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Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Presenter: Michael Stroh Application & Project Engineer, Sulzer Pumps


June 4th, 2015
OWEA-S: Understanding Pump Curves

The Heart of Your Process

Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

The Static Head is the total vertical


distance that the liquid must be
pumped.
The Static Head is measured from
the starting water level surface to
the discharge water level surface.

Head

The Static Head is normally


expressed in Feet in the
wastewater industry, meaning feet
of water column.

Static Head

Flow
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 2

Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

The Dynamic Head is determined by


analyzing the losses in the entire
piping system at various flow rates.

Head

System Curve

Dynamic Head

The losses are based on the


configuration of the piping system.
All pipe and fittings through which
the water flows must be taken into
account.
The Dynamic Head of a system is
computed for multiple flow rates,
and plotted along with the Static
Head to produce a System Head
Curve or simply System Curve.

Static Head

Flow
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 3

Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

The Design Flow is determined by


the pumping requirements of the
station.

Head

System Curve

The Design Head is determined


from the System Curve. The
intersection point of the Design
Flow and the System Curve
provides the Design Head.
The whole purpose of the System
Curve its to provide the Total Head
for a particular system, at any flow
rate.

Design
Head
Dynamic Head

Static Head

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 4

Design
Flow

Flow

Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

The Pump Curve is then plotted on


the same graph as the System
Curve.

Head

System Curve

The intersection point of the Pump


Curve and the System Curve
defines the Flow and Head at which
the pump will operate in this
particular system.
The pump will always runs at this
intersection point. It is physically
impossible for the pump to operate
at any other point.

Design
Head
Dynamic Head

Pump Curve

Static Head

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 5

Design
Flow

Flow

Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Most pump stations actually have a


System Curve that continuously
changes during the pumping cycle.

System Curves
Head

This change results from changing


static head while the pump is
emptying the wet well.
The full range of possible System
Curves are normally represented by
two curves, one at each extreme of
the possible static head.

Low WW Level Static Head


High WW Level Static Head

Flow
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 6

Understanding Pump Curves

System Curves
Head

Sulzer Pumps

When the Pump Curve is added to


the graph, the range of possible
operating points during a pumping
cycle can be seen.
The pump will operate the higher
flow, lower head point at the
beginning of the pumping cycle.

The pump will operate at the higher


head, lower flow point at the end of
the pumping cycle.

Low WW Level Static Head


High WW Level Static Head

Flow
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 7

Understanding Pump Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Most commonly however a single


system curve is provided, and we
select the pump with the
understanding that it may run a little
left or right of the given intersection
point.

Head

Design
Head

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 8

Design
Flow

Flow

An Actual Pump Performance Curve (XFP 301M)

Sulzer Pumps

H / ft

H / psi

150

64

145
140
135
130

60

PE
1 04

125
120
115
110

56

0 /6

52
48

105
100

44

95
90
85

40
36

81.6%

80
75
70

32

65
60
55
50
45

28
24
20

40
35

Head

P / hp
125
120
115
110
105
100
95
90
85
80

Shaf t pow er P2

75
/%
70
60
50
40
30
20
10

Hydraulic ef f iciency

0
0

400

800

1200

1600

2000

2400

2800

3200

3600

4000

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 9

4400

4800

5200

5600

6000

6400

6800

7200

7600

Q / US g.p.m.

16

An actual pump
curve for a 12
pump with a
450mm diameter
impeller,
showing Q-H,
P2, and
Hydraulic
Efficiency.

An Actual Pump Performance Curve (XFP 301M)

Sulzer Pumps

H / ft

H / psi

150

64

145
140
135
130

60

PE
1 04

125
120
115

56

0 /6

52
48

110
105
100

44

95
90
85
80

40
36

80.1%

75
70
65
60

32

A1

28
24

55
50
45

20

40
35
30

16
Head

P / hp
125
120
115
110
105
100
95
90
85
80

Shaf t pow er P2

75
/%
70
60
50
40
30
20
10

Hydraulic ef f iciency

0
0

400

800

1200

1600

2000

2400

2800

3200

3600

4000

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 10

4400

4800

5200

5600

6000

6400

6800

7200

7600

Q / US g.p.m.

A duty point of
4500 gpm at 80
feet (40 feet
static head) has
been added.

