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Improving the efficiency of a submersible pump in your system doesn’t necessarily mean upgrading to the latest model or starting again from scratch. As great as the innovations in pumps from today’s OEMs are, pump users can take advantage of myriad techniques to improve the performance and efficiency of submersibles they already have installed. Below, Bob Domkowski, consulting engineer with Xylem, Inc., joins SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg to discuss how. 

Many coatings are designed to protect pump components from the wear associated with fluid handling. Would you recommend pump users consider this when looking to improve efficiency?

In general, cast grey iron hydraulic components delivers long, reliable usable operational pumping lifetime. Occasionally, there may be more challenging pumping applications where the pumped liquid contains a higher volume of abrasives.

There are several coatings available, when properly applied, can extend the life of the cast components and can marginally increase the pump unit hydraulic efficiency as well.

Are there specific coatings or applications that are particular importance?

Brush-applied or spray-applied ceramic based coatings have been successfully employed to extend the life of the original cast components. Increases in hydraulic efficiency are generally experienced after such coatings are applied.

How important is assessing the impeller size with submersible pump efficiency? 

While the specific impeller diameter / pump size is chosen based upon a customer’s requested pump performance, pump suppliers may have several options when selecting a pump unit and choose the most appropriate combination of pump discharge size, motor speed, and impeller diameter for the application.

What circumstances might warrant replacing a pump and resizing an application?

Occasionally, a customer’s pump performance demand may change due to situations such as if additional housing units are connected to an existing collection system or additional drainage area is directed to an existing stormwater pump station.

What are some of the resources SWPA members rely on for improving efficiency?

Internally, SWPA members efficiency gains can be achieved by improvements in electric motor design as well as improvements in hydraulic unit design. Some additional gains can be gotten by applying coatings to the hydraulic end components. SWPA members rely upon coating manufacturers as a resource for guidance to the specific benefits coating application.

Where are some applications you have seen submersible pumps deployed now that would have surprised you five years ago?

With the broadening choice of materials of Pump component Construction, additional industrial applications involving more active water chemistry or higher abrasive content are more regularly seen. 

Pump applications requiring larger, more powerful machines are more frequently requested as well as machines that can be employed in deep submergence applications. Owners want pump units that have more advanced self-monitoring with reporting capabilities that readily connect to their plant systems.

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