J 1.133 for USCS units where: C2 = j0.01360 for si units

The maximum suction lift available is calculated as


The definitions are as follows: V = velocity, ft/s (m/s) Pg, hg = pressure gage readings at the pump inlet flange lb/in2 (bar) gage and in Hg (mm Hg) (vac)

Ps = absolute static pressure at pump inlet, lb/in2 (bar) abs hg, hsg = static head at pump inlet, ft (m) of liquid abs or gage Z = elevation head, ft (m) in reference to datum h = reservoir liquid level, ft (m) in reference to datum hb = barometric pressure, in Hg (mm Hg) absolute hv,hf = velocity head and friction head loss, ft (m) Pvp, hvp = liquid vapor pressure, lb/in2 (bar) abs

Psv = net positive inlet pressure, lb/in2 (bar) abs NPSH = net positive suction head, ft (m) of liquid abs

Pf = frictional pressure loss, lb/in2 (bar) MSLA = maximum suction lift available from pump, ft (m) of pumped liquid in the above equation—or in Hg (mm Hg) (vac) sp. gr. = specific gravity of pumped liquid

The majority of screw pumps operate with suction lifts of approximately 5 to 15 in Hg (127 to 381 mm Hg). Lifts corresponding to 24 to 25 in Hg (610 to 635 mm Hg) are not uncommon, and installations can operate satisfactorily when the absolute suction pressure is much lower. In the latter cases, however, the pumps usually take the fluid from tanks under a vacuum, and no entrained or dissolved air or gases are present. Great care must be taken when selecting pumps for these applications since the inlet losses can easily exceed the net suction head available for moving the fluid into the pumping elements.

The defining of suction requirements by the user and the stating of pump suction capabilities by the manufacturer have always been complex problems. In many cases, the NPSHA is difficult to predict due to changes in the fluid characteristics and the operating conditions. In addition, the NPSH required by the pump is a function of many variables, such as pump design, fluid characteristics, and operating conditions. If the operating conditions can be accurately defined, the pump manufacturers can predict the NPSHR and in many cases can provide pump modifications that can minimize the NPSHR.

To enable the pump manufacturer to offer the most economical selection and also assure a quiet installation, accurate suction conditions should be clearly stated. Specifying a lower NPSHA than actually exists may result in selection of a pump that operates at a lower speed than necessary. This means not only a larger and more expensive pump, but also a costlier driver. If the NPSHA is lower that stated, the outcome could be a noisy pump installation.

Many known instances of successful installations exist where screw pumps were properly selected for low NPSHA conditions. Unfortunately, many other installations with equally low NPSHAs exist, which are not so satisfactory. This is because proper consideration was not given at the time the pump was specified and selected to the actual suction conditions at the pump inlet. Frequently, suction conditions are given as "flooded" simply because the source feeding the pump is above the inlet. In many cases, no consideration is given to outlet losses from the tank or to pipe friction in the inlet lines, and these can be exceptionally high in the case of viscous liquids.

When it is desired to pump extremely viscous products, care should be taken to use the largest feasible size of suction piping to eliminate all unnecessary fittings and valves, and to place the pump as close as possible to the source of the supply. In addition, it may be necessary to supply the liquid to the pump under some pressure, which can be supplied by elevation, air pressure, or mechanical means. These actions will provide the maximum NPSH possible to the pump inlet.

Entrained and Dissolved Air As mentioned previously, a factor that must be given careful consideration is the possibility of entrained air or other gases in the liquid to be pumped. This is particularly true of installations where recirculation occurs and the fluid is exposed to air through either mechanical agitation, leaks, or improperly located drain lines.

Most liquids will dissolve air or other gases retaining them in the solution, the amount being dependent upon the liquid itself and the pressure to which it is subjected. It is known, for instance, that lubricating oils at atmospheric temperatures and pressures will dissolve up to 10 percent air by volume and that gasoline will dissolve up to 20 percent. When pressures below the atmosphere exist at the pump inlet, dissolved air will come out of the solution. Both this and the entrained air will expand in proportion to the existing partial pressure of the air (= absolute pressure minus the vapor pressure of the liquid). This expanded air will accordingly take up a proportionate part of the available volume of the moving cavities, with a consequent reduction in delivered flow rate.

One of the apparent effects of handling liquids containing entrained or dissolved gas is noisy pump operation. When such a condition occurs, it is usually dismissed as cavitation. Then too, many operators never expect anything but noisy operation from rotary pumps. This should not be the case, particularly with screw pumps. With properly designed systems and pumps, quiet, vibration-free operation can be produced and should be expected. Noisy operation is inefficient; steps should be taken to make corrections until the objectionable conditions are overcome. Correct system inlet designs and optimized pump designs with a proper speed selection can go a long way toward overcoming the problem.

In some applications, the amount of gas can be significant and can make up the majority of the fluid volume. See the later subsection on handling special multiphase applications.

Viscosity It is not often that a screw pump is called upon to handle liquids at a constant viscosity. Normally, because of temperature variations, a wide range of viscosities will be encountered. For example, a pump may be required to handle a viscosity range from 150 to 20,000 SSU, the higher viscosity usually resulting from cold-starting conditions. This is a perfectly satisfactory range for a screw pump, but a better and a more economical selection may be possible if additional information can be obtained. This information includes such things as the amount of time the pump is required to operate at the higher viscosity, whether the motor can be overloaded temporarily, whether a multi-speed motor can be used, and if the discharge pressure will be reduced during the period of high viscosity.

Quite often, only the type of liquid is specified, not its viscosity, and assumptions must be made for the operating range. For instance, Bunker C or No. 6 fuel oil is known to have a wide range of viscosity values and usually must be handled over a considerable temperature range. The normal procedure in a case of this type is to assume an operating viscosity range of 20 to 700 SSF. The maximum viscosity, however, might easily exceed the higher value if extra-heavy oil is used or if exceptionally low temperatures are encountered. If either should occur, the result may be improper filling of the pumping elements, noisy operation, vibration, and overloading of the motor.

Although it is the maximum viscosity and the expected NPSHA that are used to determine the size of the pump and to set the speed, it is the minimum viscosity that affects the capacity. Screw pumps must always be selected to give the specified capacity when handling the expected minimum viscosity since this is the point at which the maximum slip, and hence minimum flow rate, occurs (see Figure 17). It should also be noted that the minimum viscosity often determines the selection of the pump model because most manufacturers have special lower-pressure ratings for handling liquids having a viscosity of less than 100 SSU.

Non-Newtonian Liquids The viscosity of most liquids is unaffected by any agitation or shear to which they may be subjected as long as the temperature remains constant. These

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