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28th Jul 2016

How to read a performance curve


Knowing how to read a pump perfomance curve is essential to the health of your system. Running too far out on the pump performance curve, or too far back, can cause damage to the pump, excessive energy consumption, and overall poor performance.

A dynamic pump imparts energy on a liquid, and based on the system it is installed on, has flow and head characteristics. The amount of pressure the pump is required to overcome dictates where the performance point will be on the curve and how much flow is produced. As pressure increases, the flow decreases moving your performance point to the left of the curve. As pressure decreases, the performance point runs out to the right of the curve and flow increases. Below are descriptions of basic parts of a performance curve with examples as they relate to the performance curve provided below

Required Pump Duty – 100L/s at 95m

  1. Draw a line up from Flow at 100L/s (point A)
  2. Draw a line across from Total Head at 95m (point B)
  3. Point C determines the pump speed and power required at this duty
  4. Pump speed = 1400rpm
  5. Power required = 150kW

Pump Curve 1

To obtain the suction lift

  1. draw a line across from the intersection at point D
  • Maximum Dynamic Suction Lift = 6m (point E)
  • NPSHR = 4m (point F)

Pump Curve 2

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