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Pumps, fans, blowers, and compressors are all devices that move fluids across an adverse pressure difference,

i.e., from a
region of lower pressure to a region of higher pressure. The fluid may require the higher pressure to overcome frictional
losses in subsequent piping, to participate in a high-pressure operation such as a chemical reactor, or to serve as the
drive medium in a hydraulic or pneumatic system. Or the objective may lie on the inlet side of the device where it is
desired to maintain vacuum in some region, in which case the pressure on the outlet side may simply be atmospheric. In
any of these cases there may or may not be a change in net velocity.
The two broad categories of fluid to be moved are liquids and gases. Liquids are moved by pumps; gases are moved by
fans, blowers, and compressors. The main differences between the moving of liquids and the moving of gases are that
gases undergo significant changes in volume and temperature if the rise in pressure is appreciable. Along with liquids
and gases, there are more complex fluid media, such as liquidgas mixtures, liquids that partially vaporize, gases that
condense, slurries that consist of a liquid containing solid particles, and gasparticulate mixtures, all of which may
require special handling or special equipment.
Fluid movers fall into two general types: kinetically driven and positive displacement. Kinetically driven devices impart
internal velocity to the fluid, and then convert this momentum to pressure at the exit. Positive-displacement devices trap
incremental volumes of lower pressure fluid and transport it forcibly into the region of higher pressure.
Pumping systems account for nearly 20% of the worlds electrical energy demand and range from 25-50% of the energy
usage in certain industrial plant operations. Pumps have two main purposes:
Transfer of liquid from one place to another place (e.g. water from an underground aquifer into a water storage tank)
Circulate liquid around a system (e.g. cooling water or lubricants through machines and equipment)

Suction Lift and Cavitation

A common concern with most pumps is the possibility of vaporization in the pump inlet. Not only does the appearance of
a gaseous phase reduce the capacity of the pump but the possible subsequent collapse of bubbles as pressure recovers
(cavitation) may severely erode surfaces in the device. Because this consideration is common to almost all pumps.
This pressure has the specific designation of net positive suction headavailable or NPSHa and is defined as the
difference between the pressure at the pump inlet and the vapor pressure of the liquid at the temperature at the pump inlet.
If the suction pressure is only slightly greater than the vapour pressure, some liquid may flash to vapour inside the pump,
a process called cavitation, which greatly reduces the pump capacity and causes severe erosion. If the suction pressure is
actually less than the vapour pressure, there will be vapourisation in the suction line, and no liquid can be drawn into the
pump. To avoid cavitation, the pressure at the pump inlet must exceed the vapour pressure by a certain value, called the
net positive suction head (NPSH).The value of NPSH increases with pump capacity, impeller speed and discharge
pressure. For a pump taking suction from a reservoir, like that shown in Fig.8.5, the available NPSH is calculated as,

For the special situation where the liquid is practically non-volatile (pv=0), the friction negligible (hfs=0), and the pressure
at station a' atmospheric, the maximum possible suction lift can be obtained by subtracting the required NPSH from the
barometric head. For cold water, this maximum suction lift is about 34 ft (10.4 m)

