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Using a Pump as a Motor

Using a Pump as a Motor

Using a Pump as a Motor

I would like to use water power to drive a pump and create rotary motion. The rotory motion will be used to create vibration. I want to duplicate the vibration I am currently producing with an electric vibrator. The electric vibrator is 1/3 HP and operates at 1,750 RPM.

At this point, I do not know the GPM or the PSI available of the water source, but am trying to find that out. I do know that the water is run in lines thousands of feet down into a mine. I am also told the water is dirty.

Does anyone think it would be possible to use a pump in reverse to create the rotary motion I need? If so, how would I go about sizing a pump for this application? Any help would be appreciated.

RE: Using a Pump as a Motor

Hi Casey
yes you can do it,and it is done. But in your case it would cost far,far more than it is worth. Plus dumping water at the bottom of a deep shaft to drive a small device would be frowned upon because it then needs to be pumped out.
For what its worth, expect about half the power output from a small pump acting as a turbine, as it would take to use a similar pump to pump the same amount of water back out. That should give you some idea why its not worth the hassle.
Consider compressed air in a mining environment.



RE: Using a Pump as a Motor

Try and get hold of the article: "Using centrifugal pumps as hydraulic turbines" by Fred Buse (Ingersoll-Rand Co.) on the ChE magazine of January 26, 1981. You may find it useful to understand pros and cons of the basic idea.

RE: Using a Pump as a Motor

Cornell pump sells their pumps fitted out for power generation.  They have been doing that for years, there is a small market for that in the Midwest and Northwest where Cornell is located.

They sell the whole thing as a unit, pump with generator attached, just apply pressure source to get power.


RE: Using a Pump as a Motor

If I intepret your application correctly, you want to take advantage of water that is ALREADY flowing down into the mine, probably to feed drills or other machine cooling. You want to use the energy in it to drive a 1/3HP vibrating screen or hopper outfeed. If that is the case, the formula mentioned by smckennz above will likely work fine. One thing to consider though will be the aspect of it being "dirty". If that means a lot of suspended particulates, consider using a pump designed for that application, like a slurry pump or ash pump. It will last longer. I still think smckennz is right however, that in the long run it will cost more than just using an electric motor. If however there is no electicity down there or it is expensive to get it there, you may have a valid issue.

"Venditori de oleum-vipera non vigere excordis populi"

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