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MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

Experiment No. 8
PUMP PERFORMANCE - DOUBLE PUMPS

Objectives
To study and differentiate the performance of two identical pumps that operates in series
and parallel.
Apparatus
Pump Test Rig, FM 07A (Figure 5).

Summary of Theory
Pumps are used in almost all aspects of industry and engineering from feeds to reactors and
distillation columns in chemical engineering to pumping storm water in civil and
environmental. They are an integral part of engineering and an understanding of how they
work is important.
Pumps are devices that transfer mechanical energy from a prime mover into fluid energy
to produce the flow of liquids. There are two broad classifications of pumps: positive
displacement and dynamic.
Dynamic Pumps
Dynamic pumps add energy to the fluid by the action of rotating blade, which increases the
velocity of the fluid. Figure 1 shows the construction features of a centrifugal pump, the
most commonly used type of dynamic pumps.

Figure 1: Construction features of a centrifugal pump.

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

Pump Head versus Flowrate Curves for Centrifugal Pumps


Figure 2 shows pump head versus flowrate curves for a centrifugal pump. The solid curve
is for water, whereas the dashed curve is for a more viscous fluid such as oil. Most
published performance curves for centrifugal pumps are for pumping water. Notice from
Figure 2 that using a fluid having a higher viscosity than water results in a smaller flowrate
at a given pump head. If the fluid has a viscosity greater than 300 times that of water, the
performance of a centrifugal pump deteriorates enough that a positive displacement pump
is usually recommended.

Figure 2: Pump head versus flowrate curves of centrifugal pump for water and for a more
viscous liquid.
The maximum head produced by a centrifugal pump is called pump shutoff head because
an external system valve is closed and there is no flow. Notice from Figure 2 that as the
external system resistance decrease (which occurs when a system valve is opened more),
the flowrate increases at the expense of reduced pump head. Because the output flowrate
changes significantly with external system resistance, centrifugal pumps are rarely used in
fluid power systems. Zero pump head exists if the pump discharge port were opened to the
atmosphere, such as when filling nearby open tank with water. The open tank represents
essentially zero resistance to flow for the pump.
Figure 2 shows why centrifugal pumps are desirable for pumping stations used for delivery
water to homes and factories. The demand for water may go to near zero during the evening
and reach a peak during the daytime, but a centrifugal pump can readily handle these large
changes in water demand. Since there is a great deal of clearance between the impeller and
housing, centrifugal pumps are not self priming, unlike positive displacement pumps. Thus
if a liquid being pumped from a reservoir located below a centrifugal pump, priming is
required. Priming is the prefilling of the pump housing and inlet pipe with the liquid so that
the pump can initially draw the liquid. Priming is required because there is too much
clearance between the pump inlet and outlet ports to seal against atmospheric pressure.

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

Thus the displacement of a centrifugal pump is not positive where the same volume of
liquid would be delivered per revolution of the driveshaft.
The lack of positive internal seal against leakage means that the centrifugal pump is not
forced to produce flow when there is a very large system resistance to flow. As system
resistance decreases, less fluid at the discharge port slips back into the clearance spaces
between the impeller and housing, resulting in an increase in flow. Slippage occurs because
the fluid follows the path of least resistance.

Centrifugal Pump Connected in Series


If a single pump does not provide enough head for a given application, two pumps
connected in series, as shown in Figure 3, can be a remedy. The effective two-pump
performance curve is obtained by adding the head of each pump at the same flowrate. The
operating point shifts from A to B, thereby providing not only increased head as required
but also greater flow. Figure 3 shows the characteristics of two identical pumps, but the
pumps do not have to be the same.

Figure 3: Two centrifugal pumps connected in series.


Centrifugal Pump Connected in Parallel
On the other hand, if a single pump does not provide enough flowrate for a given
application, connecting two pumps in parallel, as shown in Figure 4, can rectify the
problem. The effective two-pump performance curve is obtained by adding the flowrates
of each pump at the same head. As shown, when two pumps are connected in parallel, the
operating points shift from A to B, providing not only increased flowrate as required but
also greater head. Figure 4 shows the characteristics of two identical pumps, but the pumps
do not have to be the same.

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

Figure 4: Two centrifugal pumps connected in parallel.

Procedures
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Make sure the circulation tank is filled with water.


