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Pump Performance

Predicting Your Pumps Performance

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Different conditions affect the output of the pump and it may not deliver the maximum flow rate stated.
Different conditions affect the output of the pump and it may not deliver the maximum flow rate stated. (Source: Cole-Parmer India)

Premium pump performance translates into more efficient production – Flow rate and pressure are key to pump efficiency. Read on to know more about the performance of pumps in a given environment.

When pumps are not operating to the best of their abilities, it can slow everything down. The key to pump efficiency, in most cases, are flow rate and pressure. Determining maximum flow rate with pressure constraints in a setup can be tricky.

For example, with peristaltic pumps, the maximum flow rate is dependent on several variables, including tubing formulation and size, along with the viscosity of the fluid to be pumped. The equation between flow rate and pressure is not an easy one to determine without considering the contributing variables.

However, with centrifugal pumps, the relationship between maximum flow rate and pressure is much more predictable. When the setup is a straight, open path without obstacles or turns, the maximum flow rate should be what is stated for the size of centrifugal pump purchased.

This may be, for example, 100 L/min. No pressure is generated in this setup, so the pump has an unobstructed path. Yet, in many facilities this is not possible. The pump setup may be any of the following:

  • Pump is positioned on the floor and pumping into a 20 ft tall tank. Pumping up will create pressure and slow the pump rate down
  • Pumping into a filter, which generates pressure, and slows the pump down
  • Pumping across a long horizontal distance (perhaps 50–60 feet) with loss of pressure due to friction
  • Setup with loops, which creates intermittent pressure

As each of these conditions affect the output of the pump, it may not deliver the maximum flow rate stated.

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