Cavitation is a phenomenon that adversely affects the performance of a centrifugal pump and it must be avoided during
normal operation. The onset of cavitation in a pump, at any given speed and flow rate, is brought about by a particular
combination of temperature and pressure at the pump suction flange. The absolute total head is called the Net Positive
Suction Head or NPSH. The letter P tells us that NPSH, by definition, can never be a negative number. Centrifugal pumps
must be filled with liquid for start-up as they cannot evacuate the air from the suction pipe, the process known as priming.
Vapour Pressure is the pressure acting on a body of liquid in slurry pumping mostly water at which the liquid boils at
a particular temperature. By varying the pressure, we can make the liquid boil at virtually any temperature: the lower the
pressure, the lower the boiling temperature. This explains why at altitudes, high above sea level, water boils at below
1000C and food takes longer to cook.
At atmospheric pressure and on the point of boiling, tiny spheres of water convert to vapour bubbles thereby expanding
their original volumes 1600 times. If the vapour bubbles then move to a zone of higher pressure, they immediately
implode, with considerable force, back to their original liquid volumes. In an open vessel, all these implosions simply
dissipate quietly through the boiling liquid surface into the surrounding ambient. In a closed vessel on the other hand, the
implosions generate loud, localised pressure shocks, which cause intermolecular cracks on internal metallic surfaces,
gradually dislodging small solid particles and finishing up with sponge-like cavities. This is cavitation damage and the
process causing it is cavitation. This type of damage does not usually occur on rubber surfaces because there are no intercrystalline boundaries and rubbers simply absorb the shocks.
Water passing through a centrifugal pump is similarly subjected to low and high pressure zones. The lowest pressure
exists at the eye of the impeller. If this pressure falls below the vapour pressure, local boiling takes place, generating
masses of tiny vapour bubbles within the liquid just past the leading edges of the pumping vanes. These bubbles implode
and can cause damage as soon as they are swept downstream to zones of higher pressures only to be replaced
immediately with new ones.
The continuous procession of new vapour bubbles produces what appears to be a stationary cloud of vapour at the
impeller eye, throttling the flow of water. The end effect is a drop in flow rate Q and of total head H and a reduction in
pump performance, which is as much as any surface damage the reason why a pump should operate under conditions
sufficiently free from cavitation.

NPSHa and is defined as the difference between the pressure at the pump inlet and the vapor pressure of the liquid at the
temperature at the pump inlet, both pressures expressed as head (meters) of liquid. In the example the available NPSH
(m) is equal to

The risk of cavitation in systems can be reduced or prevented by:

Lowering the pump compared to the water level - open systems.
Increasing the system pressure - closed systems.
Shortening the suction line to reduce the friction loss.
Increasing the suction lines cross-section area to reduce the fluid velocity and thereby reduce friction.
Avoiding pressure drops coming from bends and other obstacles in the suction line.
Lowering fluid temperature to reduce vapour pressure

A pump is any device that transfers a liquid from a region of lower pressure into one of higher pressure. This movement
may or may not be accompanied by a change of velocity but that effect is incidental. Generally it is possible to ignore
changes of density except for great changes in pressure or for liquids containing a gaseous phase. In pumps, the density
of the fluid is both constant and large. Pressure differences are usually considerable, and heavy construction is needed.
Some considerations in choosing a pump are
Pressure rise to be effected
Liquid flow rate
Range of flow rates
Required accuracy of flow rate
Liquid viscosity
Suction-side pressure
The positive-displacement family of pumps is so named because there is a direct connection between pump action and
liquid motion, with no reliance on an uncertain conversion between kinetic energy and pressure. Kinetic energy plays, at
most, a subsidiary role in the action of these devices. Some of them are primarily used for moving highly viscous liquids,
where it would be difficult to generate kinetic energy in the first place. Some are used for developing high pressure,
which would require extensive staging in a kinetically driven device. Some are used to achieve high accuracy of liquid
delivery rate with no need for a flow meter to monitor the rate.
To transport a liquid through pipes energy has to be fed to the liquid. The energy is needed to overcome the dynamic
friction losses in the pipe. Also energy is needed to compensate differences in level between the beginning and the end of
a pipe (lift energy). Basically a pump is a piece of equipment to feed energy to a liquid flow. Pumps, fans, blowers and
compressors comprise the largest group of energy-absorbing turbomachines with which the mechanical engineer might
work. Two types of pumps can be distinguished:
Pumps capable of lifting water from one free surface to another: open pumps or Archimedean screws (fig. 3.1).
Pumps capable of feeding energy to water in combination with a closed pipe: centrifugal or impeller pumps.

