Certified Pump Testing

Testing Services for Vertical, Horizontal, and Submersible Pumps

Key Features Include: 

  • Certified Hydraulic Institute (HI) test lab in compliance with HI testing standards, e.g. 14.6 and 40.6  
  • API 610 testing standards on applicable pumps, including variable speed testing 
  • Capable of testing horizontal, vertical, and submersible pumps 
  • Flow capacities up to 42,000 gpm 
  • Horsepower capacity of 5000 HP 
  • Multiple Variable Frequency Drives, including Siemens 5000 HP 2300-4160 V drive 
  • State-of-the-art data collection systems for hydraulic performance, vibration, temperature, power, etc.

In our continuing commitment to the pump industry, Hydro has designed and built a state-of-the-art Test Lab dedicated to the needs and requirements of the pump aftermarket. The Test Lab, strategically located at Hydro’s Service Center in Chicago, services pump users throughout North America.

Designed for the
Pump Aftermarket

The Test Lab is designed in compliance with Hydraulic Institute Standards and API 610. It’s capable of testing horizontal, vertical, and submersible pumps up to 5,000 HP. With pump testing at Hydro, Inc.’s Test Lab, customers can improve reliability, reduce unforeseen costs, and prevent pump failures.

   

Ensuring Performance Validating Reliability

Testing can be applied to new pumps, refurbished pumps, or re-engineered pumps with the focus being on reliability, assurance of meeting the required operating conditions, and measuring the actual changes in performance if a change was made.

   

Energy Savings

The rising cost of electrical power has caused many industrial plants to shift their focus to energy efficiency. Plants often run pumping equipment continuously, and much research has pointed to opportunities for cost savings by optimizing pumping equipment.

When evaluating the potential for energy savings, end users cannot consider a pump in isolation. The suitability of the pump for the system within which it operates is vital. Even the best designed and most efficient equipment offers power-saving potential if it is run off its best efficiency point (BEP) in a system for which it is ill-applied.

   

Setting New Standards

The Hydraulic Institute (HI) is a non-profit organization established to enhance the effective, efficient and economic use of pumps through the development of industry pump standards and educational tools for effective application, testing, installation, operation, maintenance, and performance optimization of pumps and pumping systems.

For more information on the Hydraulic Institute's Test Lab Approval Program (PTLAP), visit their website at pumps.org.

   

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find answers to some commonly asked questions here in our FAQ section, and if you have more questions, or just want to learn more about how it all works, give us a call. In our world, there is nothing more important than the health of your pumps. We’re partners - not suppliers. We look forward to speaking with you.


What kinds of pumps can Hydro test?
Hydro is capable of testing horizontal, vertical, submersible, and some reciprocating pumps. We can test pumps up to 5,000 HP and achieve a maximum flow of 42,000 gpm. All testing is completed in accordance with HI 14.6 / 40.6 and/or API 610 (or other relevant standards such as ASME and ISO).
What is the purpose of pump testing?
The purpose of a pump performance test is to ensure that the actual performance of a pump achieves the desired operating condition and/or original design condition (i.e. differential head at a given flow capacity).

The test can be applied to a new pump, refurbished pump, or re-engineered pump with the focus being on reliability, assurance of meeting the required operating conditions, and measuring the actual changes in performance if a change was made.

For example, in an energy optimization project, a pump may be designed to achieve a higher efficiency to save on the operating cost of the unit. A performance test can be completed to validate the engineering and design. If a test is not completed, the end user may be going into operation with only the design engineering and reputation of the vendor to count on.
What does it mean to be a Hydraulic Institute (HI) Approved Test Lab? When did Hydro receive this accreditation?
This accreditation recognizes Hydro’s ability to perform pump testing to the 40.6 Pump Efficiency Testing Standards that aim to address the new United States Department of Energy (DOE) testing standards for pumps. Hydro was the first pump test facility to receive this recognition and was awarded the accreditation in September of 2015. Check out this article for more information on the achievement.
What is the end result of a Certified Performance Test?
The end result of a Certified Performance Test is a certified performance curve showing the differential head versus flow capacity, input power versus flow capacity, and efficiency versus flow capacity curves over the total range of flow capacity for a given pump. This curve is generally presented at the nominal operating speed of the pump; however, this curve can also include additional impeller trim performance curves or additional operating speed curves for the same pump.
What is required to receive a proposal for testing services?
In order to provide a proposal for testing services, Hydro will need a general arrangement drawing of the pump(s) to be tested, a proposal curve / expected performance / OEM curve (if available) for reference, and a scope of supply (what tests are required).
How does Hydro perform Net Positive Suction Head Testing?
Hydro has a vacuum pump connected to the above ground suppression tank used for horizontal pump testing. The vacuum pump can be used to lower the Net Positive Suction Head Available (NPSHA) until the pump reaches cavitation (3% head loss) at a given flow rate. Hydro can also perform NPSH testing on vertical pumps in most cases.
Do you perform Vibration Analysis?
Hydro has a 16-channel vibration analyzer capable of measuring vibration amplitude, frequency, waveform, and phase for 16 channels simultaneously. In addition to condition monitoring of tested machinery, further analysis can help in addressing existing machine issues, resonant frequencies, critical speeds, and machine improvement possibilities.
Can you perform variable speed testing?
Yes, we have several Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) of different horsepower ratings that allow us to control the speed of the motor. This allows for additional performance curves at varying speeds to be tested instead of calculated using the Affinity Laws, critical speed testing, and the simulation of additional off-design conditions.
Can you perform a Critical Speed test? What is that exactly and how is it tested?
Yes, Hydro utilizes state-of-the-art vibration analysis techniques to identify critical speeds present below the maximum operating speed of the pump. In the field, a pump can be driven by a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD), which acts to regulate the pump’s speed to reduce power consumption and wear on the pumping system during times of lower pumping demand.

