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CIVE240001 Fluid Mechanics

Section 2: Pumps

1. Some General Notes about Fluid Machinery


Fluid machines either take energy from a fluid and convert it into mechanical energy
or vice versa. Machines which take energy from a fluid are called turbines and
machines which give energy to a fluid are called pumps and fans. From a theoretical
viewpoint there is no difference between the two, in practice there is also a great deal
of similarity.


1.1 Types of pumps and turbines

Both pumps and turbines can be split into two distinct groups, positive displacement
and rotodynamic


1.1.1 Positive displacement

• reciprocating pumps - often used for temporary site drainage
• reciprocating engines - gas, petrol, diesel
• gear pumps – two intermeshing gear wheels, often used for the oil pump
in reciprocating engines
• rotor/stator pumps – essentially a double helix stator with a single helix
rotor inside it – used for pumping food, concrete, sewage and many
other fluids

The behaviour of such pumps is not readily amenable to analytical treatment
by the methods of fluid mechanics.


1.1.2. Rotodynamic

Centrifugal, mixed flow and axial flow pumps

• centrifugal, mixed flow and axial flow pumps – centrifugal pumps are
used for high head, low flow situations and axial flow pumps for low
head high flow e.g. land drainage
• radial, mixed flow and axial flow turbines - radial flow turbines, often
referred to as Francis turbines are used for high head hydroelectric sites
and axial flow turbines for low head sites e.g. tidal barrage schemes
• Pelton wheels - for very high heads, essentially one or more jets and a
wheel with buckets on, called an impulse turbine, the equivalent for a
(highly inefficient) pump would be a rotating wheel with buckets
attached

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• Banki and Turgo wheels - other less common forms of high head
impulse turbines

These notes will concentrate on rotodynamic pumps with the occasional reference to
turbines. Before any analysis can be undertaken a relationship has to be developed
between torque, power and the normal hydraulic parameters of head and flow. The
next section does this for a turbine, by reversing the signs it applies to a pump.


1.1.3 Why should Civil Engineers study pumps?

The heading to this sub section is a perfectly reasonable question to ask since
normally we are not involved in their manufacture, we are simply users of them.
There are several reasons why it is useful for us to have some idea of how pumps
work and the different types of pumps available, the more important of these are as
follows:-

• matching pumps to pipelines i.e. which is the most suitable size and type
of pump for any given pipeline
• to understand the relationship between head and flow in a pump
• to determine the power requirements of pumps


2. Flow through a rotating curved passage


2.1 Introduction

All rotodynamic machines make use of the effect that occurs when fluid passes
through a rotating curved passage. For turbines energy is transferred from the fluid to
the rotating curved passage and for pumps the energy is transferred from the passage
to the fluid. The moving part of a turbine is called a runner
1
, this consists of two
concentric discs with curved plates between them rather like the ventilated discs used
for vehicle brakes except that the plates are not usually flat but close together at the
outer periphery and more widely spaced at the centre. In the case of a turbine fluid
enters the runner around the outer periphery then flows across the curved blades
between the two plates and leaves through a hole at the centre of the runner, this is
called the eye. The runner is rotating with an angular velocity Ω, as the fluid flows
over the curved blades thus angular momentum is transferred from the fluid to the
runner
2
.

Symbols used in analysis

u
1
peripheral velocity at outer tip of passage
u
2
peripheral velocity at inner tip of passage
V
1
absolute velocity of fluid at inlet

1
For a pump the equivalent name is impeller.
2
In a pump the fluid flows from the eye to the outer periphery and angular momentum is given to the
fluid by the impeller.

3
V
2
absolute velocity of fluid at outlet
V
f1
radial component of V
1

V
f2
radial component of V
2

V
w1
tangential component of V
1

V
w2
tangential component of V
2


the subscript f denotes the flow velocity and w the whirl velocity.


2.2 Development of an expression relating power to flow

Since the runner is rotating about a shaft then only the force in the circumferential
direction performs useful work, hence we need to find the change in angular
momentum
3
in this direction, changes of momentum in the radial direction have no
effect because they do not generate a moment about the axis of rotation of the runner.
It can be assumed that the conditions at entry and exit from the runner are uniform in
both magnitude and direction, this is tantamount to saying that angular momentum is
constant around the periphery of the runner. Figure 1 shows part of a runner, the fluid
enters with a velocity V
1
then flows through the runner and leaves with a velocity V
2
,
in the process of passing through the runner energy is transferred from the fluid to the
runner, most of this performs useful work, a small amount is lost in friction. Any
particle of mass δm passing through the runner has a momentum tangential to the
shaft of
r
w
V m δ





3
Angular momentum is defined as the moment of momentum.

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Figure 1

where
r
w
V is the radial component of the absolute velocity vector at any radius r hence
the angular momentum (moment of momentum) can be written

r V m
r
w
δ
At entry if the velocity and direction of flow are uniform then the angular momentum
per unit time is
1
1
r V Q
w
ρ , similarly at exit the angular momentum per unit time is
2
2
r V Q
w
ρ , therefore the rate of increase of angular momentum of the fluid is

( )
1
1
2
2
r V r V Q
w w
− ρ

and this equals the torque
4
, T, exerted on the fluid by the runner. Therefore the torque
exerted on the runner by the fluid is

( )
2 1
2 1
r V r V Q T
w w
− = ρ this is called Euler’s equation.

Note that this is a momentum equation therefore is valid regardless of the path taken
by the fluid particles. Civil Engineers are much more interested in power than torque;
for turbines, we need to know how much power a potential hydro-electric site will
provide and for pumps we need to know the power consumption so that we can
determine the size of the pump and the operating costs.

Power, P, is the rate of doing work = work done/s = TΩ where Ω is the angular
velocity of the runner or impeller, we can write

( )
( )
2
2
1
1
2
2
1
1
u V u V Q P
u r but
r V r V Q T P
w w
w w
− = ∴
= Ω
Ω − Ω = Ω =
ρ
ρ


Therefore the work done per unit weight of fluid is

( )
2 1
2 1
u V u V
Q g
Q
w w

ρ
ρ

( )
2 1
2 1
1
u V u V
g
w w
− = (2.1)
this has the units of head and is the form in which we generally use it. It is a
fundamental equation which will be used throughout our analysis.


3. Pumps

3.1. Centrifugal pumps


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Torque about a given axis is defined as the rate of change of angular momentum about that axis.

5

(a) (b)
Figure 2

Consider Figure 2 which shows a simple centrifugal pump. Figure 2(a) shows a cross
section along the line of the drive shaft and Figure 2(b) a cross section through the
impeller. The flow path through the pump can be most easily described by
considering Figure 2(a), the fluid enters the eye of the impeller with no whirl velocity,
in a pure centrifugal pump it is immediately turned through 90
0
and enters the
impeller. As it flows through the impeller it is given energy, after it leaves the
impeller and enters the volute (casing of the pump), the velocity (hence kinetic
energy) is very high. For the fluid to flow along the pipeline we need a high pressure
but do not want a high velocity because this would result in a high head loss, also it
would be dangerous since it may give rise to significant water hammer pressures.
Hence we need to convert the high kinetic energy to potential energy with a minimum
of energy loss, this is achieved in the volute.

This flow pattern can be summarized as follows

• fluid enters the impeller through the eye with no whirl (tangential)
velocity
• as the fluid flows through the impeller it receives energy and is
discharged into the casing of the pump with a high velocity hence high
kinetic energy
• the velocity of the fluid is too high for the pipeline therefore the volute
has to reduce the velocity and hence convert the kinetic energy into
potential energy
• as the fluid flows round the volute and into the pipeline the velocity has
to remain constant to minimise energy losses and, incidentally, satisfy
the assumptions made in deriving Euler’s equation

This type of pump results in a high head and a low flow. If it is necessary to increase
the flow then either the area or the velocity has to be increased. Any significant
increase in the velocity of flow would result in an unacceptably high loss of energy
hence the design has to be altered to increase the area of flow. This is done by
widening the volute and the impeller particularly at the inlet. By doing this the fluid
will enter the impeller and be receiving energy before it is flowing entirely in the
radial direction i.e. the flow will have a component in the axial direction within the
impeller, this is called a mixed flow pump, it delivers a higher flow and a lower head
than a purely radial flow pump. If this design is taken to the limit then the flow
becomes entirely axial and will produce high flow volumes and a low head, in
practice the impeller becomes a propeller within the pipe and the pump is referred to
as axial.


