Which water pump for the job

Submersible pumps

Water pumps are used in various situations but mostly to supply water to industrial or commercial establishments, hospitals, houses, schools amongst others. They can also be used to supply and transport various forms of liquid like chemicals depending on the capacity of that pump. The same pumps are used by people living in the rural set up to supply water from wells, water tanks, and sprinkle liquid fertilizers and also water their crops.

Water pumps are nowadays popularly classified as being either surface pumps or Submersible pumps. Submersible pumps can be a replacement for many surface pumps but the reverse is not possible. Surface pumps suffer a great deal of losses and as a result the overall efficiency of such pumps is less compared to that with the submersible pumps. The overall efficiency of submersible pumps is higher in the range of 40 to 55 %.

Submersible pumps operate in clear as well as saline waters depending upon the material used in its construction. Pumps with AISI 304 material are mostly preferred for demanding conditions where corrosion resistance is an important factor. Here one of the costliest stainless steels is required to do the job. Corrosive or flammable liquids need careful handling while being displaced. Some pumps must move very hot or abrasive materials and operate without maintenance for extended periods of time. Valve design and material is essential to longevity of these types of pumps.

For this reason, manufacturers of pumps have abandoned the traditional materials that were used to build these types of pumps and are now using pumps built from engineering composites. Structural graphite pump construction offers high strength and fully corrosion resistant operation in corrosive environments.

Furthermore, submersible water pumps are available in radial flow as well as mixed flow type impellers. Mixed flow type of water pumps are installed where the discharge required is more. Centrifugal pumps are radial flow devices. A centrifugal water pump uses a rotating impeller to move water into the pump and pressurize the discharge flow. The rotational energy typically comes from an engine or electric motor. They come in many different models and can transfer fluids with high efficiency over a wide range of flows and pressures. These pumps can be used for heating, distribution of artificial fertilizers, irrigation and drainage, transport of slightly contaminated thin liquids and for drainage and fresh water.

The demand for centrifugal water pumps is supported by their growing utilization in both industrial and non-industrial segments, with industrial segment continuing to dominate and oil & gas being the largest end user industry.

There are some popular standards like NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) which is a universally accepted standard. NEMA standard specifies the dimensions of the connection flanges for the manufacturer for their motors and pumps to be universally accepted.

Water pumps are used for various reasons but mostly to supply water to industrial or commercial establishments, hospitals, houses, schools amongst others. They can also be used to supply and transport various forms of liquid like chemicals depending on the capacity of that pump. The same pumps are used by people living in the rural set up to supply water from wells, water tanks, and sprinkle liquid fertilizers and also water their crops.

Corrosive or flammable liquids need careful handling while being displaced. Some pumps must move very hot or abrasive materials and operate without maintenance for extended periods of time. Valve design and material is essential to longevity of these types of pumps.

For this reason, manufacturers of pumps have abandoned the traditional materials that were used to build these types of pumps and are now using pumps built from engineering composites. Structural graphite pump construction offers high strength and fully corrosion resistant operation in corrosive environments. Global demand in the submersible pump is growing with increased requirement for energy and water.

The Global Life Cycle Cost of the products and solutions should be considered when sourcing for water pumps.

Global Life Cycle Cost:  Purchasing cost + Energy Cost + Maintenance cost + recycling cost. Maintenance, breakdown and electricity costs are by far the biggest costs when owning a pump. Therefore purchasing the right pump for the application is a very important decision that a client should take into consideration before getting one. Purchase cost should range from 5-8% of the total cost of ownership of a pump.

Major trend is the raise of the middle class in so many countries, so consumer needs are evolving toward more processed food, better utility availability (water & electricity), improved health care and higher use of transportation equipment. It means there are investments put into infrastructure to meet these needs, so there is room for more innovation and better quality of pumps being produced by manufacturers. They are also developing energy-efficient products which will cut down the operational costs by the end user of these pumps.

Another trend expected is the use of intelligent pump systems. These are pumps with variable speed drives intergraded with smart pumps and centralized control systems that enable remote operation in the water and waste water industry.

Massive industrialization and urbanization globally is set to increase the demand for water pumps now and in the future. According to Population Action International, by 2025 more than 2.8 billion of global population in 48 countries is expected to face water scarcity. Out of these 48 countries, about 40 are from West Asia, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Governments in such regions are thus making heavy investments in the reuse and recycling of water by the use of water pumps.

The process manufacturing market is expected to remain the largest user of pump products due to the wide range of applications and significant fluid handling requirements in many of these industries. Use of turbine pumps is also projected to increase from use in water pumping and sewage applications. The major advantage of the turbine water pump is its low revolutions per minute, or RPM, with a high and constant head. This feature enables the use of these pumps for the continuous pumping of water from deep wells.

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