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Facts at your Fingertips: Pump Sizing Parameters

By Scott Jenkins |

A solid grasp of pump sizing allows engineers to make effective economic and practical decisions about process pumps. This one-page reference provides information about two key parameters and other considerations for pump sizing. Pump sizing steps Sizing a pump requires engineers to estimate the temperature, density, viscosity and vapor pressure of the fluid being pumped. Pump sizing can be accomplished in six general steps: Find the total dynamic head (TDH), which is a function of the four key parameters of a pumping system, shown in Figure 1. Correct for the viscosity of the fluid, since pump charts and data are given for water with a viscosity of 1 cP. Viscosity of other process fluids can differ dramatically. Calculate the net positive suction head (NPSH) to select a pump that will not undergo cavitation. Check the value of suction-specific speed to see if a commercial pump is readily available. Check for potentially suitable pumps using a composite performance curve and an individual pump performance curve. Compare the energy consumption and lifecycle cost of operating the selected pumps. Total dynamic head A key parameter in characterizing a pump is the total dynamic head (TDH), which is the difference between the…
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