3.1.1.Volutes

Clearly the design of the volute is important since a poorly designed one would not
efficiently convert kinetic to potential energy resulting in a pump of low efficiency.
Volutes will be considered in more detail later in this section.

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3.1.2. Variations on a simple centrifugal pump

There are many variations on the simple type of centrifugal pump, for example if it is
necessary to increase the flow for the same head then it is possible to have double
suction machines where the fluid enters from both sides of the eye. The impeller then
looks like two single impellers back to back, this doubles the flow at the same head, it
also reduces the thrust on the bearings because of its symmetrical design. If it is
required to increase the head for the same flow then it is possible to have multi stage
machines with several impellers driven on one shaft, the outlet from one becomes the
inlet to the next and so on.


4. Simplified analysis of pumps

4.1 Introduction

Consider Figure 3 which shows a small part of the impeller complete with vector
triangles of the flow pattern at entry and exit. Firstly consider the situation at entry,

V2
Vw2
R2
Vf2
U2
V1 Vt1
R1
U1
=
ß
Q

Figure 3

unlike turbines it is not usual for pumps to have guide vanes at entry therefore the
fluid enters the impeller with no whirl velocity hence the absolute velocity V
1
is equal
to the flow velocity
1
f
V and the inlet vector triangle under design conditions is as
shown. Consideration of this triangle leads to two important points

• since there is no whirl component at inlet velocity
1
1 f
V V = (which is the
component along the radial, this means that the angle between the vector
V
1
and the vector u
1
(the speed of the impeller tip at inlet) is a right angle

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• in order to minimise energy loss the fluid should impinge on the blade
tangentially, in terms of the vector triangle this means that the angle
between u
1
and R
1
should equal the blade angle, α (defined as the angle
between the tangent to the pitch circle and the leading edge of the
impeller blade).

Figure 4(a) shows the fluid entering the runner tangentially, this is called shockless
entry, and Figure 4(b) shows the fluid entering the impeller non-tangentially i.e. under
non design conditions. When this happens the follow occur

• impact losses occur
• boundary layer separation takes place
• eddies arise which give rise to some back flow into the inlet pipe, this
causes the incoming flow to have some whirl velocity

The result of this non tangential entry is a dramatic drop in the efficiency of the pump.


4.2 Analysis of centrifugal pump behaviour

Consider the inlet triangle in Figure 3, under design conditions we can immediately
write down
1 1
1
1
1
1
1
1
V and
60
, tan
B D
Q
V
N D
u
u
V
f
π
π
α = = = =
where

D
1
diameter of the impeller at inlet
N speed of rotation in RPM
Q flow through the pump
B
1
width of the impeller at inlet

Therefore we can write
( )








= ∴








=

N B D
Q
N D
B D Q
1
2
1
2
1
1
1 1
60
tan
60
tan
π
α
π
π
α

This defines the entry angle of the vane if 0
1
=
w
V .

For the exit triangle three cases have to be considered as follows

(i) Forward facing blades β < π/2

Forward facing blades are ones which face in the same direction as the
rotation as shown in Figure 5(a), the symbols have the same meaning as
for the inlet triangle with the subscripts changed to 2


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V
2
V
t2
Vw2
U
2
R
2 ß

Figure 5(a)

(ii) Radial blades β = π/2

This case is shown in Figure 5(b), the vector triangle is right angled
hence
2 2
2 2
and
f w
V R u V = =

V
2
Vt2
Vw2 U2
R2
=
=
= 90° ß

Figure 5(b)


(iii) Backward facing blades β > π/2

This is shown in Figure 5(c), for the time being all that needs be noted
from this triangle is that V
2
is smaller than in the other two cases.

