Predicting Performance Curves of Centrifugal Pumps In the Absence of OEM Data

Technical paper by: Jayanthi Vijay Sarathy

M.E, CEng, MIChemE, Chartered Chemical Engineer, IChemE, UK

Chemical and Mechanical Engineers in the oil & gas industry often carry out the task of conducting technical studies to evaluate piping and pipeline systems during events such as pump trips and block valve failures that can lead to

  • pipes cracking at the welded joints,
  • pump impellers rotating in the reverse direction and
  • damaged pipe supports due to excessive vibrations

to name a few. Although much literature is available to mitigate such disturbances, a key set of data to conduct transient studies are pump performance curves. A pump performance curve is a plot between pump head and flow rate. In Greenfield projects, when no pump vendor data is available, a necessity arises to use performance curves to conduct pipeline/piping studies to check for parameters such as design pressure.

In Brownfield projects, when a plant undergoes revamp for new process conditions, often existing pumps are reused for different applications with or without impeller trimming. Towards this, pumps need to be re-evaluated for head available for the new process conditions. With wear and tear in pumps systems in ageing facilities that causes deviation from the manufactured OEM pump curves, it becomes difficult to accurately predict if the pump can deliver the required head for the new application.

Traditionally performance curves are provided by the pump original equipment manufacturers (OEM) based on their customized/proprietary models of pump impellers which are designed using methods such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and also field tested to provide guarantee in meeting the requirements of the customer.

The present paper is aimed at applying engineering research in industrial applications for practicing engineers. It provides a methodology called from available literature from past researchers, allowing engineers to predict performance curves for an End Suction single stage radial pump. This article is provided for guidance alone and engineering advice should be sought before application.

You can download this paper here

  Performance Curves of Centrifugal Pumps (1.3 MiB, 59 hits)

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