Pump Design How to lay Out a Pump: Guidelines for Efficient Pump Design

Author / Editor: Lalan Singh / Dominik Stephan

Designing any equipment nowadays needs a strong software support. However, that’s not the only requirement. Here are guidelines that will help manufacturers to design better and pump in lesser time span.

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Static pressure distribution on the surface of the rotors
Static pressure distribution on the surface of the rotors
(Picture: Layne Bowler Vertical Turbine Pump Company)

Today pump manufactures are facing tremendous pressure to bring out an efficient product with minimal design time cycle. Typical pumps used in India operate at 40 per cent lesser efficiency and therefore, energy saving equipment and related innovation are highly discussed topics in recent years. As a result, energy efficient pumps and their systems are going to play a vital role to reduce electricity overhead and this provides tremendous scope to improve pump design.

Traditional methods for pump design have been limited to the initial 1D empirical based tool. These methods/tools based on many assumptions do not give a full view of the real world physics. It requires a lot of to and fro model tweaking, building and testing to arrive at the final design to sell into market. Arriving at the final 3D design from empirical tool is more of an art than science with reliability in predicting designs often missing.


This entire process not only delays pump manufacturers to bring products faster to the market but also increases the price because of repeated testing needed to meet the final product requirements.

New Methods of Pump Design Needed

Leading pump manufacturers now understand that traditional empirical based methods/tools to design and verify are not suitable and sufficient enough to bring a better product faster in the market. A recent trend among leading pump manufacturers is to use virtual physics based tools to compress the entire pump design process.

Major benefits of using virtual tools are that designers can use as many parameters to arrive at final design without spending much time and money on physical prototype testing. It is feasible to look at all the possible design points in a design space and see how each design parameter affects product efficiencies. This also helps pump designers to look and rectify design related issues like cavitations, erosion, off-design related issues, vibration, thermals, strength and various losses etc., ahead of testing.