The Basics of Reciprocating vs. Centrifugal Pumps

engineering column PD pumps Understanding the differences between these types of pumps can mean avoiding difficulties and reliability problems.

The demand for the duties that fall within the performance range of reciprocating pumps is rising. Process flows are falling while the pressures required are increasing.

Engineers are generally familiar with operating principles, performance curves and selection criteria for centrifugal pumps, but the training and knowledge around the operating principles of reciprocating pumps is not as common.

Unlike centrifugal pumps, reciprocating pumps have a stronger interaction with the system within which they sit. This is due to the pressure pulsations they generate.

If we think about any linear reciprocating motion of a piston, at some point the velocity of the piston is zero as it changes direction at the top and bottom of its stroke. This means that the pressure pulsations are much larger in a reciprocating machine than in a centrifugal machine.

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Asset Monitoring Improves Reliability & Visibility

Hydro remote condition monitoring A major pipeline transmission company found itself reconsidering the effectiveness of its maintenance strategy. The company faced a challenge: optimizing asset visibility and implementing remote condition monitoring of equipment health while avoiding a high-cost investment and installation disruptions.

This particular pipeline transfers a variety of products, ranging from gasoline to jet fuel, serving customers via pump stations and storage tanks across the United States. For this customer, it is imperative to ensure that pumping assets are efficient, reliable and safely maintained consistently. The pipeline supports the needs of more than 50 cities, thus making the pumping assets critical to the availability and overall operation.

Technology plays a vital role in day-to-day operations in supporting end user activities, ensuring strict safety regulations, optimizing maintenance and providing data on equipment health. In this case, the pipeline company wanted to significantly improve and innovate upon its current maintenance approach in two ways: by monitoring asset visibility in real-time and trending data for their critical pumping equipment.

Read the full article at pumpsandsystems.com.

Engineering is at the Heart of Hydro Inc.’s Aftermarket Services

Hydro Inc. has a strong engineering capability and an expansive global reach in the pump industry, especially in aftermarket services. Pump Engineer had the pleasure of speaking with George Harris, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Hydro Inc., where he discussed the company’s recent research initiatives, reliability support for customers, customized designs and the significance of upgrades and health audits.

Written by: Deirdre Morgan
Publisher: Pump Engineer / December 2016

“We were very fortunate that early in the company’s development we had the good fortune to work closely with Dr. Elemer Makay, a foremost consultant to the power generation industry and a specialist in troubleshooting multi-stage, high energy pumps”, states Harris. “Engineering combined with meticulous observation and analysis in the field were key to his troubleshooting process. As a result of his training over a twenty year period, engineering became the focus and strength of Hydro Inc.’s aftermarket services”.

According to Hydraulic Institute statistics, 85% of the critical pumps in industries, such as power, refineries and pipelines, are custom designed for the specific application intended. In order to properly rebuild, upgrade or troubleshoot these installations requires a solid aftermarket engineering capability and experience. Not only must the engineer understand pump fundamentals, but also the application and system in which the pump is being used, as well as the changes that may have occurred in plant operating conditions since the pump was originally installed.

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Advanced Engineering Boosts Reliability in Boiler Feed Pump

This approach incorporated reverse engineering, design verification and casting simulation to address equipment failure.

Written by: Dr. Gary Dyson and Jesse Stinson (Hydro, Inc.)
Publisher: Pumps & Systems / December 2015

 

Pump technology requires the extensive use of castings to form the complex shapes needed to guide process fluids through the machine. The shape of these passages is crucial to the machine’s performance.

Pump designers spend extensive time designing and optimizing the shapes of these passages to optimize the machine’s efficiency. Unfortunately, casting processes cannot always represent the pump engineer’s true design intent, and the manufacturing processes have a direct impact on the machine’s reliability and design integrity. Designers take these processes into account when proposing their designs, but sometimes the deficiencies of the casting process become apparent after a major equipment failure.

One example involved determining the root cause behind the first-stage failure of a Worthington 12-WCND-166 six-stage boiler feed pump. The pump exhibited high vibration and performance degradation, and it was taken out of service. The inspection determined that a crack had resulted from a welded core plug. Continue reading