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V
2
Vt2
Vw2
U
2
R
2
ß


For analytical purposes it is easiest to consider the triangle resulting from the forward
facing blades however the results obtained will apply to all the cases with no changes
in the signs.

Using equation 2.1 with
1
w
V set to zero and recalling that since we are now
considering pumps the sign will change then we can say that for an inviscid fluid the
head difference across the pump would be

g
u V
w 2
2

from the triangle in Figure 5(a) we can write

( ) β π − − = cot
2 2
2 f w
V u V
β cot
2 2
2 f w
V u V + = ∴ (4.1)

The head imposed on the fluid
5
is the energy given to it
g
u V
w 2
2
less any losses, h
i
, in
travelling through the impeller. As the fluid leaves the impeller and enters the volute
a relatively small amount of the total energy is potential (i.e. pressure) energy much of
it is kinetic; this has to be converted to potential energy by the volute and diverging
delivery pipe. However efficiently the volute converts the kinetic energy to potential
there is still a head loss, h
v
.

We can now write the energy conservation equation in the form


5
Remember that head is energy per unit weight of fluid.

10
g
v
h h H
g
u V
p
v i
w
2
2
2
2
+ + + =

where v
p
is the velocity of flow in the outlet pipe. In order to advance this analysis we
must be able to evaluate the losses h
i
and h
v
, it is not possible to do this analytically
therefore the same method will be used as for minor losses in pipes. We assume that
the loss in the impeller is proportional to
2
2
R since this is the velocity of flow relative
to the impeller, similarly the loss in the volute is assumed to be proportional to
2
2
V
hence we can now write the energy equation as

g
v
g
V
k
g
R
k
g
u V
H
p
v i
w
2 2 2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
− − − =

v
p
is very small compared to the other terms and can safely be ignored.
We can write

2 2 2
2
2 2
f w
V V V + =

Using equation 4.1 we can now write

( )
( )
( ) [ ]
g
V V u u k V k V u u
H
V
V
R
V V u u
V V u u V
V V u V
f f v f i f
f
f
f f
f f
f f
2
cosec cot 2 cosec cot 2 2
cosec
sin
also
cosec cot 2
cot 1 cot 2
cot
2 2
2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2 2 2 2
2
2
2 2
2 2
2 2
β β β β
β
β
β β
β β
β
+ + − − +
= ∴
= =
+ + =
+ + + = ∴
+ + =


Tidying this expression up yields

( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
2 2
2
2
2 2
2
2
2
2
2 2
and
60
but
2
cosec 1 cot 2 2
B D
Q
V
D N
u
g
k k v k V u k u
H
f
i v f v f v
π
π
β β
= =
+ − − + −
=


as written - re be ly convenient can equation the hence

2 2
Q C Q N B N A H − + = ∴

where A, B and C are constants defined by the properties of the pump.


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This equation demonstrates that the H – Q relationship for a pump is parabolic,
examples of the shape of the curves are given in Figure 6 for different blade angles. It
is clear that, unlike most of the equations encountered in fluid mechanics, this one has
dimensions.

Figure 6

For water backward facing blades are usually preferred because the absolute velocity
is lower therefore the velocity head in the volute is less resulting in a reduced head
loss and a higher efficiency. They give a smaller head for a particular size and flow
rate, this disadvantage is usually outweighed by the greater efficiency obtained.

For liquids the usual objective is to increase the pressure substantially i.e. the volute is
required to convert kinetic head to potential head. On the other hand fans are required
to move large quantities of air with very little change in pressure hence forward facing
blades may be preferred.


H - Q Curves for Pumps
0.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
50.00
60.00
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12
Flow
H
e
a
d
Backward
Radial
Forward

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4.3 Manometric Efficiency

Definition of manometric head – Manometric head is the difference in head that
would be recorded on a manometer connected between the suction and delivery
flanges of the pump. The ratio of the manometeric head, H
m
to the Euler head is
called the manometric efficiency, it can be written as


2
2
u V
g H
w
m
man
= η

It represents the effectiveness of the pump in producing pressure from the energy
given to the fluid by the impeller.

