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Energy reduction in pumping low consistency pulp fiber suspensions Jalayer, Mazyar


Liquid transport is a vital segment of the economy. Pumping systems – whether used at a pulp and paper mill to transfer pulp stock, to pump petroleum through cross country pipeline or to transport tailings from a mine processing plant to a disposal site – are often one of the largest consumers of electrical energy. This thesis studies energy reduction in pumping low consistency fibre suspensions. The methods and procedures described in this work are applicable to any process where pumps are utilized. The main focus is on centrifugal pumps, the most commonly used pump at processing plants. Two methods are developed to achieve energy reduction: redesign of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) impeller and pump performance monitoring via thermodynamic method. A novel methodology/process was developed for redesigning a more efficient impeller for existing pump installations. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) process was developed for performance prediction of various impeller designs. The CFD process was validated using experimental pump loop results. Using OEM impeller geometry, design data and the redesign model, a series of eight optimal impellers were generated. The performances of these impellers were evaluated using the validated CFD process. The most efficient impeller design was selected for prototyping and experimental validation. A case study on Allis Chalmers PWO 6”x3”x14” pump showed that efficiency increase of 19.7% can be achieved with the redesign methodology. The validity of thermodynamic method was also studied in low consistency fibre suspension service. Head and efficiency curves for a low consistency pulp and paper centrifugal pump were measured for various low consistency pulp suspensions (0.5%, 1.0%, and 1.5%). These curves were simultaneously determined using two different approaches: conventional magnetic flow meter and differential pressure measurements; and by utilizing suction and discharge static pressure and temperature data (the thermodynamic method). It is found that addition of up to 1.5% mass fraction of softwood Kraft pulp to water did not affect the accuracy of the efficiency measurement when using the thermodynamic method. The pump efficiency calculated by thermodynamic method is consistent with the “gold standard” flow-meter-based method for flow rates within 90 – 115% of BEP (±1.0% maximum discrepancy).

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International