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Centrifugal pimp performance characteristic.


Pumps fall into two main categories: positive displacement pumps and rotodynamic pumps. In
a positive displacement pump, a fixed volume of fluid is forced from one chamber into another.
One of the oldest and most familiar designs is the reciprocating engine, utilising a piston
moving inside a cylinder. Steam pumps, the 'nodding donkey', stirrup pumps and hydraulic
rams are all of this type. Animal hearts are also positive displacement pumps, which use volume
reduction of one chamber to force flow into another chamber. The FM50 pump is, by contrast,
a rotodynamic machine. Rotodynamic (or simply dynamic) pumps impart momentum to a
fluid, which then causes the fluid to move into the delivery chamber or outlet. Turbines and
centrifugal pumps all fall into this category as below:

Figure 1: Categories of centrifugal pump

The apparatus consists of a tank and pipework which delivers water to and from a small
centrifugal pump. The unit is fitted with electronic sensors which measure the process
variables. Signals from these sensors are sent to a computer via an interface device, and the
unit is supplied with data logging software as standard. Pump speed and outlet pressure may
be varied to allow the collection of performance data over a range of parameters. The inlet
(suction) head pressure may be adjusted to investigate the onset of cavitation. An alternative
impeller is also supplied so that the effect of impeller design may be studied.


The objectives of this experiment are to obtain performances characteristics for a variable speed
centrifugal pump operating at three different impeller speeds. Performance characteristics of
pumps are included pressure (head) pump, power requirement, flow rate influence and pump
speed influence.


Whereas turbines convert fluid energy into mechanical energy, pumps convert mechanical
energy into fluid energy, increasing the energy possessed by the fluid. There are two main
pump types: positive displacement pumps—pistons, plungers, diaphragms, vanes, screws,
lobes, which have a fixed flow rate per stroke or revolution; and turbo-hydraulic or kinetic
pumps—centrifugal pumps, which convert fluid kinetic energy into static pressure energy.

Method of Operation:
In 1730, Demour demonstrated that when rotating a T formation pipe with bottom end
submerged in a liquid and primed—loaded with the liquid, the centrifugal force lifts the liquid
and discharges it through the arms when the centrifugal force is greater than the gravitational
force. Today, the design of a centrifugal pump has the water entering the low-pressure centre
of the impeller. The vanes then lead the water to the higher-pressure region to the casing. The
casing is designed with a gradually expanding spiral shape so that minimum loss occurs in the
transformation of kinetic energy to pressure energy. The pump receives the water at a low
velocity on the interior edge of the set of moving impeller vanes and discharges it from the
outer edge with kinetic energy sufficient to raise it to a desired height; and through the gradually
expanding spiral passage transforms the kinetic energy into pressure energy.
The "Performance Characteristics" of a pump at a fixed speed are represented by the following
graphical relationships:

Total Head (HP) versus Discharge (Q)

Power Input (P) versus Discharge (Q)

Efficiency ( %) versus Discharge (Q)

This lab examines the head/flow rate and efficiency/flow rate relationships. Pump
characteristics or performance curves are created when the head delivered by a pump (or
pumps) is plotted against the flow rate. These curves represent the behavior of a given size
pump (or pumps) operating at a given speed and are important tools in pump selection.
Generally, the higher the flow rate, the lower the head that the pump can contribute.
Additionally, pumps are used to lift water up or to increase the energy so that the water can
travel farther. This lab determines the head/flow characteristics of centrifugal pumps operating
at a single speed: a single centrifugal pump, two similar centrifugal pumps operating in parallel
and in series.

Recall the total head is the difference between the total energy head at the outlet and the total
energy head at the inlet (neglecting the small differences in velocity heads). As shown be the
following equation:

 p 2 V22   p1 V12 
   
 g  2 g  z 2    g  2 g  z1   H P  H L
   

Equation 1: Equation of head difference

where subscripts 1 and 2 refer to inlet and outlet sections. H p is the pressure head produced

by the pump and H L is the energy loss due to friction and pipe fitting. By conservation of
mass, V1 = V2 if the pipe diameters are equal at the inlet and outlet sections.