The heads H and H
m
are related by the expression


( )
h
g
V V
H H
s d
m
+

+ =
2
2 2


where V
d
is the velocity of flow in the delivery pipe, V
s
is the velocity of flow in the
suction pipe and h is the difference in level between the inlet and outlet flanges of the
pump


4.4 Design of the Volute

The volute is the part of the pump where most of the energy losses occur. No
additional torque is given to the fluid once it has left the impeller hence the angular
momentum is constant
6
hence we can write

constant a = r V
w


The radial velocity (velocity of flow) does not vary around the circumference (or at
least it should not); the combination of a uniform radial velocity with a free vortex
gives a pattern of spiral streamlines which should be matched by the shape of the
volute. This situation can only be achieved at design conditions – at all other
conditions there are increased shock losses and variations of pressure hence variation
of radial velocity around the impeller. This results in a rapid reduction in efficiency.


4.4.1 Types of Volute

4.4.1.1 Variable Velocity Volute

The velocity in the volute starts at zero and increases to V
p
. This is the cheapest and
least efficient design of volute.


6
In practice this is not quite true since some friction loss occurs.


13

4.4.1.2 Constant Velocity Volute

The flow velocity in the volute is kept constant, the increasing flow is compensated
for by linearly increasing the cross sectional area of the volute. The energy losses
amount to approximately 25% and can be approximated by the expression
( )
g
V V
h
v w
l
2
2
2

=
where V
v
is the velocity of flow in the volute


4.4.1.3 Whirlpool Volute

The velocity decreases in the radial direction across the volute with aconsequent
increase in pressure, the loss of energy is comparatively small. The decrease in
velocity creates a free vortex (v = C/r) where C is the vortex constant. The free
vortex converts high velocity low pressure fluid to low velocity high pressure fluid.


4.5 Speed to Commence Pumping

When there is no flow through the pump the fluid moves as a forced vortex hence we
can write
g
u
H
2
2
2
=
But
60
2
2
N D
u
π
= where D
2
is the diameter of the impeller
Hence we can write
2
2 2
2
2
2 60
2 x 3600
D
gH
N
g
N D
H
π
π
= ∴
=

Where H is the static head through which the water must be lifted before flow can
commence. This speed must be further increased to obtain the required delivery.


4.6 Axial and Mixed Flow Pumps

In order to increase the flow in a centrifugal pump the width of the impeller has to be
increased, if this was not done the velocities, hence friction losses, would become
unacceptably high. By doing this the flow, as it passes through the impeller, is
partially in the axial direction and partially in the radial direction hence the
description of mixed flow. Mixed flow pumps usually operate at lower heads than
pure axial flow pumps. When it is required to increase the flow still further the design
is changed radically to give an axial flow pump which can discharge very high flows
at low heads. An axial flow pump is rather like a ship’s propeller, it is the converse of

14
an axial flow (Kaplan) turbine and similar in appearance although a pump would not
usually have adjustable blades.

The analysis applied earlier to centrifugal pumps applies equally well to both mixed
and axial flow pumps. In axial flow pumps an element of fluid enters and leaves the
pump at the same radius hence u
1
= u
2
= u

Therefore work done/unit weight of fluid is given by

( )
1 2
w w
V V
g
u


There is usually no whirl velocity at inlet therefore 0
1
=
w
V however
2
w
V varies with
radius which could cause difficulties with the analysis , this is overcome by designing
the impeller as a free vortex i.e. C r V
w
=
2
. Now r u Ω = therefore we can write the
work done/unit weight of fluid as

g
C
r
C
g
r Ω
=
Ω

Hence the expression for work done/unit weight of fluid applies regardless of radius.
This is not true close to the hub where the assumption of a free vortex will not be
valid.


5. Matching a pump to a pipeline

Matching a pump top a pipeline is a mixture of hydraulics, site engineering and
economics. By considering the Darcy-Weisbach expression for head loss it is readily
seen that a small increase in diameter will cause a significant reduction in head loss
hence a reduction in pump size, this reduces both capital and running costs of the
pump but may increase the capital and construction costs of the pipeline. A further
restriction may be that the retention time of the fluid in the pipe may be limited, for
example when pumping sewage, clearly this restricts the diameter of the pipe. When
all these factors have been considered a pipe diameter is chosen which enables a
friction head to be calculated, the total head is then determined by adding this to the
static head, this is the head that the pipe has to overcome.

Pumps come in a family of different sizes but all geometrically similar. For each
pump in the series the manufacturer will supply the H – Q curve for a specific pump
speed or more correctly the part of the curve around the point of maximum efficiency.
The point where this intersects the H – Q curve for the pipeline gives the flow. This is
shown graphically in Figures 7 and 8. In Figure 7 the operating point does not align
itself anywhere near the point of maximum efficiency hence the pump will not operate
efficiently and the operating costs will always be higher than they ought to be. In
Figure 8 the operating point is reasonably well aligned with the point of maximum
efficiency hence the cost of running the pump will be minimised.


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Matching Pump to Pipeline
0.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
50.00
60.00
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12
Flow
H
e
a
d
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
η
Pump
Pipeline
η
Operating point

Figure 7 – An inefficient system

Matching a pump to a pipeline
0.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
50.00
60.00
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12
Flow
H
e
a
d
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Pump
Pipeline
Operating point
h
static
η
η

Figure 8 – An efficient system

From these diagrams it is clear that the part of the H – Q that lies under the point of
maximum efficiency is quite short thus the remainder of the curve is of little interest.
Pump manufacturers use this property to put the efficient part of the H - Q for all the
pumps in an homologous series onto one graph. An example
7
of this is shown in
Figure 9. The short length of curve is that part of the curve under the highest point of
the efficiency curve, this enables the user, once the H – Q for the pipeline is known to
read off the model number of the pump most suitable for the job.


7
This diagram is reproduced by kind permission of Weir Pumps Ltd., Glasgow.

16


Figure 9

If one pump cannot produce sufficient head then two or more pumps may be used in
series; for the great majority of pipelines this would not be considered a good

17
arrangement, it would be better to specify a larger pump. However such an
arrangement is frequently used in deep boreholes.

If the pump cannot produce sufficient flow then two or more pumps are used in
parallel. This arrangement is very common is water supply and sewerage pumping
stations. In fact in these designs it is usual to have several pumps running in parallel,
with the pumps cutting in sequentially as the flow increases. When pumps are
running in parallel it is essential to fit reflux (non return) valves so that one pump
does not drive another pump as a turbine.


6. Dynamic Similarity for Pumps

Many pumps are too large to be tested in a laboratory therefore it is essential to be
able to test small geometrically similar ones and then scale the results up to the
required size. Like any other scaling problem in fluid mechanics this is achieved by
scaling up dimensionless variables.


6.1 Geometric Similarity

Geometric similarity is a prerequisite of dynamic similarity. Geometric similarity
must be preserved for all the hydraulically important part of the pump, for example
entrance and discharge passages, impeller and diffuser (if one is fitted). Machines
which are geometrically similar in these respects from a homologous series (from the
Greek homos – same and logos – ratio).


6.2 Dynamic similarity

Dynamic similarity means a fixed ratio of forces, to achieve this kinematic similarity
is also required i.e. a fixed ratio of velocities. In practice this means that the inlet and
outlet velocity triangles must be geometrically similar.

