Very Low Specific Speed Centrifugal Pump - Hydraulic Design and Physical Limitations

[+] Author and Article Information
Grunde Olimstad

Eureka Pumps AS

Morten Osvoll

Eureka Pumps AS

Pål Henrik Enger Finstad

Eureka Pumps AS

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039250 History: Received May 07, 2017; Revised January 25, 2018


For low flow and high head applications, pump types such as progressive cavity or gear pumps are often used. However, centrifugal pumps are much more robust and wear resistant, and are beneficial if they can handle the rated head and flows. By challenging the limitations of low specific speed(Nq), centrifugal pumps can be made to handle a combination of low flow and high head which previously required other pump types. Conventional centrifugal pumps have specific speed down to 10, while in this paper a design with specific speed of 4.8 is presented. The paper describes several iterative steps in the design process of the low Nq pump. These iterations were done one physical pumps which were successively tested in a test rig. Motivation for each step is explained theoretically and followed up by discussion of the measured results. Four different geometries of the pump were tested, all of them manufactured by rapid prototyping in nylon material. A substantial question is how low the specific speed of a centrifugal pump can be. Limitations of low Nq pumps are discussed and new findings are related to volute cavitation. In addition, limitations due to, disk friction, volute losses, leakage flow and pump stability are discussed and shows to limit the design space for the pump designer.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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