Archimedean screw
The Archimedean screw is used in situation that large quantities of water have to be pumped from one free surface level
to another with a level difference of a few meters. A typical use of Archimedean screws is drainage of polder areas to
pump out large volumes of storm water (fig. 3.6). The screw can also be used if water is polluted with debris as wood,
plants and other floating objects. The capacity of the screw is dependant of the head H (difference between fluid
surfaces), the slope of the screw with the horizontal, the diameter of the screw D and the diameter of the casing d, the
number of blades and the pitch S and the rotating speed of the screw n.

Positive displacement pumps are distinguished by the way they operate: liquid is taken from one end and positively
discharged at the other end for every revolution. Positive displacement pumps are widely used for pumping fluids other
than water, mostly viscous fluids.
Positive displacement pumps are further classified based upon the mode of displacement:
Reciprocating pump if the displacement is by reciprocation of a piston plunger.
Reciprocating pumps are used only for pumping viscous liquids and oil wells.
Rotary pumps if the displacement is by rotary action of a gear, cam or vanes in a chamber of diaphragm in a fixed
casing. Rotary pumps are further classified such as internal gear, external gear, lobe and slide vane etc. These pumps
are used for special services with particular conditions existing in industrial sites.
In all positive displacement type pumps, a fixed quantity of liquid is pumped after each revolution. So if the delivery pipe
is blocked, the pressure rises to a very high value, which can damage the pump.

A centrifugal pump is one of the simplest pieces of equipment in any process plant.
Liquid is forced into an impeller either by atmospheric pressure, or in case of a jet pump by artificial pressure.
The vanes of impeller pass kinetic energy to the liquid, thereby causing the liquid to rotate. The liquid leaves the
at high velocity.
The impeller is surrounded by a volute casing or in case of a turbine pump a stationary diffuser ring. The volute or
stationary diffuser ring converts the kinetic energy into pressure energy.
Components of a centrifugal pump
The main components of a centrifugal pump are described below:
Rotating components: an impeller coupled to a shaft
Stationary components: casing, casing cover, and bearings.

A positive displacement pump works following the principle of figure 3.7. Several types of displacement pumps are
available all working following the principle that a fixed amount of fluid is encapsulated and pushed to the pressure side
of the pump. Another example is shown in figure 3.8. Displacement pumps are mostly used for difficult fluids like very
high viscous fluids or for applications a high pressure is needed. More or less constant volume flow is produced with a
range of pressures

Impellor pumps
Impellor pumps are by far the most used pumps. Most important
reason is the broad application possibilities in combination with
relative low maintenance and high efficiency. The impellor pump has
an axle in a bearing with one or more (multi stage pump) impellors
with a number of blades. The principle is that the rotation of the
impellors accelerates the fluid and flings the water in the house,
which is connected to the pipes. Figure 3.10 gives a principle drawing
of an impellor pump. The axle can be motored with all kinds of
engines varying from conventional combustion engine to solar power
driven motors.

Working principle impellor pumps

The rotation of the axle accelerates the fluid adding kinetic energy to the fluid. Within
the house or diffuser of the pump this kinetic energy is partly transformed to static
pressure, increasing the head of the fluid. At the suction side of the impellor the fluid
accelerates as well and pressure at that point will be lowered, following the laws of
Bernoulli. Energy is conserved and at the suction side of the pump the pressure of the
fluid will be partly transformed to kinetic energy. This requirement is expressed in the
Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) of a pump. At high volume flows, the NPSH will
increase, because the kinetic energy at the suction side will be higher due to the higher
fluid velocity.
When the pressure in a liquid drops below the vapor pressure, a portion of the fluid will
evaporate. Excess velocities due to the flow around the blade leading edge cause a local
pressure drop, which may lead to such partial evaporation. This phenomenon is called
cavitation. Extensive cavitation can impair the performance or even interrupt the flow.
Therefore the approach flow conditions at the suction nozzle are an important criterion
for the layout and selection of a pump.
Principle of the centrifugal pump
An increase in the fluid pressure from the pump inlet to its outlet is created when the
pump is in operation. This pressure difference drives the fluid through the system or
plant. The centrifugal pump creates an increase in pressure by transferring mechanical
energy from the motor to the fluid through the rotating impeller. The fluid flows from
the inlet to the impeller centre and out along its blades. The centrifugal force hereby
increases the fluid velocity and consequently also the kinetic energy is transformed to
pressure. Figure 1.1 shows an example of the fluid path through the centrifugal pump.
In general, comments related to pumps will also apply to fans, blowers and compressors.