6.3 Analysis

The variables in the analysis are as follows:-

H difference of head across the machine (energy/unit weight. of fluid)
[L]
N rotational speed [T
-1
]
P power transferred from impeller to fluid [ML
2
T
-3
]
g gravitational force [LT
-2
]
ρ density of the fluid [ML
-3
]
µ viscosity of the fluid [ML
-1
T
-1
]
Q flow through the pump [L
3
T
-1
]

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D diameter of the impeller [L]
k mean height of roughnesses in the machine [L]

Hence we can write
( ) 0 , , , , , , , , = k D Q g P N H f μ ρ

g is included because we need a definition of velocity head. Now we need to have
parameters to describe the fluid, the size of the machine and the flow pattern. The
obvious parameters would be ρ, D and N. However this would have the disadvantage
that when they were combined with H then we would have a π group D/H which
would not be of any use. A method of avoiding this is to combine g and H into one
variable gH (energy per unit mass). Hence we can write

( ) 0 , , , , , , , = k D Q P N gH f μ ρ

By applying Buckingham’s second π theorem it is clear that there are 5 π groups
hence we can write

( ) 0 , , , ,
5 4 3 2 1
= π π π π π f

Using ρ, D and N as the recurring variables we can write

5 5 5
4 4 4
3
2 2 2
1 1 1
5
4
3 3
3
2
1
c b a
c b a
c b a
c b a
c b a
N D
N D
N D
P N D
gH N D
ρ π
ρ π
μ ρ π
ρ π
ρ π
=
=
=
=
=



By expressing these π groups as dimensionless equations we can write

L L M T L
T L L M T L
T ML L M T L
T ML L M T L
T L L M T L
c c b a
c c b a
c c b a
c c b a
c c b a
5 5 5 5
4 4 4 4
3 3 3 3
2 2 2 2
1 1 1 1
3
5
1 3 3
4
1 1 3
3
3 2 3
2
2 2 3
1
− −
− − −
− − − −
− − −
− − −
=
=
=
=
=
π
π
π
π
π


Considering
1
π we can write


19
( )
( )
( )
( ) head Specific
D N
gH
a
c M
b b T
c a L
2 2
1
1
1
1 1
1 1
2
0
2 0 2
0 2 3
= ∴
− = ∴
=
− = ∴ = − −
= + −
π


Similarly we can write

( )
( )
D
k
N D
Q
N D
N D
N D
P
=
=
=
=
=
5
3 4
2
3
2 3
3 5 2
discharge Specific
No. Reynolds of form a
hence inverted is his Normally t
π
π
ρ
ρ
π
ρ
μ
π
ρ
π


Consider the specific capacity ND is a typical velocity of the impeller
8
and
2
D
Q
is a
typical velocity of the fluid hence if the specific capacities of the model and prototype
machines are equal then the ratios of all the velocities are equal therefore kinematic
similarity is achieved i.e. the velocity vector triangles is similar.

Consider the Reynolds number, clearly for complete similarity this will have to be
equal in both model and prototype. If we assume that the density and viscosity of
both the prototype and model fluids are the same or, at least similar then
( ) ( )
prototype
2
model
2
N D N D = . Since the ratio
model
prototype
D
D
may be quite large and the square
of this ratio even larger the speed of rotation of the model has to be very much larger
than that of the prototype, in practice this is usually very hard to achieve; this is called
scale effect. Fortunately the variation of efficiency and other non-dimensional
parameters with the Reynolds number is not great therefore the requirement that the
Reynolds numbers be equal is not usually necessary i.e. scale effect can usually be
neglected. For practical purposes dynamic similarity is satisfied when
ρ
3 5 2 2 3
and ,
N D
P
D N
gH
ND
Q
are equal in both model and prototype.
D
k
can safely be
ignored because great efforts are made to make the surface of the impeller as smooth
as possible.

8
This can readily be seen by recalling that
60
N D
u
π
=

20


6.4 Unit speed, quantity and power

A pump which is designed to operate under one set of conditions may be required to
operate under a set of different conditions, for example when the speed of rotation of
the power supply is changed or when it is being moved from one pipeline to another.
The methodology for doing this is to scale the values for N,P and Q to the values for
unit head (H = 1 metre). This is a similar process to the simple unitary method taught
in primary schools to work out the cost of, for example, apples although in this case it
is not linear.

