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Fundamental principles of centrifugal Design features of centrifugal pumps
pumps number of stages: single-stage, multi-stage
In centrifugal pumps the energy is trans- open / closed impeller
ferred hydrodynamically. This is in contrast 1 single-suction / 2 double-suction
to the hydrostatic transfer of energy in impeller
positive displacement pumps. In the hydro-
flow through the impeller
dynamic transfer of energy the fluid is
3 radial, 4 diagonal, 5 axial nq = 7 30 nq = 30 160 nq = 160 400
accelerated by the impeller of the centrifu-
gal pump. Therefore, the impeller of the
centrifugal pump has to move with high
velocity and thus a high rotational speed. Q 1/2
nq = n
The work Yi transferred to the fluid is calcu- H 3/4
lated from the velocities at the impeller. The similarity of different pumps is described by
Yi = (cc2u u2 c1u u1) the dimensionless characteristic of the specific
The velocities at the impeller inlet (1) and at the impeller speed nq .
outlet (2) can be clearly represented in velocity triangles.
The specific work Yi is independent of the
fluid properties (density, viscosity). The 1 entry of the flow, 2 outlet of the flow,
flow rate Q and the density _ of the fluid u peripheral speed, w relative speed of the fluid in the
Operating behaviour and operating points of
together give the power Pi transferred from impeller, c absolute velocity of the fluid,
centrifugal pumps
the impeller to the fluid. c1u / c2u circumferential component of the absolute
velocity, a, b angle between the velocities, Q flow rate, At the operating point the delivery pressure
_ density, n rotational speed generated by the pump is in equilibrium with the
Pi =  Q(c
c2u u2 c1u u1) resistance of the pipe network at a certain flow
rate. The operating point is where the pump
characteristic intersects the resistance charac-
Advantages of centrifugal pumps teristic of the pipe network.
simple design, few moving parts, long service life
flow rate easily adjustable via valve at the outlet of the H1...H5 pump characteristics depending on the speed,
pump or via rotational speed h1...h5 efficiency depending on the speed,
system characteristic;
high speed, direct drive via electric motor or turbine
Pk1...Pk3 coupling power depending on the speed
built-in pressure relief, no safety valve needed
Characteristic zone of centrifugal pumps
quiet running thanks to good mass balancing and lack of
oscillating masses The characteristic values of a centrifugal pump are plotted in a
characteristic zone over the flow rate Q. The main characteristic
continuous, pulsation-free delivery
is the head H or the delivery pressure p.
solids may be carried along with the flow
The lines of equal efficiency h are also entered in the character-
suitable for large powers istic zone.
Pump characteristics
high power concentration and smaller space Another important representation is the plot of the coupling power
The main components of a centrifugal pump single pump,
PK and the NPSH over the flow Q. two pumps connected in series,
1 inlet, Disadvantages of centrifugal pumps
2 impeller, two pumps connected in parallel;
not self-priming (special types such as side channel
3 spiral housing, pumps may also be self-priming) Pipe network characteristics
Important physical laws in centrifugal pumps:
4 outlet, 1 system with low resistance,
risk of cavitation with warm water or low intake the flow rate Q is linearly dependent Q = f (n)
5 impeller shaft 2 system with medium resistance,
pressures on the speed n.
3 system with large resistance
flow rate is dependent on the delivery pressure the head H is dependent on the H = f (n 2)
several stages necessary at high delivery pressures square of the speed n.
the power PK is dependent on the PK = f (n 3)
third power of the speed n.