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Calculate NPSH with Confidence

By Asif Raza |

Determining net positive suction head (NPSH) can be confusing, but with these guidelines, engineers can avoid the pitfalls of incorrect calculations Most engineers have likely heard the term NPSH (net positive suction head) at some point in their careers. Put simply, NPSH is the net pressure available at a pump’s suction flange, expressed either as a height or a pressure value. Why is it so important? How is it calculated? What needs to be done to increase NPSH? What best practices are associated with NPSH? This article covers all these points in detail using practical examples. After reading this article, engineers will have a basic understanding of NPSH concepts and calculations, as well as the ability to solve simple NPSH problems. Basic terminology The first step in understanding NPSH is to briefly define important basic terms that will help in clarifying the meaning of NPSH and guide engineers in its calculation. Vapor pressure. By definition, vapor pressure is the pressure exerted by the vapor that is in contact with the fluid in consideration. This is the pressure exerted by vapor in thermodynamic equilibrium with its condensed phases at a given temperature. The vapor pressure of any liquid increases non-linearly with…
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