The incoming pressure is read on the compound gauge at the pump inlet. After the water flows
through the pump, it travels up 0.8 meters (assuming the pump is placed on the floor) to the
manifold gauge. The pressure at the manifold is read on the manifold gauge. However, the
pressure head at the manifold is 0.8 meters less than the pressure head at the exit of the pump.
Therefore, the total head is determined by adding the manifold pressure head to the datum
correction and subtracting the inlet pressure head. This should be approximately the same as
subtracting the inlet pressure head from the outlet pressure head (verify that this is the case for
the single pump).

Total Head: HP = (pressure head increased by the pump)

Total Head Outlet: HP = (pressure head at pump outlet - pressure head at pump inlet)

= (outlet pressure/) – (inlet pressure/)

Total Head Manifold: HP = ({manifold pressure head + datum correction} - inlet pressure

= [{(manifold pressure/+ datum correction} - (inlet pressure/)]

Single pump: Qout Qin =Qout

Qin hpump = hwater
Pumps in Parallel:
When two or more similar pumps are connected in parallel, the head across each pump is the
same and the total flow rate is shared equally between the pumps, QP/n, where n is the number
of pumps in parallel. For identical pumps in parallel, the pressures at the two inlets and outlets
are identical and the maximum head the two pumps can deliver is no greater than for a single
pump. Theoretically, the flow rate is doubled, although in practice, this will not occur, due to
losses in the piping systems. Total head (using outlet, not manifold) is determined the in the
same manner as for the single pump.

The theoretical curve for the parallel pump configuration is obtained from the single pump data
by multiplying the flow rate by two.

For theoretical parallel pump curve, plot: Hp (single pump) vs. 2*Q (single pump)

Parallel Pumps: n= 2 pumps

QT hpumpA = hpumpB =hwater

QB QA + QB = QTotal

Since the head loss across the parallel pumps is equal, the pump curve derived for each should
be the same.

For the experimental parallel pump curves, plot: Hp (pump i) vs. Q where i = 1 or 2

Pumps in Series:

When two or more similar pumps are connected in series, the same flow rate passes through
each pump and under goes a head boost of total head divided by number of pumps, HP/n.
Therefore, the series configuration of two identical pipes provides a pump characteristic of
twice the head as for a single pump. For series pumps, the total head can be computed as

Total Head: HP = (pressure head at pump 2 outlet - pressure head at pump 1 inlet)

= [(outlet 2 pressure/) – (inlet 1 pressure/)]

For the experimental series pump curve, plot: Hp vs. Q

The theoretical curve for the series pump configuration is obtained from the single pump data
by multiplying the head by two. This doubled head is plotted with the measured flow rate.

To get the theoretical series pump curve, plot: 2*HP (single pump) vs. Q (single pump)

Series pumps:

n = 2 pumps

Qout Qin = Qout = Qtotal

Qin A B hpumpA + hpumpB =hwater

Pump Efficiency

For a pump, the efficiency is defined as

 = Po/Pi

where Po = power out from the pump = power imparted to the fluid

= *Q*Hp = [N/m3] *[m3/s] *[m] = [N-m/s] = [J/s] = [W]

Pi = power input to the pump shaft = power output from the motor = [W]

Output power is determined experimentally. Input power should be given in the

manufacturer’s specifications for the pump. For the pumps used in this lab, P i = 0.37 kW =
370 W.

An important objective when selecting a pump for an engineering system is maximizing the
efficiency for the desired flow conditions.
1. Munson’s Fluids Mechanics, 8th edition (2017). John Wiley & Sons Singapore Pte. Ltd.
2. http://www.academia.edu/11396847/centrifugal_pump_performance.
3. http://www.engr.mun.ca/~hinch/6961/LABS/PUMP.
4. https://www.tecquipment.com/centrifugal-fan-module
5. http://www.taiwan921.lib.ntu.edu.tw/mypdf/fluid12