Successful Modification Of Vertical-Turbine Pumps For Capacity And Reliability Improvement
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A modification of seven 560 hp vertical-turbine pumps was carried out with outstanding results to improve their actual capacity. The installation was limited to 64% of its rated capacity, which was never reached, and the operating demand required to maintain all seven pumps in continuous service. Reliability of the pumps was additionally impaired by severe cavitation damage of impellers. A plant revamp required increased and reliable cooling water flow, with a limited time frame of seven months for full implementation. Original cast iron impellers were reverse engineered and manufactured oversize in 18Cr-16Mn steel. Bowls were modified for the larger impellers. Performance for all pumps was adjusted in a test stand and the efficiency improved not to exceed the rated horsepower of installed electric motors. As a result, the capacity of the installation reached its rated value. Operation was optimized with six pumps in operation and one in standby feeding 33% more water. After 26 months in service, none of the pumps had shown capacity drop or required maintenance beyond repacking. Significant savings were attained compared to the installation of new pumps.
Morales Casanova, César A. (2000). Successful Modification Of Vertical-Turbine Pumps For Capacity And Reliability Improvement. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from