PUMPS, FANS, BLOWERS AND COMPRESSORS

INTRODUCTION
Pumps, fans, blowers and compressors comprise the largest group of energy-absorbing
turbomachines with which the mechanical engineer might work. These components can be classified in a
number of ways. Principal classifications include:
• Turbomachines
(a) Centrifugal or radial flow
(b) i!ed flow
(c) "!ial flow
• Posii!e Dis"#acemen Machines
(a) #eciprocating
(b) #otary
• $e Pum"s
This paper will summari$e the principal features of each classification concentrating on the
centrifugal pump that is the dominant component for mo%ing and handling fluid.
T%E CENTRIFU&AL PUMP
'
Centrifugal pumps consist of one or more impellers (&ig. ',(,))
*
, attached to a rotating shaft (&ig.
*,(), and surrounded by a casing (&ig. *,+). &luid enters through a suction pipe (&ig. *) into the eye of the
impeller and is ,thrown- outward through the action of centrifugal force. " volute (&ig. +a), sometimes
augmented by diffuser %anes (&ig. +c), collects the discharged fluid con%erting part of the %elocity head
into pressure head. The impeller is fitted with guide %anes or blades that con%ert the energy of rotation
into %elocity and pressure head and guide the flow.
Pump impellers may be either single suction (&ig. *,.a, /) or double suction (&ig. .b, 0). They
may be either closed with side walls (&ig. ', .a, .b) or open without walls (&ig. .c).
Centrifugal pumps may be either single-stage (&ig.*, /,0) or multi-stage (&ig. (,)).
Centrifugal pumps operate at relati%ely high speeds and are usually direct connected to the prime
mo%er. They are compact, ha%e no internal rubbing parts, possess high reliability, and can mo%e fluids
containing solids. They can handle high %olumes and relati%ely high pressures with impellers in series on
a single shaft or with pumps connected in series.
1ne disad%antage of the centrifugal pump is that it is not self-priming2 the casing must be filled
before pump action can begin.
Packing glands, lantern rings, seal piping and wearing rings (&ig. *,/,0,(,)), control leakage.
#enewable wearing rings permit close tolerances. The impeller contains balancing holes (&ig. *) which
connect the space around the hub to the suction side of the impeller. These holes ha%e a total cross-
sectional area that is considerably greater than that of the annular space between the left wearing ring and
'
3n general, comments related to pumps will also apply to fans, blowers and compressors.
*
&igures are from #eference ', Naval Auxiliary Machinery.
'
the hub. This arrangement tends to e4uali$e the suction pressure on either side of the hub thus
eliminating a!ial thrust. " thrust bearing must absorb any remaining unbalanced thrust. 5ouble suction
pumps tend to be self-balancing.
"n important consideration in the design of centrifugal pumps is to ensure that the pressure
throughout the flow field remains abo%e the %apor pressure of the li4uid. 3f this condition is not met, the
li4uid will %apori$e and form bubbles that subse4uently collapse releasing enormous energy and causing
pitting, erosion, noise and a reduction in efficiency.
CENTRIFU&AL PUMP T%EOR(
AN&ULAR MOMENTUM
The conser%ation of angular momentum as applied to a system (closed system) is:





T rxF
D rxmV
Dt
SHAFT SYS
SYS
= =

( )
( )
Treating the centrifugal pump impeller as a control %olume (open system), we transform the right-hand
side using the #eynolds transport theorem:
D rxmV
Dt
rxmV
t
rxV V dA
SYS CV
CS
( ) ( )
( )





 
= + ⋅



ρ
6e simplify as follows:
'. "ssume steady state (steady-in-the-mean) hence the first term on the right side is $ero.
*. "ssume one entrance (state ') and one e!it (state *).
+. "ssume that the entrance and e!it %elocities and densities are constant across the ports.
6ith these assumptions and the obser%ation that only the tangential %elocity contributes to tor4ue, we
write:
T m r V r V
SHAFT
= −  ( )
* * ' ' θ θ
(')
This e4uation is known as the 7uler turbomachine e4uation.
6ith U r = ω and

W T
SHAFT SHAFT
= ω , we ha%e:

 ( ) W m U V U V
SHAFT
= −
* * ' ' θ θ
or, on a unit mass basis:
U V U V
SHAFT
= −
* * ' ' θ
(*)
or, in terms of head:
*
h
!
U V U V
i
= −
'
* * ' '
( )
θ θ
(+)
where hi is the ideal head rise and the sign of UV
θ
is positi%e when they are both in the same direction
(right-hand rule).

W
SHAFT
is positi%e when the tor4ue and ω are in the same direction (pumps)2
negati%e otherwise (turbines).
)ECTOR RELATIONS%IPS
The %ector relationship between the absolute (8), relati%e (6) and tangential (9) %elocities is:
) * W + U
This relationship is shown graphically in the accompanying figure together with significant pro:ections.
U " rω
β ≡ blade angle
α ; absolute %elocity angle
8
θ ; absolute tangential %elocity
8r ; absolute radial %elocity ; 6r
9
6e note the following:
V V V
r
* * *
= +
θ
and W V U V V U UV V
r r
* * * * * *
* = + − = + − + ( )
θ θ θ
which simplifies to:
UV
V U W
θ
=
+ −
* * *
*
<ubstituting in e4uation (*):

V V U U W W
SHAFT
=
− + − − − ( ) ( ) ( )
*
*
'
*
*
*
'
*
*
*
'
*
*
(.)
The first term can be %iewed as the change in kinetic energy, whereas ( ) U U
*
*
'
*
− represents the increase
in pressure due to centrifugal force and ( ) W W
*
*
'
*
− represents the change due to the diffusion effect in
the %ane passages.
=ow, if the entering fluid has no tangential %elocity ( ) V
θ *
> = , we can write: h
U V
!
i
=
* * θ
2
but cot β
θ
*
* *
*
=
− U V
V
r
and V U V
r θ
β
* * * *
= − cot 2 hence:
h
U
!
U Vr
!
i
= −
*
*
* * *
cot β
(/)
+
6 8
?
8r;6r
8@ 6tan?
A
furthermore, the flowrate, #, is: # r $ V
r
= *
* * *
π 2 where, $% is the blade height2 thus:
h
U
!
U
r $ !
#
i
= −
*
*
* *
* *
*
cot β
π
(0)
The ideal head e4uation is found to be linear. The figure below depicts this e4uation for $ac&ard curved
%anes (β% B )>
o
)2 'orard curved %anes (β* C )>
o
)2 and radial %anes (β* ; )>
o
):
6e note from the %elocity diagram that the
e!iting %elocity head is less for backward β
*
>
)> 〉
than forward cur%ed %anes. Decause of the β
*
>
)> =
inefficiency of con%ersion of %elocity head
to pressure head, backward cur%ed %anes β
*
>
)> 〈
are preferred. "n acceptable range for β* is h
U
!
i
=
*
*
'/
o
B β* B .>
o +
, the selection being made , in
part, on the desired fall-off of head with
capacity. The usual range for β* is *>
o
B β* B*/
o
.




+
See( Church, p. )(-))2 unson, p. E)02 and <tepanoff, p. +/.
.
hi
F
/
0
E
(