Image Credit: SC Hydraulic Engineering Corporation | Mindman Industrial Co., Ltd. | Jergens, Inc.
Booster pumps are devices used to increase the pressure of existing fluid flow systems. They are designed to help pumping systems achieve higher flow rates and overcome high system head. Typically, booster pumps are used in water systems or applications that have low waste contamination. They have a variety of commercial, municipal, and military applications and are used in a range of industries, including aerospace, mining, and food processing.
Booster pumps work in conjunction with other pumps, meaning by themselves they cannot transport any fluid in a system. They are designed only to "boost" the performance of an existing pumping system. Booster pumps are considered centrifugal pumps, relying on one or more impellers to draw and move fluid. For more information on the principles of centrifugal pump operation, visit the Centrifugal Pumps page on GlobalSpec.
The primary specifications to consider when selecting booster pumps are flowrate, pressure boost, horsepower, and power rating.
- Maximum flowrate describes the highest achievable rate of volume discharge through the pump.
- Maximum pressure boost indicates the highest achievable pressure addition to the existing pressure or head of the system. This may be expressed as either pounds per square inch (psi) or as feet head (ft).
The pressure which the booster pump must provide is the difference between the required system pressure and the existing pump pressure. This pressure difference is the pressure boost that the booster pump needs to supply at the desired flow rate in order to fulfill the application requirements.
Selection Tip: Additional losses within the pump and system (due to friction and flow changes) also need to be accounted for when calculating the required pressure.
- Horsepower indicates the output power of the pump, measured in units of horsepower (hp).
- Power rating indicates the power required to operate the pump, measured in Watts (W) or horsepower (hp). In the case of electric pumps, some manufacturers will instead specify the required voltage (in volts or V) and current (in amps or A). The power rating is the product of the voltage and current ratings (power = voltage x current).
For a more in depth understanding of pump specifications, performance curves, and operation, visit the Pump Flow page on GlobalSpec.
Booster pumps may be designed to provide a variety of features.
- Adjustable or variable speed pumps are those which incorporate adjustable speed drive (ASD) or variable-speed drive (VSD) equipment, which allows the pump to be controlled and operate at multiple speeds. This is important for processes which require flow adjustment of a pump or fan during operation due to certain operating conditions or to cut energy costs.
- Continuous duty pumps are those designed to run and operate continuosly without excessive wear on the pump.
- Multi-stage pumps move compressed fluid from an initial stage to successive chambers or stages of pressurization in order to generate higher levels of pressure than are possible with single-stage pumping. Typically, both single-stage and multi-stage pumps have a pressure gage.
- Self-priming pumps create and maintain a sufficient vacuum level to draw fluid into an inlet with no external assistance.
For a complete description of all possible pump features, visit the Pump Features page on GlobalSpec.
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