Booster Pump Introduction
A booster pump is a kind of centrifugal pump that is used to raise the pressure of fluid that is already flowing in a piping system. Booster pumps are used in a variety of applications and they may be employed together with submersible pumps or vertical turbine pumps to increase the pressure of drinking or irrigation water that is already being pumped from a well.
The most common application for booster pumps is to increase pressure in order to move the fluids to the next booster pump or to the final destination in a pipeline. Booster pumps are also used in various process applications where the head (pressure) needed for the operation is more than one pump to deliver. A booster pump can also be employed in cases where an extra pump is needed to ensure that the other pumps do not cavitate.
Depending on the pressure (head) and flow requirement, booster pumps can be horizontal split case, vertical turbine, or end suction. The flow rates for booster pumps ranges from 5 gallons per minute to 10,000 gallons per minute. Their total pressure (head) on the other hand ranges from 200 feet to 7,500 feet, while horsepower ranges from 1hp to 5,000hp.
How they work
Most booster pumps are actually centrifugal pumps and they depend on one or more impellers to suck the pumped liquid into the pump’s intake, and increase its pressure as the liquid goes through the impellers and the diffuser or volute casing. A booster pump with only one impeller is generally used for applications that do not require too much or very significant pressure (head). On the other hand, a booster pump with multi-stage configurations that involves extra impellers are used in applications that require moving liquids up to significantly higher elevations and through longer pipelines.
Uses of Booster Pumps
A single-stage booster pump is generally used in buildings that are far from municipal water supply or private residences. They are also employed in cases where there is inadequate water pressure in a building. Additionally, they are employed in irrigation systems in cases where the well pump cannot generate sufficient pressure for the distance the liquid needs to move and in cases where the field that needs to be irrigated is expansive.
Multi-stage booster pumps are usually ideal for boosting water supply in hilly terrain for commercial, residential and industrial applications. Very tall buildings are also fitted with booster pumps. In industrial applications, a booster pump is essential in pipelines as well as in some process systems.