Types of Pumps

by | Oct 18, 2023

Types of Pumps Img

A pump is a device that transports fluids or semi-solids by using mechanical energy. The energy is generated by converting electrical energy into hydraulic energy. Many types of pumps use different methods to suit their application.

Different Types of Pumps

There are broadly two different types of pumps you’ll find in the market:

  1. Dynamic Pumps
  2. Positive Displacement Pumps

Now, let us discuss the detailed classification of each type of pump.

Detailed Classification of Pumps

1. Dynamic Pumps

Dynamic pumps directly use mechanical methods to transfer fluids. A propeller or an impeller is a typical component of Dynamic pumps. 

These pumps are widely used across various industries due to their versatility.

They rely on principles of centrifugal force to move the fluid through the pump. 

Centrifugal pumps are a common type of dynamic pump. They feature a rotating impeller that accelerates the fluid radially outward. This creates a flow with both pressure and velocity.

Dynamic pumps can handle large volumes of fluid at low pressures. They are often used in applications where a steady flow is required.

Some critical applications of dynamics pumps are:

  1. Water supply systems
  2. Irrigation
  3. Chemical manufacturing
  4. Oil refining

These pumps provide simplicity, reliability, and ease of maintenance.

Dynamic pumps can be further classified in 5 different types,

5 different types of pumps can be called dynamic pumps:

1. Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps are the most widely used dynamic pumps. They rely on the principle of centrifugal force to transport liquids and gases.

Centrifugal pumps transfer fluids by conversion of rotational kinetic energy to hydrodynamic energy. This rotational energy usually comes from electric motors. 

The fluid enters the pump impeller near or along the axis. It is then accelerated radially outward into a casing from which it exits.

Centrifugal pumps are industry favorites for various reasons: High Flow Rate Capability.

  1. Abrasive Solution Compatibility
  2. Mixing Potential
  3. Simple Engineering

Typical applications of centrifugal pumps include:

  1. Water Pumping Sewage
  2. Transport Agriculture
  3. Petroleum
  4. Petrochemical Pumping. 

2. Vertical Centrifugal Pumps

A vertical centrifugal pump is a type of vertical pump in a vertical direction. It operates on the same centrifugal force principle but has a vertical orientation. 

Vertical centrifugal pumps use a unique shaft and bearing support configuration. This allows the pump casing to hang in the fluid pit while the bearings are outside the pit. 

Impeller rotation draws in fluid from below and propels it upward. This creates a vertical flow. This design is handy when dealing with deep wells, sumps, or water pits.

One common application for vertical centrifugal pumps is groundwater extraction from deep wells. 

They also have applications in:

  1. Industrial Settings
  2. Wastewater Treatment Plants
  3. Cooling Systems with Space Constraints

3. Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps

Horizontal centrifugal pumps are dynamic pumps used to transfer fluids in various industries. They also operate on the principle of centrifugal force. 

Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps use a horizontal impeller to move liquids and gases.

The spinning impeller at the core of the pump imparts kinetic energy to the fluid, moving it radially outward. As the fluid gains velocity, its pressure increases, and it flows through the pump. The fluid is then discharged at a higher pressure and velocity.

Horizontal centrifugal pumps are very versatile, easy to maintain, and reliable. 

The suitable applications of Horizontal centrifugal pumps include: 

  1. Water Supply
  2. Wastewater Treatment
  3. Irrigation
  4. Industrial Processes

These pumps can efficiently move large volumes of fluid at relatively low pressures. Their horizontal orientation allows for straightforward installation and maintenance.

This makes them a preferred choice for many fluid transfer operations across industries.

4. Submersible Pumps

Horizontal submersible pumps are specialized centrifugal pumps designed for underwater applications. They are one of the most common types of water pumps.

They come in handy where fluids need to be moved or drained from submerged environments. Unlike traditional horizontal pumps, these pumps are submerged in the fluid they transport. 

The major benefit of this pump is the prevention of cavitation. This is a problem of a height difference between the pump and the fluid surface. 

Submersible pumps push fluid to the surface rather than relying upon atmospheric pressure. They use pressurized fluid from the surface to drive a hydraulic motor downhole.

The main applications of submersible pumps are:

  1. Draining Flooded Areas
  2. Emptying Tanks or reservoirs
  3. Managing Wastewater
  4. Air Coolers

5. Fire Hydrant Pumps

The fire hydrant pump system, fire pump, hydrant booster, or fire water pump is more than just a pump. 

It is a single centrifugal pump alongside essential components like a control panel. It uses a diesel or electric motor to ensure reliability in various situations. 

A fire pump plays a critical role in supplying water to a fire sprinkler system. If the pressure in the risers and standpipes of the system falls to a certain level, the pump activates. This results in high-pressure delivery of water.

These pumps are centrifugal and efficiently transfer water at many flow rates. 

A Jockey pump, which is a compact multistage centrifugal pump, is linked to a branch of the fire pipeline. Its purpose is to sustain system pressure at elevated levels.

2. Positive Displacement Pumps

A Positive Displacement Pump traps a fixed amount of fluid and forces it into the discharge. It uses air or water pressure to achieve the desired fluid flow. 

These pumps come in various types, including reciprocating and rotary pumps. Reciprocating pumps use a piston to create a  motion that draws in and expels fluid. Rotary pumps use rotating mechanisms like gears, lobes, or screws to trap and move fluid.