If a critical speed was present below the maximum pump speed, the pump would be subject to damaging resonant vibrations as it passes through or operates within 10% of the critical speed. By identifying the critical speed in a controlled test environment, the customer can avoid operating the pump at or near the critical speed thereby ensuring safe pumping conditions.
Can you run an endurance test?
Yes. The above ground tank and vertical pit can be connected to cooling tower or refrigeration systems that allow for extended endurance tests.
What is LabVIEW?
LabVIEW (short for Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Engineering Workbench) is a platform and development environment for a visual programming language. LabVIEW is commonly used for data acquisition, instrument control, and industrial automation. LabVIEW will record performance parameters like pressure, flow, power, and so on, and record all the test data used to create the performance curves of the pump.

Hydro has a custom-built pump test program based on the flexible platform provided by LabVIEW. It is a state-of-the-art test program.
Does Hydro account for measurement uncertainty?
Hydro measures uncertainty at every test point recorded. Without this analysis we would be unable to truly quantify the accuracy of the test results. In addition to random measurement fluctuations, known instrument calibration, uncertainty is also included in the final calculation.
How do you measure flow capacity?
Flow is measured using calibrated magnetic flow meters. The specific flow meters for a given test are selected to optimize accuracy and reduce uncertainty in the test results. Depending on the expected flow velocity, the specific magnetic flow meter(s) will be selected automatically through the data acquisition system. The highest flow rate we can measure is 42,000 gpm.
What type of instrumentation do you use to measure pressure?
Pressure is measured by using calibrated pressure transducers. The specific transducers used for testing are sized for the expected pressure range of the pump and mounted to the suction and discharge piping per Hydraulic Institute 14.6-2011.
How do you measure pump input power?
Whenever possible, a calibrated torque meter or strain gage is used to measure input power to the pump. For full train, close-coupled, and/or submersible tests that do not allow space for either a torque meter or strain gage, a calibrated watt meter is used to determine input power. In addition, voltage, current, power factor, and related temperatures are measured when required.
How many motors do you have?
Hydro has many calibrated test motors of various sizes intended to cover various pump designs in the aftermarket. The largest motors are 2-pole and 4-pole 5000 HP motors. Our largest vertical motor is a 4-pole 2000 HP motor.
How do you adjust inlet/outlet piping to accommodate various pump sizes and configurations?
Horizontal pumps are set up on a 20’x30’ baseplate with movable pump and motor supports. Piping is then installed to the pump and existing manifold connections, which range from 4” to 30.” This allows for a quick and accurate installation. The large size of the baseplate allows for multiple pumps to be installed simultaneously, reducing time between tests and optimizing the piping configuration.

Similarly, vertical and submersible pumps are installed and connected to existing piping configurations in order minimize setup time and ensure an accurate test.
What are the largest size pumps you can test?
The largest horizontal pump we can test is a 24” discharge and 30” suction. In some specific instances, larger sizes can be accommodated with some planning and hydraulic performance characteristics, but our practical size limit is a 24x30 horizontal pump.

The largest vertical/submersible pump we can test is 35 ft in length, 60” in diameter, and with flow characteristics that can be simulated in our flow loop – considering adjustments using affinity laws as needed.
What are inlet and outlet sizes for the tank and will there be vortex in the tank?
The discharge inlet is 24” and the suction outlet is 30”. The tank is designed with special plates inside to suppress vortex formation.
How big is your above ground tank?
The above ground tank is 48 ft. long with a 12 ft. diameter and has the capacity to hold approximately 38,000 gallons of water. The tank can be pressurized up to 100 psi to match a field suction condition. The tank pressure can be depressurized with a vacuum pump.
How big is your vertical pit?
Our pit is approximately 48 ft. long with varying depths. The deepest section is approximately 35 ft. deep with a 10 ft. diameter section for the lowest 20 ft.

Connect with the Experts

Ares Panagoulias | Director of Condition Monitoring and Test Lab

Ares is responsible for engineering, sales, marketing for Condition Monitoring and Test Lab services and products primarily to support the Nuclear (safety and non-safety related), Power Utility, Pipeline, and Oil & Gas industries.

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Thomas Papadakos | Test Lab Manager

Thomas is responsible for managing the daily operations, test program development, test layout design, and pump test results analysis for the Hydro Pump Performance Test Lab.

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