Water pumps have been around for a long time. H.A Wirtz developed the first one in 1736. A stream wheel powered it to raise water for use at a dye house. Since then, water pumps have continued to evolve and are now incredibly sophisticated pieces of equipment with many applications. Industrial uses are some of the most common for water pumps. For example, industrial pump services are used to remove water at construction sites, displace water after heavy rainfall and irrigate crops. For each situation, there is a type of water pump like a vertical turbine pump that is best suited for the job.
There are two major types of water pumps; centrifugal pumps and positive displacement pumps, each with its subcategories. By understanding the different kinds of water pumps, and when they are used, project managers can make better decisions regarding which one to use.
The first major type of pump is a centrifugal pump. According to Intro to Pumps, a centrifugal pump is “a machine that uses rotation to impart velocity to a liquid and then converts that velocity into a flow.” A centrifugal pump is made up of a pump shaft, a sealing mechanism, and other components to help the pump handle operation stress. Centrifugal pumps must remain filled with fluid at all times to function properly.
Inside the pump is also an impeller, which rotates to provide velocity to the liquid being pumped. This impeller spins rapidly, run by a motor, which forces the liquid in a specified direction. Centrifugal pumps come in several different kinds:
Vertical Turbine Pumps
A vertical turbine pump, also known as a vertical pump or lineshaft pump, is a centrifugal pump that transports water from deep underground. A common type of vertical turbine pump is a submersible pump, which is situated entirely underwater. With a submersible pump, the motor is located at the bottom of the system. Submersible vertical turbine pumps are often used when the liquid is far underground, such as in sewage services.
One advantage of using a submersible vertical turbine pump is the noise level. Due to being far below ground and underwater, this type of pump produces much less noise. In addition, submerged pumps do not need to be primed since they are already underwater.
Other vertical turbine pumps have their motors mounted at the top of the system, with impellers connected through a long shaft. In this configuration, the motor remains dry and is easier to maintain. Our blog post on how vertical pumps work provides a more in-depth look at this system.
One of the more common types of centrifugal pumps is an end-suction pump. This type of pump consists of a single impeller along with a horizontal shaft. These pumps can be altered easily to allow them to pump different types of liquids or solid materials.
The last type of centrifugal pump is called a multistage pump. These pumps have multiple impellers, which provides the pump with additional force. This higher pressure force is required in many instances, such as pipelines.
Positive Displacement Pumps
A positive displacement pump is one where a certain amount of liquid is brought inside the pump’s cavity, and then that same amount is discharged. Depending on the type of pump, this displacement occurs either via a piston, diaphragm, or plunger. To bring the fluid in, a form of suction is used on the inlet side as the cavity expands, then discharged as the cavity decreases. Like centrifugal pumps, there are different types of positive displacement pumps, including:
Rotary pumps run off the rotation of a rotary, which is anything that revolves around a center axis. As the rotary turns, it displaces fluid from the reservoir into the discharging pipe. Two common examples of a rotary pump include a screw pump and a sliding vane.
A reciprocating pump uses a piece that moves forward and backward to transfer the fluid from the reservoir. Common examples of a reciprocating part include a plunger or a piston. As the liquid is being brought into the reservoir via suction, inlet valves open up while the outlet valves remain closed. To discharge the fluid, the inlet valves close, and the outlet valves open.
Linear pumps get their name from the fact that they operate in a straight line. A classic example of a linear pump is called a chain pump. In a chain pump, circular discs are attached to a long chain. As the chain moves up the tube, the discs carry the trapped water, where it is discharged at the top. Modern linear pumps are more sophisticated but operate on the same basic theory.
Understanding the Many Kinds of Water Pumps
When a fluid pump is required, it’s important to know which kind is best suited for the task. Choosing between a vertical turbine pump or a rotary pump will greatly impact the outcome of the task. Luckily, by working with a trusted provider of industrial pump services, such as Zone Industries, the right type of pump isn’t hard to find.