The essential advantage of these pumps is the provision of precise and consistent flow rates. This makes them ideal for accurate injection or flow control applications.

Some typical applications of Positive Displacement Pumps are:

  1. Chemical Processing
  2. Oil and Gas
  3. Food Production

They are most desirable where the precise and accurate movement of fluids is crucial.

Positive Displacement pumps have 5 different types:

1. Diaphragm

The diaphragm pump, also known as AODD(Air Operated Double Diaphragm) is a type of positive displacement pump. Its functioning is based on the use of compressed air. It has a pneumatic valve that sends compressed air in and out between its two sides.

These unique abilities make Diaphragm Pumps extremely valuable to the chemical industries:

  1. Flow Control
  2. Corrosion Resistance
  3. Handling of Challenging Fluids

Diaphragm pumps can handle liquids with many levels of viscosity and suspended solids. This pump is also capable of safely and efficiently handling reactive chemicals.

The applications of Diaphragm pumps include:

  1. Handling Chemicals
  2. Industrial Wastewater Disposal
  3. Food Manufacturing 
  4. Underground Coal Mines

2. Gear Pumps

A gear pump is a type of Positive Displacement pump. It transfers fluid by repeatedly enclosing a fixed volume using interlocking gears. Then, it transfers it mechanically using a cyclic pumping action. 

A gear pump delivers a consistent flow comparable to the rotational velocity of the gears.

Gear pumps are famous for their simplicity, durability, and reliability. They are capable of handling both low and high-viscosity fluids. 

The properties of the gear pump make it suitable for a wide range of applications. These range from lubricating oil transfer in automotive engines to chemical processing. 

3. Peristaltic Pumps

A peristaltic pump, also known as a tube pump, is a type of positive displacement pump. These pumps use the principle of peristalsis to carry out operations.

The main reason to use peristaltic pumps is that only the tube touches the fluid.  Since only the inner bore of the tube touches the fluid, they drop the risk of contaminating the fluid or the pump itself.

The impeller at the core of the pump moves the fluid radially outward. As the fluid speed increases, its pressure increases, and it flows through the pump. It is then let out at a higher pressure and velocity.

Peristaltic pumps offer easy maintenance due to their low-contact design. Their simplicity, hygiene, and precision make them optimal for precise and clean fluid handling.

4. Lobe Pumps

A lobe pump is a type of positive displacement pump. It uses multiple lobes rotating around parallel shafts in the pump’s body to transfer fluid. 

Lobe pumps are very similar to gear pumps. The only difference is that there is no physical contact between lobes in the lobe pump. This feature has some distinct advantages in pumping specific substances. 

The movement of lobes causes a specific amount of fluid discharge every revolution. This allows simple control of the pump’s output by varying the pump’s motor velocity.

The applications of a lobe pump include:

  1. Hygienic Processing Industries
  2. Food & Beverage Processing 
  3. Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing.

5. Piston Pumps

A piston pump is a type of positive displacement pump.

It has a high-pressure seal that reciprocates with a piston.  

Piston pumps provide a wide range of operable pressures. High-pressure operations can be carried out without negatively affecting the output. Piston pumps can handle viscous fluids as well as fluids containing solid particles.

It utilizes a piston cup and oscillation mechanism, resulting in down-strokes. This causes a pressure differential, filling up the chambers and pumping out fluid. 

Piston pumps are mainly used to handle liquids and compressed gases. 

Piston pumps are desirable in the following conditions:

High pressure

  1. Consistency
  2. Water Irrigation 
  3. Types of Water Pump

It is a single centrifugal pump alongside essential components like a control panel. It uses a diesel or electric motor to ensure reliability in various situations. 

A fire pump plays a critical role in supplying water to a fire sprinkler system. If the pressure in the risers and standpipes of the system falls to a certain level, the pump activates. This results in high-pressure delivery of water.

These pumps are centrifugal and efficiently transfer water at many flow rates. 

A Jockey pump, which is a compact multistage centrifugal pump, is linked to a branch of the fire pipeline. Its purpose is to sustain system pressure at elevated levels.

FAQs

1. What are the different types of pumps?

There are two main types of pumps:

  • Dynamic Pumps
  • Positive Displacement Pumps

2. What is the most common type of pump?

Dynamic pumps are the most common pumps. Additionally, the centrifugal pump is the most common dynamic pump.

3. What is the most efficient pump?

Although efficiency is a subjective factor, centrifugal pumps are commonly considered the most efficient.

4. What are the 4 types of pumps used in water wells?

Four major types of well pumps are:

  1. Submersible Pump
  2. Jet Pump
  3. Centrifugal Pump
  4. Hand Pump

Source: https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/plumbing/types-of-well-pumps/

5. What are the major water pump types?

The major water pump types are:

  1. Centrifugal Pump
  2. Gear Pump
  3. Lobe Pump
  4. Peristaltic pump
  5. Submersible
  6. Hand Pump etc.
Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia

Bhuwan Bhatia, an engineering graduate with a diverse background, has been passionate about entrepreneurship since age 13. Founder of edtech startup Technoshaala, Bhuwan now focuses on leading his innovative water management startup, FLOTAA, in Kanpur to create sustainable solutions.
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