Friday, October 24, 2008

Working Mechanism of a Centrifugal Pump

Working Mechanism of a Centrifugal Pump

A centrifugal pump is one of the simplest pieces of equipment in any process plant. Its purpose is to convert energy of a prime mover (a electric motor or turbine) first into velocity or kinetic energy and then into pressure energy of a fluid that is being pumped. The energy changes occur by virtue of two main parts of the pump, the impeller and the volute or diffuser. The impeller is the rotating part that converts driver energy into the kinetic energy. The volute or diffuser is the stationary part that converts the kinetic energy into pressure energy.

Note: All of the forms of energy involved in a liquid flow system are expressed in terms of feet of liquid i.e. head.

Generation of Centrifugal Force

The process liquid enters the suction nozzle and then into eye (center) of a revolving device known as an impeller. When the impeller rotates, it spins the liquid sitting in the cavities between the vanes outward and provides centrifugal acceleration. As liquid leaves the eye of the impeller a low-pressure area is created causing more liquid to flow toward the inlet. Because the impeller blades are curved, the fluid is pushed in a tangential and radial direction by the centrifugal force. This force acting inside the pump is the same one that keeps water inside a bucket that is rotating at the end of a string.

Conversion of Kinetic Energy to Pressure Energy

The key idea is that the energy created by the centrifugal force is kinetic energy . The amount of energy given to the liquid is proportional to the velocity at the edge or vane tip of the impeller. The faster the impeller revolves or the bigger the impeller is, then the higher will be the velocity of the liquid at the vane tip and the greater the energy imparted to the liquid.This kinetic energy of a liquid coming out of an impeller is harnessed by creating a resistance to the flow. The first resistance is created by the pump volute (casing) that catches the liquid and slows it down. In the discharge nozzle, the liquid further decelerates and its velocity is converted to pressure according to Bernoulli’s principle.

No comments: