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UBC Theses and Dissertations

On site measurements of kraft pulp pump system efficiency Kuhn, Reinaldo


With increasing energy costs and competitive pressures, interest has increased in surveying installed pumps for potential energy savings. Field pump efficiency tests are required to assess pumping performance and help to identify improvement opportunities. This work concerns the on-site measurements of pulp-suspension pumping efficiency. This involves the measurement of pump head, flow rate and power consumption. Provided that consistent flow measurements are available, it is possible to reliably and non-invasively measure actual pump system efficiencies in pulp suspension flow, with a minimum process disturbance. As part of a most appropriate measurement-procedure study, four portable nonintrusive flow meters were evaluated on site for pulp suspension flow. The Fast Fourier Transform Doppler was found to be the most suitable for a pulp mill pump survey. Efficiency measurements were performed on six pump systems with motors between 100 and 700 HP. It is shown that as-installed pump efficiency can be used to help predict the degradation of the pump and also its effect on the pumping system’s operation. A system approach analysis was performed in each case, which can be effective in assessing system performance and finding potential enhancements. The use of variable speed drives allows the operating point to move along the system curve, requiring less energy to drive the pump. VSD of larger motors are expensive and their profitability compared to other modification alternatives should always be carefully checked by calculations based on accurate on site measurements and life cycle costs. Finally, in this survey of six pump systems, significant potential savings of around 30% of present power consumption were found.

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