An Actual Pump Performance Curve (XFP 301M)

Sulzer Pumps

H / ft

H / psi

150

64

145
140
135
130

60

PE
1 04

125
120
115

56

0 /6

52
48

110
105
100

44

95
90
85
80

40
83.74 ft

80.1%

75
70
65
60

36
32

A1

28
24

55
50
45

20

40
35
30

16
Head

P / hp
125

124.9 hp

120
115
110
105
100
95
90
85
80

Shaf t pow er P2

75
/%

79.62 %

70
60
50
40
30
20
10

4712 US g.p.m.

0
0

400

800

1200

1600

2000

2400

2800

3200

3600

4000

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 11

4400

4800

Hydraulic ef f iciency
5200

5600

6000

6400

6800

7200

7600

Q / US g.p.m.

Because the
impeller is
oversized for
the duty point,
the actual flow
and head will be
4712 gpm at
83.7 feet the
intersection
point between
the pump curve
and system
curve.

An Actual Pump Performance Curve (XFP 301M)

Sulzer Pumps

H / ft

H / psi

145
140

60

135
130

56

125
120

PE
1 04

115

52

0 /6

110

48

105
100

44

95
90

40

85
80

80.01 ft

75
70
65

79.3%

A1

36
32
28

60
55

24

50
45

20

40
35

16

30

Head

P / hp
115.3 hp

115
110
105
100
95
90
85
80
75

Shaf t pow er P2

70

/%

78.65 %

70
60
50
40
30
20
10

4499 US g.p.m.

0
0

400

800

1200

1600

2000

2400

2800

3200

3600

4000

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 12

4400

4800

Hydraulic ef f iciency
5200

5600

6000

6400

6800

7200

7600

Q / US g.p.m.

12

Trimming the
impeller to 440
mm shifts the
performance
curve down so
that it intersects
the system
curve at the duty
point.

An Actual Pump Performance Curve (XFP 301M)

Sulzer Pumps

H / ft

H / psi

145
140

60

135
130

56

125
120

PE
1 04

115

52

0 /6

110

48

105
100

44

95
90

40

85
80

80.01 ft

75
70
65

79.3%

A1

36
32
28

60
55

24

50
45

20

40
35

16

30

Head

P / hp
115.3 hp

115
110
105
100
95
90
85
80
75

Shaf t pow er P2

70

/%

78.65 %

70
60
50
40
30
20
10

4499 US g.p.m.

0
0

400

800

1200

1600

2000

2400

2800

3200

3600

4000

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 13

4400

4800

Hydraulic ef f iciency
5200

5600

6000

6400

6800

7200

7600

Q / US g.p.m.

12

For most
wastewater
pumps, the flow
limits for
smooth reliable
operation is
from 50% of
BEP flow to
125% of BEP
flow.

Sulzer Pumps

Summary

The System Curve is a combination of static and dynamic head.

The static component is based on the vertical distance that the


liquid must be pumped (change in elevation)

The dynamic component is based on pipe and fitting size, quantity,


and interior roughness of the material.

It provides a means of selecting pumps by predicting the Total


Head at any flow rate.

The pump always operates at the head and flow corresponding to the
intersection of the System Curve and the Pump Curve

When selecting wastewater pumps, the rule of thumb is stay in the


range of 50%-125% of BEP flow. Going outside this range is possible,
but more detailed analysis of the application is necessary.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 14

Understanding VFD Curves

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 15

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Primary Benefits of Variable Speed Pumping

There are three primary reasons to use a VFD to control pump speeds:
Control the output of the pump for process reasons (flow or pressure)
Reduce energy consumption
Manage starting current

Secondary reasons to use a VFD can include:


Manage water hammer
Improve Power Factor
Precision control of wet well levels
Managing stations with wet wells that are too small

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 16

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Affinity Laws

The Affinity Laws predict the


performance of a centrifugal
pump at differing speeds
The change is flow is proportional to
the change in speed
The change is head is proportional
to the square of the change in speed
The change in power is proportional
to the cube of the change in speed
Q = flow
H = head pressure
P = power
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 17