First consider the specific capacity

N
QN
Q
D N
Q
ND
Q
u
u
u
u
= ∴
=
3 3

where Q
u
is the flow when the head generated is 1 metre and N
u
is the corresponding
speed of rotation, D is the same since it is the same machine. Similarly for specific
head
quantity) unit (
and
speed) (unit
definition by 1 but
2 2 2 2
H
Q
Q
H
N
N
H
D N
gH
D N
gH
u
u
u
u
u
=
= ∴
=
=


Finally consider power
2
3
3
3
5 3 5 3
H
P
P
H N
N
P
N
N
P P
D N
P
D N
P
u
u
u
u
u
= ∴






=






= ∴
=
ρ ρ


Since
o o
QH g P η η η ρ = =
u
clear that is it then , in other words these unitary
transformations ensure that the machine continues to run at its maximum overall
efficiency
o
η .


21
In summary we can now say that once an H – Q curve has been obtained for a small
machine then the results can not only be scaled to any machine within the
homologous series but also, for a particular machine, scaled to a different set of
operating conditions.


6.5 Specific Speed

For a pump the important design variables are N, H and Q, it would be very useful if
all three could be combined into one dimensionless variable which uniquely described
the type of pump necessary to satisfy the design condition for a particular application
without any regard to the specific size of the pump. In order to see the relevance of
this consider a specific pump and recall that it is a member of a homologous series
which are likely to vary in size from quite small ones to very large ones. They will be
all of the same type, either centrifugal, mixed or axial flow, however the particular
values of H and Q at maximum efficiency may be very different. In other words it is
not possible to look at the actual physical values of H and Q and know whether we
need a centrifugal, mixed or axial flow machine. The concept of specific speed
allows this problem to be overcome.

We need a dimensionless number which includes N, H and Q but does not include the
size (measured by D). This is easily achieved by combining the specific head and the
specific discharge; recall that all the π groups are dimensionless therefore we can
multiply them together in any way we wish and still retain the dimensionless property.
Thus we can write
( )
2
3
2
2
3
2 2
3
gH
QN
D N
gH
ND
Q
=







which removes the size of the machine, D. This number is quite large therefore it is
usual to take the square root

( )
4
3
gH
Q N


This is called Addison’s shape number for pumps and when plotted on a graph against
efficiency allows a designer to know which type of pump to use for specific situation.
Unfortunately engineers usually use the number without the g which gives it
dimensions, in this form it is known as the specific speed. This has the serious
disadvantage of requiring the user to be careful which units are used to calculate it; N
is almost invariably in RPM, H is usually in meters or feet but Q can be in a wide
variety of units, for example m
3
/s, m
3
/hour, ℓ/s, gallons/minute (gpm), cubic feet/s
(ft
3
/s). Just to create even more confusion the gallons may be either Imperial or US.


7. Cavitation

7.1 Vapour Cavitation

22

Vapour cavitation is the process that takes place when the pressure in a liquid falls
below the vapour pressure at that temperature with the result that the liquid boils.
This causes small bubbles of vapour to form which are carried along in the flow.
When the flow enters a zone of higher pressure the bubbles suddenly collapse as the
vapour turns back to liquid. The surrounding liquid rushes in from all sides and
collides in the middle of the cavity giving rise to very high local pressures. If the
bubbles are in contact or near a solid surface then intense pitting of the surface can
result which will ultimately lead to failure from fatigue. The sequence of formation
and collapse of the bubbles may take place at a very high frequency. Cavitation
causes vibration and noise (imagine the sound of gravel flowing through the pump),
the flow becomes very disturbed and the efficiency falls rapidly.

Look at the axial flow impeller (the one painted a silver colour) in Lecture Theatre A,
the surface is pitted by cavitation, some text books contain photographs of ships
propellers which are severely damaged by cavitation.

7.2 Air Cavitation

Air cavitation is similar to vapour cavitation although not usually as severe, it is
simply air coming out of solution when the pressure drops, it has a similar effect of
the efficiency of the machine.

I.M. Goodwill,
March, 2006.