Pump Laws Review and Equations

Pump Laws Review and Equations

Centrifugal pumps generally obey what are known as the pump laws. These laws state that the flow rate or capacity is directly proportional to the pump speed; the discharge head is directly proportional to the square of the pump speed; and the power required by the pump motor is directly proportional to the cube of the pump speed. These laws are summarized in the following equations.

Using these proportionalities, it is possible to develop equations relating the condition at one speed to those at a different speed.

Example: Pump Laws

A cooling water pump is operating at a speed of 1800 rpm. Its flow rate is 400 gpm at a head of 48 ft. The power of the pump is 45 kW. Determine the pump flow rate, head, and power requirements if the pump speed is increased to 3600 rpm.

It is possible to develop the characteristic curve for the new speed of a pump based on the curve for its original speed. The technique is to take several points on the original curve and apply the pump laws to determine the new head and flow at the new speed. The pump head versus flow rate curve that results from a change in pump speed is graphically illustrated in Figure 8.

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