The next section on our series on diagnosing or understanding pump problems, will focus on rapid pump wear.
Rapid pump wear is caused by either abrasives in the liquid or operation under conditions for which the pump is not suitable, such as excessively low viscosity or excessively higher pressure or temperature. If abrasives are a normal condition of the pumping application, as in slurry pumping, then pump wear will be a fact of life, and the best that can be done will include pump and drive speed selection that provides the best economic evaluation over the pump life cycle. While requiring bigger displacement and more expensive pumps, slower operation on abrasive service often pays back far beyond the initial purchase cost differential.
Wear due to abrasives in the liquid is a function of speed raise to a power usually betwen 2 and 3. If the abrasives are deliberately introduced, as when fuel oil additives intended to reduce boiler corrosion are brought into a system, they should be injected downstream of any liquid recirculation to insure that they do not go through the pump. Obviously, if abrasive foreign material is not supposed to be present, strainers or filters should be employed wherever possible and practical.
Rapid wear is sometimes not wear in the sense of a non-durable pump, but rather a catastrophic pump failure that occurs very quickly. Looking at the pump internal parts alone can frequently not provide much help in setting a direction to search. So, it is important to know what was occurring in the time period immediately preceding the detection problem.
Often, pump manufacturers offer a checklist designed to help you understand potential causes to failure. Contact your supplier today to discuss your issue and what supporting information they have available.
I'm also pleased to announce that our IMO pump brand has an updated Application Data Sheet. The data included in the online tool enables our engineers to answer your questions and projects request quickly and accurately. Moreover, you can consider products from the entire Colfax product portfolio.Sean McCandless Industrial Market Manager Colfax Fluid Handling
The Colfax Fluid Handling team was on display at the Power Gen show in Las Vegas. If you attended the show, hopefully you had a chance to come by and say hello. Overall, I thought the show attendance was greater than the 2009 Las Vegas show, but less than the 2010 show in Orlando.
The quality of leads generated at the show was, however, solid and the Colfax team was fortunate to talk with people who -
- Had problems with water in their lubrication Oil (recommend the ThermoJet or PurLube)
- Was interested in pumping sulfuric acid within the environmental system of his plant (recommended the Zenith metering pump)
- Was interested in using a progressing cavity pump in a vertical configuration to save space in his sump (recommended the Allweiler branded progressing cavity or Emtec pump)
- Needed to understand how to size three screw pumps for a fuel oil plant that they were building in the Middle East (recommended the IMO or Allweiler branded three screw pump)
These were only some of the applications that we discussed with show attendees. These leads also show the diversity and flexibility of the Colfax portfolio and the global coverage that we offer our customers.
Finally, we always welcome the opportunity to conduct a lunch and learn seminar for your associates. We offer topics such as the basics of centrifugal vs. positive displacement pumps, design and considerations for lubrication oil systems and three and two screw pumps benefits and design considerations. If you're interested, let me know.Sean McCandless Industrial Market Manager Colfax Fluid Handling
In our continuing series on Rotary Pump Troubleshooting, we'll take a look at the condition of "Excessive Power Usage". As always, consult the factory or your local service representative for additional assistance.
Excessive power consumption can be caused by either mechanical or hydraulic problems. For rotary pumps, the pump power requirements are directly proportional to pressure and speed. If either has increased, the required input power will increase. Power required will also increase if the fluid viscosity has increased. This can happen if the liquid has been changed to something new or the liquid operating temperature has been reduced. Some liquids (grease, for example) are shear sensitive and can become more or less viscous with shear (pumping action) as well as undergo permanent viscosity change from shear over time.
Mechanical causes of high power usage include bearing wear out, pumping elements rubbing (a situation that can lead to pump failure), very bad shaft alignments and poor pulley alignments for belt drive arrangements.Sean McCandless Industrial Market Manager Colfax Fluid Handling
I attended the 2010 Electric Storage Conference in Charlotte earlier this month. This was the 20th Anniversary of the event and was hosted by Duke Energy. Electric Storage covers a broad range of storage technologies including flywheel, compressed-air energy storage, battery (self-contained and from electric vehicles), and pumped hydro. The interest in storage technologies has grown as Smart Grid investment, renewable energy and decentralized power systems have increased in popularity and feasibility.
Other than Internet research, this was my first experience with electric storage and, as you would expect, there was a lot to take in. I came away with 4 key points.
#1 – There are multiple technologies that operate in this space and each seems to fill a specific market segment. The market is divided into three segments – Power Quality, Bridging Power, and Energy Management. The Electric Storage Association provides a good overview of the various technologies through their web-site. The Electric Power Research Institute estimates the total market capacity by 2030 can reach 29 GW (23 GW at $700/kw, 6 GW at $1,400/kw).
#2 – The value of the electric storage is broad and depends on many factors. It is impossible to talk about the value of each technology in a single blog post, but energy storage can positively affect generation, transmission and distribution (T&D), Smart Grid and the end Customer. Since Colfax primarily focuses on utility scale generation, I’ll list some of the discussed areas where Storage could be valuable: peak generation replacement, intermediate generation deferral, ancillary service generation replacement and intermittent generation smoothing. You’ll note that implementation of storage technologies would likely lead to capital deferment or elimination. In a future post, I‘ll discuss comments from the Electric Power Show where keynote panelists talked about $700B+ in capital that utilities will need to spend in the next 20 years.
You may also want to check the EPRI’s web-site as they plan to publish a white paper primer on applications, costs and benefits of electric storage.
#3 – Without recognition within our national energy policy, the opportunities will be spotty. Of course, a national energy policy is also mixed with regional/local decisions, but the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is responsible for the US energy policy and has strategic influence over regional commissions. Senator Ron Wyden is an advocate for Energy Storage and has openly challenged FERC’s exclusion of energy storage from their recent strategic plan. He spoke briefly to the audience about his work to influence FERC.
#4 - Electric storage technologies are here to stay. It was interesting to hear the conference organizers talk about the initial Electric Storage conferences when only 20 – 50 people attended. (This year, I estimate that well over 2,000 people attended the event.) As mentioned previously, there will be many different technologies that fill this space. However, Duke Energy has classified Energy Storage as a strategic technology stating that “low-cost storage, when combined with economic renewable generation and Smart Grid capabilities can change our business model” with “low cost” in the $500/kw area.
If you are working in this space, you may want to look for funding available from the Recovery act. Here is a listing per state –