Systemhead Curves

A pumping system may consist of piping, valves, fittings, open channels, vessels, nozzles, weirs, meters, process equipment, and other liquid-handling conduits through which flow is required for various reasons. When a particular system is being analyzed for the pur-

FIGURE 9 Energy and hydraulic gradients

pose of selecting a pump or pumps, the resistance to flow of the liquid through these various components must be calculated. It will be explained in more detail later in this section that the resistance increases with flow at a rate approximately equal to the square of the flow through the system. In addition to overcoming flow resistance, it may be necessary to add head to raise the liquid from suction level to a higher discharge level. In some systems the pressure at the discharge liquid surface may be higher than the pressure at the suction liquid surface, a condition that requires more pumping head. The latter two heads are fixed system heads, as they do not vary with rate of flow. Fixed system heads can also be negative, as would be the case if the discharge level elevation or the pressure above that level were lower than suction elevation or pressure. Fixed system heads are also called static heads.

A system-head curve is a plot of total system resistance, variable plus fixed, for various flow rates. It has many uses in centrifugal pump applications. It is preferable to express system head in feet (meters) rather than in pressure units because centrifugal pumps are rated in feet (meters), as previously explained. System-head curves usually show flow in gallons per minute, but when large quantities are involved, the units of cubic feet per second or million gallons per day are used. Although the standard SI units for volumetric flow are cubic meters per second, the units of cubic meters per hour are more common.

When the system head is required for several flows or when the pump flow is to be determined, a system-head curve is constructed using the following procedure. Define the pumping system and its length. Calculate (or measure) the fixed system head, which is the net change in total energy from the beginning to the end of the system due to elevation or pressure head differences. An increase in head in the direction of flow is a positive quantity. Next, calculate, for several flow rates, the variable system total head loss through all piping, valves fittings, and equipment in the system. As an example, see Figure 10, in which the pumping system is defined as starting at point 1 and ending at point 2. The fixed system head is the net change in total energy. The total head at point 1 is pjg, and that at point 2 is pd/g + Z. The pressure and liquid levels do not vary with flow. The variable system head is pipe friction (including valves and fittings). The fixed head and variable heads for several flow rates are added together, resulting in a curve of total system head versus flow.

The flow produced by a centrifugal pump varies with the system head, whereas the flow of a positive displacement pump is independent of the system head. By superimposing the head-capacity characteristic curve of a centrifugal pump on a system-head curve, as shown in Figure 10, the flow of a pump can be determined. The curves will intersect at the flow rate of the pump, as this is the point at which the pump head is equal to the required system z in o


Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment