Pumps for the Evolving Gas and Oil Industry

The Mobil Altona refinery has more than 580 pumps onsite. Located in Victoria, it is one of the safest refineries in Australia. It was recently featured in a pump industry trade publication as a paragon of safety and efficiency. The main theme was pump reliability. We would like to tell you a bit about the refinery and what their current setup means to the gas and oil industry.

The Altona refinery’s pumps are maintained and monitored by four engineers. They spend their time monitoring, upgrading, troubleshooting, installing, procuring and optimising the pumps on their facility.

The engineers spend most of their time in proactive pursuits, troubleshooting pumps and looking for opportunities to improve the current setup. It is a team effort with various technicians, operators and process engineers. They are constantly in a process of upgrading their pumps, with a few being done each month and others waiting in the “pipeline.”

Because they are in an environment of changing export products and feedstocks, they are always searching for ways to improve both efficiency and flow rates. Their entire operation is based on ultimate flexibility to produce and embrace constant changes. This allows them to adapt to the changing feedstocks and product demand and optimise production.

Consequently, the entire refinery is constantly adapting and nobody ever feels as though they are “standing still.” This allows them to compete at the top of an ever-changing, demanding global business.

Pumps for Gas and Oil Industry

Choosing the Right Pump for the Right Purpose

The design of a new pumping system must fit the process. The engineers first identify the optimal pressure and flow rate. This ensures that the pumps are a hydraulic fit with the process. Then, the materials and design are taken into consideration.

When choosing a pump, the material has to be appropriate for the environmental and chemical profile of the operation. The process stream has to be considered when selecting seals to make sure the risk of potential emissions is acceptable.

When it is all put together, the reliability, safety and longevity of the pumping system is important. There are also stringent standards to be followed. Even though the facility is located in Australia, they use the standards of the American Institute of Petroleum. In addition, their internal standards are applied to system design.

Buying Pumps

At the Mobil Altona plant, it can take up to a year to buy a pump because of their documentation and review process. Every change that is made in the facility undergoes the utmost scrutiny to ensure safety and efficiency. The refinery must run efficiently, smoothly and safely at all times.

Consequently, whenever changes are made, they are reviewed by a number of different departments. This requires a lot of teamwork and communication between departments. Ultimately, the costs of a change vs the benefits it provides are weighed against each other to determine the feasibility of a change.

The amount of teamwork in this facility seems mind-boggling at first. The plant is large and complicated. There are numerous areas of responsibility, manned by electrical, piping, instrument, chemical and process engineers. All are essential to the operation and all work together as a team to institute any changes in the system. They all work together to ensure that their facility runs safely, smoothly and efficiently.

The Importance of Pump Reliability

In a facility such as Mobil Altona, as in most facilities, pump reliability has an effect on profits. Downtime can be a disaster and the efficiency level must be consistently high. The level of investment must be high enough to promote efficiency and reliability, but not so high as to reach a point of diminishing returns. It is important to balance maintenance and hardware expenditures.

What This Means to Your Business

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we import the world’s finest pumps. We simply don’t import a pump unless it has an international reputation for consistency and efficiency. Your operation is important and only the best pumps from around the world will keep it running efficiently and safely.

To learn more, call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 793 418.

Factors in Choosing the Right Centrifugal Pump

When you are choosing a centrifugal pump, it is important to match it to the application and pumping system both mechanically and hydraulically. If you install a pump that doesn’t match, it can result in ongoing performance issues until the imbalance is corrected.

Hydraulic Factors

Matching a centrifugal pump to a system means making sure to consider some important factors. These include the flow rate, the system design, the amount of resistance in the system and the system curve.

System Design

The pump has to be the right size for the system. Deviation may force the pump to operate outside its design parameters. This can cause excessive noise, cavitation, vibration or circulation issues.

Flow Rate

The head created by the pump is the main determinant of the flow rate in the pumping system.

System Resistance

System resistance head counters both the friction head and the static head in the system.

Duty Point

When the system resistance head is equal to the head created by the pump, it is called the duty point. When selecting a centrifugal pump, it is crucial to identify the accurate duty point.

Choosing the Right Centrifugal Pump

Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) Made Available

The NPSH is determined by subtracting the vapour head of the fluid being pumped from the total absolute head at the point of pump suction. It is important to know the NPSH available (NPSHA) when selecting a centrifugal pump for any given application. If the NPSH available isn’t greater than the NPSH required (NPSHR) with an extra margin for safety, the pump will be at heightened risk for cavitation.

Suction Lift

In clean water systems that only transport cold water, a measurement called suction lift can be used to simplify calculations. In this case, it is also recommended that a safety margin is added in.

Matching the Requirements to the Right Pump

Once you have determined the total dynamic head, the flow rate and the NPSH or the suction lift, you can choose a pump which is appropriate for your system. The specifications can be presented with a constant speed with different impeller diameters corresponding with different head quantity curves. It can also be presented with a constant impeller diameter and varying speeds.

Either set of parameters will indicate power use, pump efficiency and the NPSH or suction lift required for the flow range of the pump. You can then determine the input power kW and speed (RPM) using the total head, required flow and suction lift from the performance curves.

Hydraulic Selection

Ideally, your system would be best served with a pump that has an NPSHA that is greater than the NPSHR by a reasonable margin while running at best efficiency point (BEP). The volute and impeller are operating as designed and the flow of the pump is smooth. Bearing loading, energy dissipation, vibration and shock are at a minimum and the pump should operate for a long time with no downtime.

Sadly, “ideally” isn’t often possible for a number of reasons. There is only a finite number of available pumps. Pump manufacturers would have to custom design individual pumps for individual systems. This is not feasible, practically or economically. Consequently, pumps are selected from units that are commercially available.

Specific speeds can be limited. For example, a duty point with a low flow rate and high head can exceed the limits of impeller design, causing the pump to operate near minimum continuous flow. A limited NPSHA can limit pumping speeds and running speeds.

Because duty requirements can vary to great extents, it can be impossible to find an ideal selection. For some operations, the ideal pump may be too complicated or cost prohibitive. Ultimately, choosing the right centrifugal pump can be a tradeoff between reliability, efficiency and cost.

How Big is the Compromise?

If the duty point rate is from 50-110% of the best efficiency flow rate, the pump is normally considered “acceptable.” If the BEP can’t be matched perfectly, a centrifugal pump whose operation is to the left of the BEP is preferable to one that exceeds the BEP.

We Can Take Care of it For You

Our customer service is the best in the business and we also have access to the manufacturers. If you are having trouble selecting a centrifugal pump, call Pump Solutions Australasia today. We don’t just import pumps, we provide solutions: 1300 793 418.

Ran Pump Double Diaphragm Pumps

Ran pump is known as one of the best manufacturers of double diaphragm pumps in the world. They are relatively new, as major manufacturers go. They have only been around since 2000. We only started importing their pumps in 2009. It only took them nine years from the inception of their company to develop a worldwide reputation for quality, performance and durability.

Ran Pump Double Diaphragm Pumps

Before we had heard of their quality, we had dismissed them because their prices were too low. We scour the world for high quality pumps because we want our customers to have as little downtime as possible. We work with many accounts for whom downtime can cost multiple thousands of dollars, so we are always sure to import pumps that offer maximum efficiency and minimum downtime.

We were surprised to find out that Ran Pumps were as reliable and efficient as they are because they cost less than comparable pumps in the industry. We decided to offer them to some of our customers and solicited their feedback. Everyone who has purchased them from us has been happy they were able to get such a great product for such a low price.

Ran Pump designs are manufactured in-house. They use a stable, lube-free air valve system and also have full stroke, modified and moulded PTFE diaphragms. The housings for those diaphragms are bolted and leak-free. The materials and finish are of the highest quality, leading to world class durability.

Ran Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps (AODD’s) are self-priming and have dry run capabilities. They are able to pump a diverse array of materials, including solids, slurries and hazardous chemicals. They are extremely useful for mining operations.

However, they can also be used for sanitary and sterile operations such as the food, medical and pharmaceutical industries. From the dangerous and difficult to the sanitary and delicate, Ran AODD pumps can handle whatever your industry demands.

For High Quality Ran Pumps

Call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 793 418.

Diaphragm Pumps and the Chemical Industry

Diaphragm pumps are a mainstay in the chemical industry throughout Australia. A diaphragm pump is a pump that uses one or two diaphragms in tandem with check valves to pump fluids.

How They Work

The diaphragm or diaphragms make the chamber smaller by pushing in towards the centre, pushing out fluids. When a diaphragm pulls away from the centre, it creates a vacuum, pulling in fluids. The fluids are directed by check valves that only allow the fluid to move in one direction. The fluid is pulled from one direction and pushed out the other.

Chemical Industry Uses Diaphragm Pumps

There are numerous qualities that make diaphragm pumps perfect for the chemical industry. They are capable of being used with high or low flow rates. Flow rate is easily adjusted by the diameter and the stroke length of the diaphragm.

Diaphragm pumps also have great dry pumping characteristics. They are also able to efficiently pump sludges and slurries, even those with high solid content. They can be used for high or low pressure pumping.

Uses in the Chemical Industry

The chemical industry uses a wide range of diaphragm pumps due to the different characteristics of chemicals and fluids. Diaphragm pumps can handle the most flammable, aggressive, viscous and abrasive fluids with ease.

To allow a diaphragm pump to handle a certain chemical, the pump materials are “matched” to the chemicals. Pumps are available in different materials, in a wide range which allows them to pump virtually any chemical on the market.

Double diaphragm pumps, also called Air Operated Double Diaphragm (AODD) pumps, use compressed air to move the diaphragms. They are seen by many as the safest design for pumping more aggressive chemicals. AODD pumps are limited to 6m suction lift, but they can operate with as much as a 160 metre discharge head.

At Pump Solutions Australasia, we have chose Ran Pumps to make our AODD pumps. They are the finest in the world and are made in Turkey.

To learn more about any of our inventory or to place an order, call Pump Solutions Australasia today: 1300 922 973.

Best Uses for Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps are used in many different industries for many different purposes. Centrifugal pumps are like water turbines in reverse. They use a motor to move an impeller, converting rotational energy into kinetic energy, pushing water through the chamber or casing. When the water enters the casing through an “eye,” it strikes the impeller where it is moved through and out of the chamber.

The exit of the water from the chamber creates pressure on the inside that is lower than that on the outside, causing more water to flow into the chamber, where it is moved by the impeller to start the cycle again.

Best Uses for Centrifugal Pumps

Common Applications for Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps have numerous applications in various industries. They are used often in oil refineries and power plants. They are also the pump of choice for municipal water applications. They are used to move the general water supply from the pressure main in cases where a little or no suction lift is required.

They can also be used for boiler feed applications, wastewater management, flood protection, drainage and irrigation.

Centrifugal pumps also have numerous building applications. They are used to provide booster service into homes. They are also used in fire protection sprinkler systems or to circulate hot water. They can also be used for drainage and air conditioning systems.

The chemical and process industries use centrifugal pumps for applications such as chemicals, paints, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, cellulose, hydrocarbons, food and beverage production and sugar refining.

The mining industry uses centrifugal pumps as froth pumps, separating bitumen and minerals from clay and sand. They also use them to transport solids and slurries.

Call Pump Solutions Australasia Today

Whatever you need, we can find it for you. We pride ourselves in carrying only the best pumps from across the globe. In many cases, we are Australia’s sole distributor and importer. We know which international firms make the best pumps for any application. We carry both Grundfos and Speck Pumpen centrifugal pumps because they are the best in the industry.

To learn more, call 1300 922 973 today.