fluid velocity (in meters/sec); and z is the elevation of the measurement point (in
meters). For this laboratory, the minor head losses, H
l_T
, may be neglected.
One important aspect of pump performance is the pressure, or head, that the pump can produce as a
function of flow rate. Generally, the higher the flow rate, the lower the head that the pump can
contribute. A parabola is often used to fit this performance data:
2
0
AQ H H
p
= (2)
where Q is the volumetric flow rate, A is a constant determined empirically from the data, and H
0
is
the head delivered at zero flow rate.
For the two pumps in series, the flow Q through the first pump must equal the flow through the next,
( )
2
0
2 AQ H H
series
= . (3)
For identical pumps in parallel, the pressures at the two inlets and outlets are identical and the
maximum head the two pumps can deliver is no greater than that of one pump. The flow rate,
however, is doubled for two identical pumps in parallel:
H
parallel
= H
0
A
Q
2
|
\

|
.
|
2
(4)
In practice, these performance curves will not be met because of losses in piping systems and non-
identical pumps.
An important objective when selecting a pump for an engineering system is maximizing the efficiency
for the desired flow conditions. For a pump, the efficiency is defined as
h = P
o
/P
i
(5)
where P
o
is the power output from the pump (in Watts), and P
i
is the power imparted to the fluid from
the pump (in Watts). Output power is determined experimentally with the following equation
P
o
= g*Q*H
p
.

(6)
The input power to the pump is the output power from the motor. Pi varies as a function of flow rate.
The purpose to connect pump in series and parallel is to extend the total pump performance in
a system. The shutoff pressure is the maximum pressure a pump will develop under zero-flow
conditions, which reflects a fully blocked outlet.
Pumps combined in parallel can increase the flow twice for the same given head. In practice,
this would be done if a pump provides the right head, but provides small flow. Parallel arrangement
is also used if the demand of flow is different. One pump can be used at lower flow than the second
pump. The advantage of arranging pumps in parallel is the redundancy in case failure occurs. On the
other hand, applying pumps arrangement into series can twice increase the head. In practice, this
would be done if the pump provides the right flow rate, but small head. When pumps are connected in
series or parallel, the power input to the pump increases. The effect of increasing motor speed can be
estimated using the similarity rules.
The operating point of the pump is at the point where the head of the pump is the same as the
pipe resistance. The operating point is the intersection of the pump characteristic curve and the pipe
system characteristic curve. The most common reason for choosing parallel pumps is because you
want to have a spare in case the single operating pump fails. Pumps in series are generally not
advised. This is because the maximum shutoff head of pumps in series is additive, and will result in
higher design pressures in the downstream piping/equipment.

Generally in pumps increasing the flow rate will decrease the provided head. The efficiency
of the pumps was not calculated due to lack of givens (input power)

CONCLUSIONS

Thanks to Allah The Almighty for His blessing, we manage to finish up the experiment and
the reports in the given time. Because of Him we are able to achieve the objectives of this experiment.
In a series arrangement, each pump handles the same flow rate, but the total head produced by the
combination of pumps will be additive. For pumps configured in parallel, the flow rate Q is split
between the pumps at the inlet into Q
1
and Q
2.
The commonality of head across parallel pumps is the
most important feature of pumps installed in parallel. If the pump heads are not matched, pumps in
parallel will not function properly.

REFERENCES
- White, Frank M. Fluid Mechanics; 3rd Edition, McGraw Hill; 1994
- http://www.cheresources.com/invision/blog/4/entry-322-multiple-centrifugal-
pumps-in-series-and-parallel/
- Lab Manual, Fluid Mechanis.

INTERNATIONAL ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA
FLUID MECHANICS
BTE 2222

EXPERIMENT 2
PUMPS IN SERIES AND PARALLEL

15 / 11 / 2013

GROUP MEMBERS : -

SINGLE

SERIAL

0
2
4
6
8
10
12
1 2 3 4 5
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

flow rate
Pressure different vs. Flow rate
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
20 40 60 80 90
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

flow rate
Pressure different vs. Flow rate

PARALLEL

0
2
4
6
8
10
12
40 80 120 160 180
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

flow rate
Pressure different vs. Flow rate