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Centrifugal Pumps
Pump Characteristic Curves
Characteristic curves are used to show the performance of

a pump at a constant speed.

Centrifugal Pumps
Pump Characteristic Curves
Pump characteristic curves

show the following

Pump head (H) decreases

as discharge (Q) increases.

Pump efficiency (e)

increases with discharge

to a maximum and then
decreases afterward.
The discharge where

efficiency is maximum is
called rated discharge (or
normal discharge).

System Head Curve

System head curve is the relationship between the required head (H) and discharge

(Q) of the pipeline system.

System head including the following heads:
Static suction head: The vertical distance from the water level in the source tank
to the centerline of the pump.
Static discharge head: The vertical distance from the centerline of the pump to
the water level in the discharge tank.
Total static head (Z): Sum of static suction and static discharge heads, which
equals the difference between water levels of the discharge and source tanks.
Head loss (hL): Sum of friction loss and the minor loss.

Pipeline System Head Curve

Total dynamic head (H) is the sum of the total static head

and the head loss including friction and minor losses.

Total dynamic head increases from the total static head with
increasing discharge.

System Head Curve

Single Pump and Pipeline System

The suitability of a pump for a pipeline system may be
evaluated as follows:
Plot the pump characteristic curves.
Superimpose the system head curve.
The intersection of the above two curve is the

operating point, where the head provided by the pump

satisfies the head required by the pipeline system.
Check the efficiency of the pump at this operating
point. If too low, another pump should be considered.
Repeat the process until a desirable efficiency is

Pump Characteristic Curves and System Head Curve

A pump having the characteristic curves given in the following table
is to be used in the pipeline system shown in the following figure.
Determine (a) the operating head and discharge, (b) efficiency of the
pump and hence it suitability, and input power (brake horsepower)
for the pump. f =0.02.



Centrifugal Pumps
The energy associated with pump operation may be expressed as

follows :
Water horsepower (WHP) = the power needed by water to

satisfy both Q and H

WHP = QH/550

Brake horsepower (BHP) = the power that must be supplied to

the pump shaft by the motor to deliver WHP


= pump efficiency

Input horsepower (IHP) to the motor:

IHP = WHP / /m

m = motor efficiency

Centrifugal Pumps
Pump efficiency varies with Q:

The required motor horsepower for a pump of a

given speed can be determined from the
characteristic curves through the following steps:
Determine the water horsepower for the specified

discharge and head.

Determine the pump efficiency based on the

discharge from the -Q curve.

Obtain motor efficiency m from the manufacturer.

Calculate input horsepower to motor.