Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

rated flow

rated flow

rated flow

HI. I wonder why most pumps should be rated for 110% or 120% of "normal" flow, That i know of Minimum flow is particularly important for centrifugal pumps.
I want to know to focus on the figure of 110~120.

RE: rated flow

For a possible future expansion.

To compensate for increased pressure drops due to increased frictional resistance in pipes.

To compensate a very conservative initial design frictional resistance etc,.

RE: rated flow

For a possible future expansion.

To compensate for increased pressure drops due to increased frictional resistance in pipes.

To compensate a very conservative initial design frictional resistance etc,.

These are not hard and fast.

RE: rated flow

Ditto to what Quark said.

RE: rated flow

To me it's more like covering your butt in case you have screwed up the calculations. It is usually found in specifications prepared by consultants and generally results in oversized pumps as every man and his dog always "adds" a little bit extra just in case.     

Naresuan University

RE: rated flow

I believe somethings of major importance has been left out here and suspicions of ultra-conservatism have crept in.  The major reason I would never employ a verbatim "normal" flow rate of a liquid on the basis of performance for a centrifugal pump are:

1) Until I have a detailed explanation of the process and its flows, I can't have an accurate evaluation of what someone else calls "normal".  Few, if any, processes are really and truly at steady-state.  In the actual, real industrial processes flows are constantly varying - and it is important to know the process intimately to estimate the variances.  Some processes are designed as batch and some as steady-state.

2) No process calculation -or simulation - can be defined as 100% accurate.  This is an impossibility in real life.  As an example, process raw materials and temperatures/pressures will vary - and so will the resultant flow rates within the process.  Process analysis can be done, but even this is subject to human and instrument inaccuracies.  To compound the problem, all the other major equipment designed and sized that operate in unison with the given pump will have inherent inaccuracies and capacities built-in.  This includes the plant's electric motor drives that, if measured with instruments, will be found to have varying voltage drops and frequencies - contributing to motor speed variances.  This, among others, is the reason why the major world-scale process contractors (Fluor, BKR, Bechtel, etc.) will not issue a "guarantee" of expected performance that is less than 15-20% of the design unless you pay them extra monies (a LOT of monies) to obtain such a guarantee.  That is what I've been told by them in the past, and I can see their dilemma.

3. The centrifugal pump in question is always subject to "wear and tear" - particularly in the impeller clearances when handling gritty or slurry-like fluids.  In fact, the improper installation of the pump can cause it to develop some capacity losses.  Another fact is that impeller and "wear ring" clearance losses are a normal and routine check for maintenance crew in process plants - or they should be.  That's why it's called a "wear ring" - it wears.  If we accept fouling factors in heat exchangers to compensate for what we know is a contingent, capacity-negative effect - what do we accept as a compensation for impeller or pump wear that reduces capacity?  The pump's performance curves also contain inherent inaccuracies - especially as one approaches the end-of-curve area.

I will not support the inflation of process flow rates merely for conservatism or "ass-covering" and I applaud persons who also take this stand.  However, there are real, and experienced contingencies that exist in the design of a process and these contingencies often cannot be 100% identified and quantified.  Like any other contingency that is know to exist, albeit not identified, an engineer is bound to recognize and identify this fact by allowing for them in an experienced and methodical manner.  This is an area where experience and process know-how is of primary concern and value.  This is also the reason why I have never understood the logic of some engineering contractors who believe that calculations are numbers and numbers are to be believed; therefore, since young graduate engineers can literally swamp us with calculations and numbers, they are the likely and best engineers to calculate the simulations and write the specifications for major equipment.  Nothing, in my opinion, could be further from logic than this type of thinking.  Young grads surely can grind out numbers; however, they lack the experience and process know-how and this often becomes a point where ultimate plant performance is affected.  That's why I'm an advocate of bringing back the engineering mentor method of yester-year and giving young grads the opportunity to gain experience and know-how in fields other than just calculations and simulations.

I would never apply a "pat" or fixed number to the amount of capacity specified to a pump without good knowledge of what it is pumping and how much I expect it to vary in capacity.  That "excess" capacity (over the calculated rated figure) is something that is, as I stated, subject to experience and know-how.  But I would be forced to study well the process and the application.

RE: rated flow

Artisi makes a relevant point.

Be careful how many layers of "fat" are in the numbers.

Then add (or not) your safety margin.


RE: rated flow

I have been involved in many projects where the initial specification will call up pumps to be rated at +20% rating, this is usually done to allow for sizing and pricing while final designs and process calcs.are reviewed etc. - normally followed later by revised duties to allow final impeller trims - motor sized etc.


Naresuan University

RE: rated flow

not to mention that an overspecified pump can cavitate while the right size will not.
the operating point moves so far to the right that cavitation develops.
also, efficiency goes down the drain.

karassik and yedidiah, both famous authors about pumps wrote extensively about the risks of overspecifying.



RE: rated flow

 An 'overspecified ' pump's duty point will actually move to the left of BEP  - indeed less efficiency but not much to do (negatively) with cavitation
 In fact by moving toward the left, NPSHr of pump is decreasing , therefore the danger of cavitation is recessing.  

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close