Centrifugal pumps consist of one or more impellers, attached to a rotating shaft and
surrounded by a casing . Fluid enters through a suction pipe into the eye of the
impeller and is thrown outward through the action of centrifugal force. A volute,
sometimes augmented by diffuser vanes collects the discharged fluid converting part of
the velocity head into pressure head. The impeller is fitted with guide vanes or blades
that convert the energy of rotation into velocity and pressure head and guide the flow.
Centrifugal pumps operate at relatively high speeds and are usually direct connected to
the prime mover. They are compact, have no internal rubbing parts, possess high
reliability, and can move fluids containing solids. They can handle high volumes and
relatively high pressures with impellers in series on a single shaft or with pumps
connected in series. One disadvantage of the centrifugal pump is that it is not selfpriming; the casing must be filled before pump action can begin.
An important consideration in the design of centrifugal pumps is to ensure that the
pressure throughout the flow field remains above the vapor pressure of the liquid. If
this condition is not met, the liquid will vaporize and form bubbles that subsequently
collapse releasing enormous energy and causing pitting, erosion, noise and a reduction
in efficiency.
Running in series or parallel
Centrifugal pumps operate within ranges of head and velocity. Operating
outside of these ranges may require using a specialty pump. Other options for
handling high-head or high-flow applications include using pumps in series or
parallel. When running in series, the heads are added, and the total capacity is
equal to that of the pump with the smallest capacity. In parallel, the capacities
of the pumps are added, and the head of all pumps will be equal at the point
where the discharged liquids recombine. Parallel pumps are used for a variety
of reasons, including cost (two smaller pumps may cost less than a larger one),
an increase in the size of an existing plant, or to compensate for a process with
varying capacity. Note that pumps operated in parallel must have similar head
characteristics to avoid potential operating problems.

Characteristic curves: Head-Capacity relation

The plots of actual head, total power consumption and
efficiency versus volumetric flow rate are called the
Characteristic curves of a pump. The theoretical head-flow
rate (often called head- capacity) relation is a straight line;
the actual developed head is considerably less and drops to
zero as the rate increases to a certain value in any given
pump. This is known as the zero-head flow rate; it is the
maximum flow the pump can deliver under any conditions.
The rated or optimum operating flow rate is, of course, less
than this.
The difference between the theoretical and actual curves
results primarily from circulatory flow. Other contributing
factors to the head loss are fluid friction in the passages and
channels of the pump and shock losses from the sudden
change in direction of the liquid leaving the impellor and
joining the stream of liquid travelling circumferentially
around the casing. Friction is highest at the maximum flow
rate; shock losses are a minimum at the rated operating
conditions of the pump and become greater as the flow rate
is increased or decreased from the rated value.

Power Curves
Typical curves of fluid power Pf and total power PB versus flow rate are shown in Figure b. The difference between ideal
and actual performance represents the power lost in the pump; it results from fluid friction and shock losses, both of
which are conversion of mechanical energy into heat, and by leakage, disk friction and bearing losses. Leakage is
unavoidable reverse flow from the impeller discharge past the wearing ring to the suction eye; this reduces the volume of
the actual discharge from the pump per unit of power expended. Disk friction is the friction between the outer surface of
the impeller and the liquid in the space between the impeller and the inside of the casing. Bearing losses constitute the
power required to overcome mechanical friction in the bearing and stuffing boxes or seals of the pump.
The pump efficiency is the ratio of fluid power to the total power input. The curve in Fig.c shows that the efficiency rises
rapidly with flow rate at low rates, reaches a maximum in the region of the rated capacity, the falls as the flow rate
approaches the zero-head value.

