SABS tests largest pump in four decades

July 19th, 2019, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize, Articles: EngineerIT, Articles: Vector

The SABS Laboratory Services Division has put a KSB split case pump with a 2800 m3 per hour capacity through the paces of pump acceptance testing at the SABS Pump Testing Facility in Pretoria. The pump, driven by a V16 quad turbo Mitsubishi motor with 1350 kW power output, is intended for the suppression of hydrofluoric acid vapour in emergencies. It is the largest pump to be tested at the facility since 1978.

SABS Laboratory Services executive Johan Louw says large pumps are required in the mining, petrochemicals and power sectors when large volumes of water must be pumped.

“Using diesel engines ensures that they can be used when an emergency situation such as fire or vapour release occurs.”

The SABS Laboratory Services Division (LSD) has an equipped facility for pump acceptance testing to SANS 9906 Rotodynamic pumps – hydraulic performance acceptance tests – Grade 1, 2 and 3. The standard specifies the hydraulic performance tests for customers’ acceptance tests of roto-dynamic pumps, which include centrifugal, mixed-flow and axial pumps. The facility’s power supply allows for testing up to 1,4 MW with electrical supply.

The testing parameters for the pump were capacity; head; power; efficiency and net positive suction head (NPSH). Other testing parameters for pump testing and verification at SABS include temperature rise; noise; dimension; material and protection coatings. The test bay was adapted to accommodate the 32-tonne diesel engine pump system and an improvised exhaust system was added for diesel emission extraction. The facility is equipped with a 41 000 l water reservoir and an 735 000 l water ducting system below floor level.

Discharge pressure is verified by regulating the flow through valves to simulate operating conditions and generate a pressure versus flow curve.

Erich Seeger, senior manager at LSD, says the bureau is the “ideal choice” for testing and certifying of rotodynamic pumps. He says most high-volume pumps are manufactured by international companies and are then assembled in South Africa.

“The SABS offers independent test facilities for local manufacturers and importers. Since November 2018, the SABS has enabled customer-specific requirement testing which supports the local manufacturers’ development and export objectives.”


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