What Are the Different Types of Water Pumps? | Zone Industries
Turbine pumps perform a vital function in many industries, including construction, mining, and cool water circulation. According to Mindat.org, a turbine pump is “a pump with a shrouded impeller and receiving the water at its center. A diffusion ring containing vanes surrounds the impeller and directs the impeller discharge into a circular casing, which delivers into the eye of the next impeller in series. The diffusion ring converts the high-velocity discharge of the impeller into pressure head.” However, not all turbine pumps are the same. When it comes to turbine pumps, there are essentially two main types: submersible vertical turbine pumps and lineshaft vertical pumps. Each performs a similar function but acts differently and has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the application. To get the right type of turbine pump for your situation, it’s important to understand how the two types of pumps function and what they have to offer.
How a Submersible Vertical Turbine Pump Functions
Submersible turbine pumps are designed to function while submerged in water. According to WaterWorld.com, “Submersible motor vertical turbine pumps use a submersible motor coupled to the lower portion of a submerged vertical turbine pump so that both are located together in the well.”
Here’s how the entire process works: First, water enters into the pump through the bottom. This portion of the pump is bell-shaped and called the “Suction Bell.” After that, the water is sent to the first stage impeller, which raises the water’s velocity. From there, the water continues onto the diffuser bowl, which is located directly above the impeller. The energy created from the higher velocity is here converted into high pressure. Simultaneously, the diffuser bowl is directing the water to the next impeller, which is located above the bowl.
After leaving the last diffuser bowl, the final stage is for the water to travel up through a long vertical pipe. At the surface is a discharge head, which changes the direction of the flow. A motor is mounted to the discharge head, pushing the water through its final stage.
This entire process runs continuously as long as there is water at the bottom, completing the journey from top to bottom in just seconds. For deeper wells, multiple impellers may be used to create more pressure along the route.
The biggest difference between a submersible vertical turbine pump and a vertical line shaft turbine is the motor placement. In a submersible turbine pump, the motor and the pump are located at the bottom of the system, submerged underwater. On the other hand, vertical line shaft pumps have the motor running at the top of the system. The motor placement has a big impact on how the turbine functions and on which type of turbine pump is ultimately right for the project at hand.
Benefits of a Submersible Vertical Turbine Pump
A vertical turbine pump submerged underwater provides a few advantages over a line shaft vertical pump. For starters, submersible pumps are typically quieter, which is an advantage if you are running the pump in a major metro area or in any other setting where the noise level is a factor. Besides this, this type of pump is less susceptible to vibration problems. Too much vibration within the system can cause breakdowns and other issues, meaning it is ideal to reduce vibrations as much as possible.
In many cases, working with a submersible vertical turbine pump is more affordable than a line shaft one, since you don’t need to install motor pedestals or line shafting. They can also operate in smaller spaces and at higher speeds, which can further reduce the costs. Finally, a submersible pump does not need a pump house for protection, as the pump is entirely underwater at the bottom of the system.
Benefits of a Line Shaft Vertical Pump
Of course, there are a few advantages to choosing a line shaft vertical turbine pump as well. For example, maintenance on the motors is often easier on line shaft vertical turbine pumps, as the motor is located at the surface rather than at the bottom of a well. In addition, line shaft pumps are often more efficient and less susceptible to failures that result from voltage issues.
Lastly, line shaft pumps are more versatile. You can run a line shaft pump with a vertical motor, a horizontal motor with a right-angle gear drive, a pulley system, and more. More fuel sources are available, as the motor is located above the water and on the surface.
The Right Pump for the Situation
When it comes to picking a turbine pump for a job, there is no one set answer. Each job has its circumstances, including location, budget, and other equipment available. Based on this, project managers must choose the turbine pump that makes the most sense for their project. By understanding how a turbine pump functions and the difference between the types of vertical turbine pumps, project managers can decide the best way to proceed.
How Does a Submersible Vertical Turbine Pump Function? | Zone Industries