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Understanding Pumps Terminology

As a process engineer, I sometimes dealing with pumps. I usually feel confuse when I read pump specification or graphs offered by vendors. Here in this post, I want to share you some knowledge about pumps terminology that you may hear before what don’t really understand the meaning.

I create mind map for several most-often-used pump terminology that come to my mind. I’m sorry if the arrangement is a bit messy :D.

pump-terminology Read More

Reciprocating Pump P&ID Configuration

Reciprocating pump is a class of positive displacement pump which includes piston pump, plunger pump, and diaphragm pump. It is often used where a relatively small quantity of liquid to be handled and where delivery pressure is quite large. Priming is not required because it is positive displacement pump. Reciprocating pumps have lower efficiency compared to centrifugal pump.

API 674 – Positive Displacement Pump – Reciprocating covers minimum requirements for reciprocating positive displacement pumps for refinery application. The standard also covers piping and instrumentation required for the pump. Read More

Hydraulic Pump Calculation

Yesterday I just finished doing hydraulic pump calculation for one of a project in my company. The purpose of the calculation was to determine suction pressure, discharge pressure, and pump differential head.

Pump calculation procedure is very simple.

First, you need to define pump operation condition. It includes fluid temperature, fluid specific gravity, fluid viscosity, pump normal capacity and design capacity.

Second, check your Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) carefully. In this step you need to calculate pressure drop due to pipe line and fittings in the suction and discharge of pump. You need to list fittings and calculate pressure loss due to the fittings.

Total suction head = line loss + loss due to accessories + suction head

Do the same thing as for discharge head.

Differential head is calculated by this formula

Differential head = total discharge head – total suction head. 


Pump Inspection and Factory Acceptance Test

The opportunity to witness Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) of pumps came to me. About a week ago I visited our vendor’s factory at Industrial zone in Pulogadung, Indonesia. Our plan was to witness the performance of three different pumps.

Our pumps were not API pumps therefore the performance test procedure was quite simple and quick. The performance test of one pump took less than 30 minutes. However, the preparation, such as mobilization of pump, installation, make sure there’s no leak in the pipe, took longer time than the test itself.

There are several parameters to be checked during test, suction head, discharge head, rpm, power, voltage, bearing temperature, vibration level, and noise level. The pumps were operated under different flow rate, such as 0%, 25%, 50%, 100%, and 120% capacity, and at minimum flow. Those parameters were checked at different flow condition.

After we got the actual parameters, we plotted on the graphs. Then we compare the actual performance with design performance. The deviation shall not more than 6%.


Heat Loss Calculation of Tank Heater

My recent study was to calculate heat loss in tank heater in order to determine condensate load. It was a pretty simple method. In this post, I provide you the example of my calculation and I hope you find it useful. The problem statement was:

  1. Heat marine fuel oil from 50 to 60 degree C in 5 hours
  2.  Continue to maintain 60 degree C in an insulated tank with a wind velocity 10.08 km/h and an ambient temperature of 27.4 degree C
  3. Tank is 6.8 m diameter and 6.04 m of height
  4. Steam is available at 8 barg

You can find the source of my calculation from this link.

Calculation of tank heater heat loss.