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POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT PUMPS

Positive Displacement Pumps has an expanding cavity on the suction side and a decreasing cavity
on the discharge side. Liquid flows into the pumps as the cavity on the suction side expands and the
liquid flows out of the discharge as the cavity collapses. The volume is constant given each cycle of
operation.
The positive displacement pumps can be divided in two main classes
reciprocating
rotary
The positive displacement principle applies whether the pump is a
rotary lobe pump
progressing cavity pump
rotary gear pump
piston pump
diaphragm pump
screw pump
gear pump
vane pump
regenerative (peripheral) pump
peristaltic
Positive Displacement Pumps unli!e a "entrifugal or #oto$dynamic Pumps will produce the same
flow at a given speed (#P%) no matter the discharge pressure.
Positive Displacement Pumps are &constant flow machines&
' Positive Displacement Pump must not be operated against a closed valve on the discharge side of
the pump because it has no shut$off head li!e "entrifugal Pumps. ' Positive Displacement Pump
operating against a closed discharge valve will continue to produce flow until the pressure in the
discharge line is increased until the line bursts or the pump is severely damaged $ or both.
' relief or safety valve on the discharge side of the Positive Displacement Pump is therefore
asol!te necessary. The relief valve can be internal or external. The pump manufacturer has
normally the option to supply internal relief or safety valves. The internal valve should in general
only be used as a safety precaution an external relief valve installed in the discharge line with a
return line bac! to the suction line or supply tan! is recommended.
"eci#rocatin$ P!m#s
Typical reciprocating pumps are
plunger pumps
diaphragm pumps
Plunger pumps comprise of a cylinder with a reciprocating plunger in it. (n the head of the cylinder
the suction and discharge valves are mounted. (n the suction stro!e the plunger retracts and the
suction valves opens causing suction of fluid into the cylinder. (n the forward stro!e the plunger
push the liquid out the discharge valve.
)ith only one cylinder the fluid flow varies between maximum flow when the plunger moves
through the middle positions and *ero flow when the plunger is in the end positions. ' lot of energy
is wasted when the fluid is accelerated in the piping system. +ibration and &water hammers& may be
a serious problem. (n general the problems are compensated by using two or more cylinders not
wor!ing in phase with each other.
(n diaphragm pumps the plunger pressuri*es hydraulic oil which is used to flex a diaphragm in the
pumping cylinder. Diaphragm valves are used to pump ha*ardous and toxic fluids.
"otary P!m#s
Typical rotary pumps are
gear pumps
lobe pumps
vane pumps
progressive cavity pumps
peripheral pumps
screw pumps
(n gear pumps the liquid is trapped by the opening between the gear teeth of two identical gears and
the chasing of the pump on the suction side. ,n the pressure side the fluid is squee*ed out when the
teeth of the two gears are rotated against each other. The motor provides the drive for one gear.
The lobe pumps operates similar to the gear pump but with two lobes driven by external timing
gears. The lobes do not ma!e contact.
Progressive cavity pumps consist of a metal rotor rotating within an elastomer$lined or elastic stator.
)hen the rotor turns progressive chambers from suction end to
'-'L./(/ ,0 #1"(P#,"'T(-2 P3%P/
' reciprocating pump consists essentially of a piston moving to and fro in a cylinder. The piston is
driven by a cran! powered by some prime mover such as an electric motor (" engine or steam
engine. /mall portable reciprocating pumps may be hand operated. #eferring to the 0ig. (a)
)hen piston moves to the right pressure inside the cylinder decreases.
This forces the liquid up suction pipe and into the cylinder through the suction valve (4).
/uction valve is one$way valve and opens when the liquid moves into the cylinder.
The outward motion of the piston is suction stro!e.
(t is then followed by delivery stro!e during which the liquid in the cylinder is pushed out
through the delivery valve (5) and into the upper reservoir.
During the delivery stro!e valve (4) is closed because of the fluid pressure exerted on it.
The whole cycle is then repeated at a frequency dependent upon the rotational speed of the
cran! 6.
1ach cycle may be represented by a plot of pressure in the cylinder against the volume of the
liquid as shown in figure below.
During The suction stro!e the pressure in the cylinder is below atmospheric as represented
by line ab in the diagram.
,n reversal of the direction of motion of the piston i.e. at the end of the suction stro!e and
beginning of the delivery stro!e the pressure rises abruptly along the line bc while the
volume remains the same.
The delivery stro!e follows during which the high delivery pressure is maintained. This is
represented by line cd.
't the end of the delivery stro!e the pressure falls along da and the cycle starts again.
The above simplified analysis does not ta!e into account the following effects7
The effect of inertia of the liquid in the pipes which opposes any change in the velocity and
The effect of friction in the pipe
Inertia effects
't the end of each stro!e the liquid in the cylinder and in the relevant pipe must be brought to rest
i.e. decelerated. (mmediately afterwards at the beginning of the following stro!e the fluid in the
cylinder and in the associated pipe must be accelerated. These accelerations and decelerations result
in additional pressures being involved. The inertia pressure may be given by7

dt
dv
l h g p
i i
= =
(8)
where l is the length of the pipe and
dt
dv
is the acceleration of the liquid. (f the x$section of the
cylinder is A and that of the pipe is
a
then from the equation of continuity we have
u A v a =
if
u
is the velocity of the piston so that
dt
du
a
A
dt
dv
=

(4)
and thus
dt
du
a
A
l p
i
=
.
(5)
Thus at the beginning of the suction stro!e (point a) (0ig. b) the liquid in the suction pipe must be
accelerated so that the pressure in the cylinder must be lowered by an amount
0ig. (a)7 #eciprocating pump installation
0ig. (b)7 9asic pressure diagram for a reciprocating pump
) (
dt
du
a
A
l p
s
s ae i
=

(:)
represented by the the distance ae on the digram. 't the end of the suction stro!e the same liquid in
the suction pipe is decelerated so that it exerts pressure on the cylinder by an amount fb i
p ) (
equal to
ae i
p ) (
.
/imilarly the delivery stro!e is affected at its beginning and its end by pressure changes7
. ) ( ) (
dt
du
a
A
l p p
d
d dh i cg i
= =

(;)
"onsequently the inertia effects modify the simple pressure diagram abcd so that it becomes emfgnh
(0igure c).
%riction Effect
The frictional losses in pipes are given by the Darcy equation

4
:
4
g
v
d
fl
h
f
=

(<)
'nd may be related to the piston velocity by substitution of v from the continuity equation
u
a
A
v =
/o that for the delivery stro!e during which during which the frictional losses in the delivery pipe
become relevant
.
4
) ( :
4
4
g
u
a
A
d
fl
h
d d
d
fd
=

(=)
Sim#le &armonic Motion
0ig. (c)7 Theoretical pressure diagram for a reciprocating pump
-ow the piston velocity may be obtained from the displacement equation assuming simple
harmonic motion in terms of the cran! radius r and cran! angle and ultimately in terms of the
angular velocity

and time t giving


. sin sin t r r u = =

(>)
The equation shows that when ? @ i.e. at the beginning and end of the each stro!e u ? @ and
therefore the frictional effects are *ero but the acceleration (or deceleration) duAdt is a maximum
and hence the inertia effects are maximum. )hen ? B@
o
or 4=@
o
i.e. at the middle of each stro!e
the velocity is maximum and hence the frictional effects reach a maximum whereas the acceleration
(or deceleration) is *ero and therefore the inertia effects vanish.
'lso it follows from Darcy equation that
4
v h
f

so that curves esf and gqh representing frictional
effects on the diagram are parabolae superimposed on lines emf and gnh. Thus the theoretical
pressure diagram becomes esfgqh.
Vol!metric Efficiency of the #!m# an' Sli#
The rate at which the liquid is delivered by the pump clearly depends upon the pump speed since
+olume delivered in one stro!e ?
V S A =
)here S ? piston stro!e and V ? swept volume.
Thus if the pump speed is - (revAmin) then the theoretical volume delivered in 8 s is
<@ A N S A Q
th
=
'nd since
4 A <@ = N

). . 4 A( . <@ . ) 4 A( <@ . . V x S A Q
th
= =

(B)
Thus the pump discharge is directly proportional to the rotational speed and is entirely independent
of the pressure against which the pump is delivering.
9ecause of the lea!age of liquid through glands the actual pump discharge is smaller than the
theoretical. (f the lea!age is
q
then the actual delivery
q Q Q
th
=
(8@)
'nd the volumetric efficiency
). A( A q Q Q Q Q
th v
+ = =
(88)
/ometimes an expression !nown as slip is used7
/lip ?
. 8
v
th
th
Q
Q Q
=


(84)
P!m# Press!re
The pump pressure depends upon the system against which it is wor!ing as shown in 0ig. (a) and
may be obtained as follows. 'pplying the energy equation to points (8) and (:) and using the liquid
level in the lower reservoir as datum
Total energy at (1) !" by pu#p $ Total energy at (%) &osses in the syste#
9ut
Total energy at (1) per unit #ass of fluid flo'ing $
A
a
p
(
!" by the pu#p per unit #ass of fluid flo'ing $ g) ('here ) $ pu#p head)(
Total energy at (%) per unit #ass of fluid flo'ing $ g* p
a
+,(
&osses in the syste# $
.
ld ls
h g h g +
/ubstituting
.
A A
ld ls a a
h g h g p g* g) p + + + = +
Thus rearranging the pump head
.
ld ls
h h * ) + + =

(84)
(t is sometimes useful to consider the pump suction side and pump delivery side separately. (n this
case the static lift C (the difference between the water levels if the reservoirs are open to
atmosphere) is considered to be the sum of the suction lift C
s
and delivery lift C
d
i.e.
C ? C
s
D C
d
.
(f the difference in levels between the inlet and outlet is neglected (between (4) and (5) in the
diagram) because it is usually very small compared with the rest of the system the two sides of the
pump may be analysed separately as follows.
'pplying the steady flow energy equation between the lower reservoir (assuming constant water
level) and the pipe at pump inlet (4)
ls
s
s
s a
h
g
v
*
g
p
g
p
+ + + =
4
4

from which the static pressure at pump inlet


.
4
4

+ + =
ls
s
s
a s
h
g
v
*
g
p
g
p

(85)
The expressions in the brac!ets is !nown as the manometric suction head h
ms
because it represents
the negative gauge pressure shown by a manometer attached to pump inlet.
/imilarly applying the steady flow energy equation between the delivery pipe at the pump outlet (5)
and the water level in the upper reservoir the static pressure at pump outlet
.
4
4

+ + =
ld
d
d
a d
h
g
v
*
g
p
g
p


(8:)
Eere the expression in brac!ets is the manometric delivery head h
md
because it represents the gauge
pressure shown by a manometer connected to the pump outlet.
The pump manometric head E
m
is defined as7
.
#d #s #
h h ) + =
(8;)
Therfore substituting
. 4 A ) (
4 4
g v v h h * )
s d ld ls #
+ + =
(8<)
"omparing equations (84) and (8<)
. 4 A ) (
4 4
g v v ) )
s d #
=
(f the delivery and suction pipes are of the same diameter then v
d
? v
s
and E ? E
m
.
Efficiencies
The internal head E
i
generated by the pump is greater than the pump head E the difference
accounting for the internal losses within the pump h
lp.
Thus
E
i
? E D h
lp.
The internal fluid power generated by the pump is

th i i
Q ) g - =
(8=)
and the actual power output of the pump is
. Q ) g - =

(8>)
(f the power input to the pump from the prime mover is P
o
then the overall pu#p efficiency is7
. A A
o o
- Q ) g - - = =
(8B)
"omponent efficiencies are also useful and they are as follows7
.
A
. A
o i #
i # h
- - efficiency .echanical
) ) efficiency )ydraulic
=
=

(4@)
(t follows therefore that the overall pump efficiency

th i o
i
th i o
i
i o
i
o
Q
Q
)
)
-
-
Q ) g
Q ) g
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
= = = =

so that
.
v h #
=
(48)
)hen considering a pump installation an important limitation on the location of the pump in
relation to the level of the lower reservoir is the manometeric suction head. (t represents the lowest
pressure in the system (at the pump inlet) in particular during the beginning of the suction stro!e
represented by point e in 0ig. (c). (f this pressure falls to the value of the liquid vapour pressure
cavitation will occur and delivery will cease (stop).
AI" VESSELS
,ne maFor disadvantage of reciprocating pumps is the fluctuating flow. (t can be reduced by fitting
air cylinders (air vessels) to either the suction pipe or the delivery pipe or both. 'ir cylinders are
closed vessels which act similarly to surge tan!s. The decelerating liquid moves into the cylinder
(vessel) compressing the enclosed air and thus storing energy in it. )hen the fluid is accelerated the
energy in the air is released thus augmenting (increasing) the accelerating force. 9y this process the
fluctuations in the flow are smoothed out to an extent dependent upon the si*e of the air vessels.
0igure (d) shows an actual indicator diagram of a pump fitted with air cylinders. (t shows that the
effects of inertia have been largely eliminated.
0ig. (d)7 (ndicator diagram for a reciprocating pump with air vessels.
The provision of air chamber reduces the total friction loss to overcome in the system by
maintaining a steady flow from the pump. )ithout the air chamber the wor! done against friction
would vary with piston position and as the flow$friction loss relationship is parabolic the mean
frictional resistance is two$thirds of the maximum i.e. at mid$discharge stro!e
.ean friction loss ? .
4
:
5
4
4

a
r A
gd
& f
(44)
)ith an air$vessel close to the pump so that the inertia effects in the short connecting pipe may be
ignored then
.ean friction loss ? "onstant flow$based loss
.
4
:
4

r
a
A
gd
& f
(45)
Therefore
.
4
5
5 A 4
A 8
4
4

= =
vessel air 'ithout done !or/
vessel air 'ith done !or/
(4:)
'nother method of dealing with the fluctuations in the flow is the use of multi$cylinder pumps. (n
these several cylinders act in parallel and out of phase as shown in 0ig. (e).
0ig. (e)7 Three$cylinder single acting ram pump
' less effective solution is provided by a double$acting pump in which both sides of the piston are
connected to the suction and delivery pipes and both sides of the piston wor! on the fluid. )hen one
side is on suction stro!e the other side at the same time is on the delivery stro!e.
0igure (f) compares the flow rate fluctuations and the mean deliveries of single acting double$acting
and and two$cylinder double$acting pumps
0ig. (f)7 +ariation of discharge with cran! angle G for
(a) single$cylinder single$acting pump
(b) /ingle$cylinder double$acting pump
(c) Two$cylinder double acting pump
The theoretical plot of the pump head E against flow rate H at a constant speed is a vertical
straight line as shown in 0ig. (g). Eowever as the head against which the pump is wor!ing is
increased the flow rate is in practice slightly reduced because of internal lea!age.
0ig. (g)7 "haracteristic of a reciprocating pump
P"O(LEM)
' single$acting single$cylinder positive displacement pump is used to drain an excavation. The
pump has a bore of 8;@ mm and a stro!e of :@@ mm. The suction and discharge pipes are both of ;@
mm diameter the suction pipe being 4 m long and the discharge pipe 8; m long. The suction lift to
the pump is 8.; m while the discharge is < m above the level of the water surface in excavation. (n
the absence of any air chambers on either (a) pump suction or (b) discharge "alculate for (ab) the
absolute pressure head in the cylinder at the
(i) start
(ii) end and
(iii) middle of each stro!e if the pump drive is at @.4 revAs and may be assumed to be simple
harmonic.
'lso determine (c) the
maximum pump speed if
separation is to be
avoided on the piston
face.
'ssume a friction factor
of @.@8 for both pipes a pump slip of : per cent an atmospheric pressure of 8@.5 m of water and a
fluid vapour pressure of 4.: m.
(d) 0or the above data of the reciprocating pump calculate the increase in pump speed in revAmin if
a large air chamber (vessel) were fitted close to the pump suction valve.
I Eint7 ' general expression for the absolute head in cylinder during the suction stro!e is written as7
sf si s at
h h ) ) ) =
'tmospheric /uction /uction 0riction in suction
Pressure lift acceleration pipe
During discharge the same form of equation mau be employed7
df di d at
h h ) ) ) + + + =
'tmospheic Delivery Delivery Delivery
Pressure lift acceleration pipe friction
'nswers7 (a) (i) >.44 m of water (ii) B.5> m of water (iii) >.5> m of water
(b) (i) 8B.8; m of water (ii) 8@.:; m of water (iii) 8=.<> m of water
-ote that for delivery stro!e using the definition of /lip (u')
actual
? @.B<.(u')
theory
. Therefore v
d
?
@.B<x('6rAa) is to be used in h
df
.
(c) 6 ? :.8=< radAs ? :@ revAmin
(d) 6 ? 8;.: radAs ? 8:@ revAminJ (ncrease in speed ? 8@@ revAminK