Test Standards for Submisible Pumps

With the myriad crucial jobs and applications for which submersible pumps are called upon, pump users need to trust they will perform reliably and efficiently. That’s why understanding test standards for submersible pumps is so imperative. SWPA member Barry Jongsma, manager, product engineering, for Pentair, joins SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg to discuss the importance of testing standards for submersible pumps and the vital role professional organizations like SWPA play in spreading both education and trust. Visit www.swpa.org to learn more.
When assessing pump performance, a standard test measures from suction flange to discharge flange and electrical input power. What are some of the key concerns a submersible pump user should look for?
First and foremost, the submersible pump user should be versed in pump performance characteristics: how to measure and define rate of flow, total head, power, and efficiency. They should understand their service conditions and define a performance acceptance tolerance for the pump. If the application has a low NPSH margin, as can be found with vacuum lift dry pit pumps or with high temperature fluids, the user may want to consider NPSH tests. Since the motor is combined with the pumping unit, one needs to consider if the manufacturer’s standard motor mechanical and electrical integrity tests will suffice. The degree of routine motor testing the manufacture performs will vary by brand and motor size, so user may desire more stringent tests.
Fortunately, the Hydraulic Institute has a published a specific standard for submersible pump testing (ANSI/HI 11.6) that provides the all of the definitions, test methods, test types, and acceptance tolerance grades. The standard also includes the motor mechanical and electrical integrity testing.
Finally, SWPA has specific live training courses that cover submersible pump testing in detail, along with a host of other applicable topics—come and give us a try.
Two of the most commonly referred to testing standards for submersible pumps are ANSI/HI 11.6 (Rotodynamic Submersible Pumps for Hydraulic Performance, Hydrostatic Pressure, Mechanical, and Electrical Acceptance Tests) and the 2013 update ANSI/HI 14.6 (Rotodynamic Pumps for Hydraulic Performance Acceptance Tests). What are their intended purposes and how do they address different pump users’ needs?
ANSI/HI 11.6 is the test standard that should be used for submersible pump applications. This de-facto standard for submersible pump has been developed by the foremost experts in the industry. The intended purpose of this standard is to combine all of the hydraulic test characteristic that is found ANSI/HI 14.6 with electric motor integrity tests and field vibration acceptance criteria that are specific to submersible motor driven pumps. If one has a submersible pump application, all of the requisite test criteria can be found in this single standard. For pump applications that are not driven by submersible motors one should refer standard ANSI/HI 14.6.
Recently implemented DOE standards have, for the first time, closed loopholes on efficiency standards for domestic pump manufacturers. What are some ways the industry prepared for this and how have they reacted?
Currently, submersible motor driven pumps for wastewater applications are excluded from DOE efficiency regulation consideration. However, most submersible pump manufacturers have recognized this regulatory trend by the DOE and many manufacturers produce other equipment that will fall into regulatory categories. Hydraulic Institute has played in a role in taking the collective voice of pump manufacturers to the DOE and monitors regulatory trends very closely.
In recognition that the DOE’s regulatory arm will someday reach our markets, most submersible motor pump manufacturers are developing or have released premium efficient motors for their pumps and are looking at ways to introduce higher hydraulic efficiency offerings to the industry. It should be noted that a new development with ANSI/HI 11.6 is that wire-to-water efficiency has become the basis for efficiency guarantees in the test standard for submersible motor driven pumps. Wire-to-water efficiency considers the combination of pump and motor efficiency as a single value that represent that true cost of pumping to the user.
How would you best describe the vital role played by the SWPA Test Standards Subcommittee and how they speak to the concerns of pump users?
Initially, the Submersible Test Standard was the brain child of SWPA, which worked extensively at the committee level to develop the first draft of the standard. SWPA recognized that the industry needed one document that combines hydraulic and motor performance characteristics in one document. While SWPA’s mission is to promote the application of submersible pumps and we have numerous education formats to support this mission; by choice, we are not a standards publishing organization. Recognizing that Hydraulic Institute was the best place to publish this type of standard we partnered with then.
Subsequently, Hydraulic Institute released the standard through the ANSI canvas process. SWPA continuously looks for ways to speak to the concerns of pump users through training initiatives. We also have a specific member category that allows users easily get involved and express their needs. ◆
By SWPA Executive Director Adam Stolberg and Barry Jongsma, Pentair
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