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Pumping Efficiency The Perfect Game — Increase Pumping Efficiency by Minimizing Friction Losses

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Dimensioning pumping-systems is a difficult task: Very much like in sports, where a team’s performance relies on the combination of each player’s individual talents, the efficiency of pumping systems relies on several factors: piping, fittings and, of course, the right pump have to be considered when creating the perfect game.

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Pipework in a factory. Efficient piping systems combine state-of-the-art pumping technology with a simple unobstructed flowpath of the medium, which can range from water to more viscous fluids or even semi-solids like concrete. (Picture: Wilden)
Pipework in a factory. Efficient piping systems combine state-of-the-art pumping technology with a simple unobstructed flowpath of the medium, which can range from water to more viscous fluids or even semi-solids like concrete. (Picture: Wilden)

Imagine a major-league pitcher standing on the mound. He looks in for the signal, starts his windup, rears back and propels the baseball toward home plate. The pitch’s maximum velocity is reached at the moment the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. From that point, studies have shown that the velocity decreases by one mile-per-hour for every seven feet travelled. So, if a pitch leaves the pitcher’s hand at 100 mph, by the time it covers the 60 feet, 6 inches to home plate it will be travelling around 92 mph.

Conversely, if the mound were only 30 feet from home plate, a 100-mph pitch would be moving at 96 mph upon arrival at the plate, making the pitch much more efficient and harder to hit.

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Increasing Pumping Efficiency

The pitched ball slows down because of the air resistance, or drag. Many variables contribute to the drag, among them air density, gravity, temperature, wind velocity and direction, and barometric pressure.

Now imagine a piping system through which a medium is driven by a mechanical pump. Much like the thrown ball, the pumping systems that operate with the optimal efficiency are those designed to have the media — which can range from water to more viscous fluids or even semi-solids like concrete — travel the shortest, most unobstructed path possible.

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