Gear pumps
Gear pumps are primarily used for high-viscosity liquids. Two or
more gears trap liquid in the space between the gear teeth and the
casing wall and convey it from inlet to outlet. The simplest gear-type
pump uses a pair of mating gears rotating in an oval chamber to
produce flow. As the gears rotate, the changing size of the chambers
created by the meshing and un-meshing of the teeth provides the
pumping action. Another design uses an external rotating ring with
internal gear teeth that mesh with an internal gear as it rotates. As the
inner gear rotates, the tooth engagement creates chambers of
diminishing size between the inlet and outlet positions to create flow.
All gear-type pumps have a fixed displacement. These pumps are
relatively inexpensive compared to piston and vane-type pumps with
similar displacements, but tend to wear out more quickly and are not
generally economically repairable. Gear pumps are widely used in the
polymer industries, where viscosities of thousands of pascal-seconds
are encountered and where pressures of tens of megapascals are
required to force these liquids through pipes and vessels. The concept
of the gear pump is illustrated in Fig.16.

Screw Pumps
Screw pumps are related to the gear pump in that they
act by pushing liquid along the inner surface of the
casing, in this case the screw barrel. The most common
embodiment is a single screw in a single barrel but
other models make use of two (or more) screws in
parallel intersecting barrels, where the screws may corotate or counter-rotate. Screw pumps with a single
screw and those with co-rotating twin screws are not
true positive-displacement pumps because liquid is able
to flow back along the screw channels.
Screw pumps can still pump against significant
pressures in spite of the backflow tendency. As
viscosity increases the backflow tendency decreases,
which is why single-screw and co-rotating twin-screw
pumps are widely used for viscous liquids. The two
types of screw pump are illustrated in Figs. 17 and 18.
Figure 19 shows a counter-rotating twin-screw pump.
In this diagram the screws are fully Inter-meshing and
as such make the pump truly a positive displacement
one. There is no reverse flow along the screw channels;
rather, the screws form discrete pockets of liquid,
which are carried down the barrel to the high-pressure
exit. The only backflow is through clearances between
screws and between screws and wall. Counter-rotating
screws can also be made less than fully inter-meshing,
in which case there is backflow in the channels.

Peristaltic Pumps
Peristalsis is the mechanism by which muscular
contractions move materials through various passages
in the body. The peristaltic pump mimics this process
by trapping and moving liquids through a flexible
tube. The advantage is that there is no contact between
pump mechanism and the liquid. This type of pump is
restricted to low-pressure applications.
Figure 21 shows the principle.

Comparison of Devices for moving fluids

Positive displacement machines, in general, handle smaller quantities of fluids at higher discharge pressures than
centrifugal machines do. Positive displacement pumps are not subject to air-binding and are usually self-priming. In both
positive displacement pumps and blower the discharge rate is nearly independent of the discharge pressure, so that these
machines are extensively used for controlling and metering flow. Reciprocating devices require considerable maintenance
but can produce the highest pressures. They deliver a pulsating stream. Rotary pumps work best on fairly viscous
lubricating fluids, discharging a steady stream at moderate to high pressures. They cannot be used with slurries. The
discharge line of a positive displacement pump cannot be closed without stalling or breaking the pump, so that a bypass
line with a pressure-relief valve is required.
Centrifugal machines, both pumps and blowers, deliver fluid at a uniform pressure without shocks or pulsations. They run
at higher speeds than positive displacement machines and are connected to the motor drive directly instead of through a
gear-box. The discharge line can be completely closed without damage. Centrifugal pumps can handle a wide variety of
corrosive liquids and slurries. Centrifugal blowers and compressors are much smaller for a given capacity than
reciprocating compressors and require less maintenance.
For producing vacuum, reciprocating machines are effective for absolute pressures down to 10 mm Hg. Rotary vacuum
pumps can lower the absolute pressure to 0.01 mmHg and over a wide range of low pressures are cheaper to operate than
multi-stage steam-jet ejectors.