Centrifugal pumps are the most widely used pumps in the world. The vast majority of installed centrifugal pumps are of horizontal configuration. Perhaps in your facility it's the same. But don't discount the vertical inline centrifugal pump. It has some benefits that you might want to consider before selecting your next centrifugal pump.
Functionally, the two styles are very much the same. They both include an impeller and utilize centrifugal force to move fluids from point A to point B.
They're both efficient, and are similar in price. The biggest difference between these two pump styles is pretty obvious, the vertical or horizontal shaft positions.
Though the horizontal shaft position is far and away the most popular, the inline configuration definitely has some benefits over horizontal. Here are some reasons why an inline centrifugal pump might be your next best selection.
- Space saver: Inline centrifugal pumps are commonly used in building applications where space is very limited. It covers a much smaller footprint than horizontal pump and motor configurations.
- Lower NPSHr: NPSHr is lower for inline pumps due to its design. Fluid is able to flow through the pump easier, requiring less suction pressure to feed the pump.
- Can take the heat: Better suited for higher temp, higher pressure product due to its ability to handle thermal expansion.
Before you dial up your nearest pump distributor for an inline pump, there are a few cons to consider:
- You're going to need some headroom: Footprint will be smaller, but will you have enough headroom to install and service this pump?
- It's a balancing act: Center of gravity is high on this pump due to the motor mounted on top of the pump. Can be difficult to balance in high pressure service applications.
- Can be prone to mechanical seal problems: Liquids with entrained or dissolved gas can cause issues with mechanical seals. Gas accumulates at the top of the stuffing box or seal chamber, causing mechanical seals to dry out and fail.
If space is a concern now, or could be in the future, take a look at the inline centrifugal pump. It will deliver near equal performance to an end suction pump at a fraction of the footprint. Talk to an engineer experienced in fluid process equipment to learn if this change would work for your process.
Not sure if an inline centrifugal pump is right for you? Ask us about it! We gladly provide technical assistance to businesses and municipalities in Wisconsin and upper Michigan.