Several solutions are available when an application demands higher head than just one standard pump can handle. One option is to replace the pump with a larger, heavier duty model. This certainly makes sense from a performance standpoint. However, the bigger the pump, the higher the cost. Is that kind of upgrade in your equipment budget?
Consider Pumping in Series
Another option to consider is to add one or more additional standard-sized pumps to the existing pump system. This is known as pumping in series, or series pumping. As the name suggests, series pumping involves multiple centrifugal pumps connected in a line. As the process fluid flows through the series system, the head increases from pump to pump. It’s a similar concept as a multi-stage pump, but it uses multiple pumps working together.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to series pumping:
Advantages of Series Pumping
- In most cases, a higher efficiency point can be achieved.
- Less expensive to upgrade current pump system.
- Less horsepower is needed to power multiple series pumps as opposed to one large, heavy duty pump.
- Lower-speed operation means less wear, less energy consumption and increased reliability.
- Smaller pumps are much easier to maintain and operate compared to a large pump.
- More equipment is required to operate a pump series.
- More moving parts means more things that can go wrong.
- The system must be designed with maximum working pressures in mind, especially in the pumps at the end of the series.
- More floor space is required to install pumping series system.
Weighing the Options
For some operations, the positives will outweigh the negatives when it comes to deciding between pumping in series with centrifugal pumps versus upgrading to one large centrifugal pump that can handle the full load. However, it all depends on a number of factors such as the business’s operating budget, pump application and head requirements. It’s always important to explore all the options before changing a pump system.
That’s why it is nice to have a team like Cortech Engineering on your side. We can outfit you with pumps from all the world’s leading pump manufacturers. You can customize the ideal pump system to meet your needs and get the equipment that’s best for your operation. Our service experts can walk you through all your options, whether it’s upgrading to a bigger pump or installing a series of pumps. Contact us today for more information and personal guidance for your pump system purchase, installation and maintenance.