Switch on the main power supply.
Turn on the main switch on the control panel.
Open V5 slightly (turn approximately 720 or 2 rounds).
Check the following valve position (series setting):

Fully open valve


Fully close valve

V1 and V3
V2 and V4

6. Make sure the speed controller is at minimum before the pump is on. Turn the pump
speed controller clockwise to increase pump speed or anti-clockwise to decrease
the pump speed.
7. Turn on the pumps (Pump 1 and 2).
8. Increase the speed of the pump slowly until approximately 1800 RPM.
9. Adjust the flowrate (adjust V5) to give a value of approximately 75 LPM (do not
worry if the value of the speed change).
10. Record the reading of flowrate, pump speed, power, and pressure (PT1 and PT3) in
Table 1.
11. Increase the flowrate by approximately 5 LPM and record the required readings in
Table 1. Continue until the reading of flowrate is 105 LPM.
12. Adjust the speed to 2100 RPM.
13. Record the reading of pump speed, flowrate, power, and pressure (PT1 and PT3) in
Table 2.
14. Decrease the speed by approximately 100 RPM and record the required readings in
Table 2. Continue until the reading of speed is 1500 RPM.
15. Turn off the pump.

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

16. Change the following valve position (parallel setting):

Fully open valve


Fully close valve

V1, V2 and V4
V3

17. Make sure the speed controller is at minimum before the pump is on. Turn the pump
speed controller clockwise to increase pump speed or anti-clockwise to decrease
the pump speed.
18. Turn on the pumps (Pump 1 and 2).
19. Increase the speed of the pump slowly until approximately 1700 RPM.
20. Adjust the flowrate (adjust V5) to give a value of approximately 95 LPM (do not
worry if the value of the speed change).
21. Record the reading of flowrate, pump speed, power, and pressure (PT1 and PT3) in
Table 3.
22. Increase the flowrate by approximately 10 LPM and record the required readings
in Table 3. Continue until the reading of flowrate is 155 LPM.
23. Adjust the speed to 2100 RPM.
24. Record the reading of pump speed, flowrate, power, and pressure (PT1 and PT3) in
Table 4.
25. Decrease the speed by approximately 100 RPM and record the required readings in
Table 4. Continue until the reading of speed is 1500 RPM.
26. Turn off the pump.
27. Make sure valve V5 is in fully close position.
28. Turn off the main switch on the control panel.
29. Switch off the main power supply.

Data, Observation and Results

Complete your results tables (Table 1 to 4)


Plot these graphs for both conditions (series and parallel) in the same graph:
o Graph of pump head vs flowrate (Graph 1).
o Graph of efficiency vs flowrate (Graph 2).
o Graph of flowrate vs pump speed (Graph 3).
o Graph of pump head vs pump speed (Graph 4).

Analysis and Discussion

Explain the advantages and disadvantages using two pumps in series and parallel
setting.
Comment and compare on your results (also graphs) for variable flowrate case (series
and parallel operation).
Comment and compare on your results (also graphs) for variable pump speed case
(series and parallel operation).
List the possible sources of errors and safety precaution.

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

Result Sheet:
Table 1: Pumps in series operation with variable flowrate.
Flowrate
Power
PT3Speed
PT1 PT3
Q
(pump)
PT1
[RPM]
[bar] [bar]
[LPM]
[Watt]
[bar]

Pump
Flowrate Power
head
Efficiency
Q
(fluid)
H
[%]
[m3/s]
[Watt]
[m]

Table 2: Pumps in series operation with variable pump speeds.


Speed
(RPM)

Flowrate
Q
(LPM)

Power
(pump)
[Watt]

PT1
[bar]

PT3
[bar]

PT3 - PT1
[bar]

Pump head
H
[m]

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

2014

Table 3: Pumps in parallel operation with variable flowrate.


Flowrate
Power
PT3Speed
PT1 PT3
Q
(pump)
PT1
[RPM]
[bar] [bar]
[LPM]
[Watt]
[bar]

Pump
Flowrate Power
head
Efficiency
Q
(fluid)
H
[%]
[m3/s]
[Watt]
[m]

Table 4: Pumps in parallel operation with variable pump speeds.


Speed
(RPM)

Flowrate
Q
(LPM)

Power
(pump)
[Watt]

PT1
[bar]

PT3
[bar]

PT3 - PT1
[bar]

Pump head
H
[m]

MEHB221

Fluids Mechanics Lab

Overall Efficiency
Power (fluid)

100%

Gravitational

= 9.81 / 2

Acceleration
Volumetric flow rate

( )
m3
( ) =
s
60000
(m) =

Pump Head

2014

2 1

Pressure unit [P1,P2] is Pascal


Unit conversion : 1 bar = 100000 Pascal
= 1000 /3

Water Density

Figure 5: Pump Test Rig (Model FM 07A)


1. Pump, P1

4.

Speed Sensor

2. Pump, P2

5.

Pressure Gauge

3. Water Tank

6.

Pressure Transmitter