Q1 n1

Q2 n2
2
1
2
2

H1 n

H2 n
3
1
3
2

P1 n

P2 n

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Affinity Laws

Since we dont know the exact speed the submersible


pump is turning at any VFD output frequency, its common
to substitute the frequency ratio for the speed ratio:

n1 F1

n2 F2
n = rotational speed
F = output frequency of the VFD
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 18

1780rpm 60 Hz

1483rpm 50 Hz

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Calculating Using the Affinity Laws

Therefore, for a pump delivering 2000gpm at 100feet, with


a BHP of 67hp, reducing the speed from 60 Hz to 50 Hz:

60 Hz 2000 gpm

50 Hz 1667 gpm

60 Hz

Q = flow
H = head pressure
P = power

100 ft

2
50 Hz
69.4 ft
60 Hz 3
67hp

3
50 Hz
38.8hp

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 19

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Calculating Using the Affinity Laws

Reducing the frequency (and rotational speed) from 60Hz


to 50 Hz, or about 16.7% results in:
A flow reduction of 16.7% to 1667 gpm
A head reduction of 30.6% to 69.4 feet
A power reduction of 42.1% to 38.8 hp

Of course the pump will not necessarily run at this new flow and
head. The actual new operating point depends on where the system
curve intersects with the reduced speed pump curve.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 20

Understanding VFD Curves


Example pump, 8 discharge, 4
pole, 115 HP, full speed curve

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 21

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Reduced speed curves are
parallel to the full speed
curve, and follow the
affinity laws
Flow reduction is directly
proportional to the speed
reduction
Head reduction is
proportional to the square
of the speed reduction

Reduced speed curves


shown in 5 Hz increments

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 22

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Lines of constant efficiency
added to the curve

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 23

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Example system curve
added
Full speed duty point is
3600gpm at 95 feet, with
a 30 foot static head
Pump performance at any
speed can be determined
by the intersection point
of the system curve and
appropriate reduced
speed pump curve

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 24

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


The same pump with a
slightly different system
curve
Full speed duty point is
still 3600gpm at 95 feet,
but now with an 85 foot
static head

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 25

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


First Rule of Thumb

First rule of thumb:


Applications where the static head is greater than 50% of the
total head are not usually good applications for VFD
variable speed pumping. This is because:
Since the system curve is very flat, the pump efficiency at the
reduced speed operating point falls off rapidly. The opportunity for
energy savings at reduced speed is minimal.
Since the system curve is very flat, there is very little useable
speed reduction range.
Pump rotational speed at reduced speed, lower flow conditions
remains very high, resulting in high energy recirculation
cavitation, which can damage the pump.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 26

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


10 pump selection with 25
ft static head, 6 pole 115hp
motor

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 27

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

10 pump selection with 25


ft static head, 6 pole 115hp
motor
Useable speed
adjustment range down to
below 30 Hz (about 800
gpm)
Efficiency increases as the
pump is slowed down, to a
max of 80.4% at 2100 gpm,
then begins to fall
Efficiency falls to 65% at
800 gpm

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 28

Hydraulic efficiency at
full speed duty point,
75%

Understanding VFD Curves


10 pump selection with 60
ft static head, 6 pole 115hp
motor

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 29

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

10 pump selection with 60


ft static head, 6 pole 115hp
motor
Useable speed
adjustment range down to
about 42 Hz (about 1100
gpm)
Efficiency increases as the
pump is slowed down, to a
max of 80.4% at 2800 gpm,
then begins to fall
Efficiency falls to 60% at
1100 gpm

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 30

Hydraulic efficiency at
full speed duty point,
75%

Understanding VFD Curves


Second Rule of Thumb

Second rule of thumb:


For variable speed applications, select pumps with the full
speed operating point to the right of BEP whenever
possible.
Selecting to the right of BEP improves efficiency at reduced
speed since the intersection point with the system curve moves
toward BEP when slowing down.
Variable speed applications often allow the use of smaller, less
expensive pumps.
Smaller pumps and selections right of BEP provide the best
opportunity for energy savings at reduced speed (where the
pumps run most of the time).
Check NPSH margin for all selections, especially when selecting
to the right of BEP!
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 31

