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Question:

What will happen if the pumpset is running at a higher speed than the rated speed?

Effect of Change on Pump


The change in speed brings about a corresponding change in the head, flow, and power
requirements of the pump according to the Affinity Laws. The relationships are as follows:
1. The flow varies proportionally with the change in speed.
2. The pumping head varies with the square of the change in the speed.
3. The power requirement varies with the cube of the change in speed.
We can use the above to predict the change in performance of a centrifugal pump with a change in
driver speed. For example, if the speed is increased 20%, the flow, pumping head and power
requirement will be running at 120%, 144%, and 173% of its designated value respectively. However,
it should be remembered that the motor should also be sized for the maximum speed at which the
pump set will operate.

Effect of Change on AC induction motor


The frequency range below the nominal frequency is called a constant flux range. At constant flux
range, the torque remains at 100% power requirement is reduced in direct proportional.
Above the nominal frequency/ speed the motor operates in the field weakening range. In the field
weakening range the motor can operate on constant power which is why the field weakening range is
sometimes also called the constant power range. After the knee point the back EMF of the motor
(which is directly proportional to the speed) increases such that the motor is no longer able to
maintain the current supply. Any increase in current would require a proportional increase in supply
voltage, which is generally fixed. Hence, after this point, as the current is reducing continuously, the
motor torque also reduces in proportion.
Motor output equation
P[kW] = T [Nm] x n [rpm] / 9550
Below nominal frequency, T is constant
Above nominal frequency, P is constant
The diagram below describes torque-speed characteristics of the motor.
Torque speed characteristics of the motor

To conclude, with speed increase beyond the rated speed, torque reduces, power remains constant.
This continues till the maximum permissible speed, operation beyond which causes damage to the
motor (electrical and mechanical).
1. Electrical damage - The back e.m.f produced in the windings is proportional to speed and at
high speeds it can be so high that the windings may flashover and burn.
2. Mechanical damage - High speed causes the rotor to experience high centrifugal forces and
the shaft can break apart causing the motor to catastrophically explode