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Establishing Minimum Speeds
The minimum speed the pump can run in a VFD application
is dependant on several factors:
Fluid velocities through the pump and the piping systems. For
normal wastewater you must maintain 2.5ft/sec in horizontal runs
and 3ft/sec in vertical runs to keep solids suspended.
Meet the pump manufacturers minimum flow requirements for
the selected pump to avoid damaging recirculation cavitation.
This can range from 20% of BEP flow to 50% of BEP flow,
depending on the impeller design and operating speed.
Maintaining high enough rotational speed to keep the motors
cooling system functioning. The min speed for proper cooling
system operation depends on the type of cooling system
provided.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 32

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Clogging issues with pumps on VFDs
Pumps running on VFDs are more prone to clogging than
constant speed pumps. This is because:
At reduced speed, fluid velocities through the impeller and in the
piping can drop significantly allowing rag material to build up
At reduced speed, material moves more slowly through the impeller
and volute and can build up, creating a clog.
In the impeller, the natural scouring action which aids in rag handling
can be greatly reduced
Material can build up in the discharge piping, and eventually back up
into the pump
In dry pit, material can build up in the suction piping, and overwhelm
the pump with solids when the speed is ramped up

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 33

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Other Important VFD setting and operational
parameters
Modern VFDs have many configuration options that must be
set during startup. Setting these parameters properly can
make the difference between a good VFD pumping
system, and a poor one.
Constant torque/variable torque: Centrifugal pumps are variable
torque machines, so this parameter should always be set to
variable torque.
Acceleration and deceleration ramp: Initial ramp setting should be
10 sec for both accel and decel. This should be tuned to field
conditions with the understanding that shorter ramp times are
usually preferable (especially with systems that have a high
percentage of static head). If water hammer is not an issue,
coast to stop is preferred over controlled deceleration.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 34

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Other Important VFD setting and operational
parameters
Slip compensation: This parameter should be turned OFF unless
the pump manufacturer specifically states that it should be on for
the particular application. Slip compensation attempts to run the
motor at full synchronous speed by increasing the max frequency
above 60 Hz. This can cause overload and overheating of the
motor.
Minimum frequency: This must be set to an appropriate
frequency to meet the minimum flow requirements of the system
as previously discussed. Failure to set the minimum frequency to
an acceptable level can cause the level controls or an
unsuspecting operator to run the pump continuously at shutoff
head; damaging the pump.
Maximum frequency: This should be set to the name plate
frequency of the motor (60Hz in N. America) to prevent over
speeding of the pump. Only set the max frequency above 60Hz if
recommended and approved by the pump manufacturer.
Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 35

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves


Other Important VFD setting and operational
parameters
Speed control settings: The control system should be set to ramp
up the pump to full speed and allow it to stabilize before dropping
it down to level control speed. This is normally accomplished
through the PLC or controller rather than through the VFD
settings. Systems that ramp up to control speed directly without a
short run at full speed are more likely to clog.
Parallel pumps on VFDs: When multiple identical pumps are run
in parallel on VFDs, all pumps must be run at the same speed. If
a VFD pump is to be run in parallel with a constant speed pump,
the VFD pump must be run at full speed. Exceptions can be
made to the above rule if a detailed analysis of the pump curves
and system curve has been performed, and it is found that the
slower running pump will be running at an acceptable point on the
curve.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 36

Sulzer Pumps

Understanding VFD Curves

Sulzer Pumps

Summary

The general rules of thumb for selecting variable speed


pumping systems are:
Applications where the static head exceeds 50% of the
duty head are not usually good applications for variable
speed pumping
Select pumps so that the primary, full speed duty point is to
the right of the pumps BEP (but watch NPSH margin)

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 37

Sulzer Pumps

Summary

Some other guidelines:


Allow about a 5-10 percent motor power reserve at full speed to account
for extra heat generated in the motor
Use motors that are acceptable for VFD service, and use appropriate
filters for long cable runs to prevent damage to the motor

Size and select VFD and Motor combinations with an emphasis on


current, not horsepower, to be sure the VFD has adequate output
capability for the application.
Carefully consider operational parameters for VFD stations to minimize
the possibility of clogging.
Apply VFDs only where there is a real benefit in efficiency or process
control. Dont fall for the argument that VFDs always improve the
efficiency and performance of pump systems, its simply not true. Some
systems can benefit, but many cannot.

Customer presentation | May 2012 Copyright Sulzer Pumps | Slide 38

Sulzer Pumps

The End

The Heart of Your Process