Applications of Submersible Pumps

January 01, 2020

Submersible pumps are one of the most efficient centrifugal pumps. They save a significant amount of energy as they produce a pressure 30% faster than a jet pump. It is a widely popular centrifugal pump used across different industries to achieve higher efficiency with affordable prices.


Introduction to Submersible Pumps
Submersible pumps are used where the water depth is between 25 to 400 feet. They are driven by Hydraulic motor and are necessary when the water level is more than 5 meters or the open water is far from the pump set.
They are called submersible pumps because the motor that is hermetically sealed and attached to the pump’s body gives it an exceptional advantage of working under the fluid. It contains a section that can separate oil, water, and sand post collection and ultimately increases the water flow.



Demand for Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps are used in various fields like irrigation, drinking, dewatering, and oil production. There is a constant increase in the submersible pumps usage estimation and stats. They are used the most for industrial purposes followed by oil and gas, then mining, building, and construction, municipality and others. There are ample of benefits of using submersible pumps.
According to a report, in 2019 the market value of submersible pumps is US $ 9.724.0 Mn. Its Compound Annual Growth Rate is 4.8 %. Water and wastewater are lucrative segments.
It is rapidly growing in South Asia. Europe is its prominent market. From 1947 to 1956 there was an increase in the submersible pump sales from 100 units to 60,000 units which are quite rapid.
Thus, there are a lot of applications of this type of water pump which comes in various forms and sizes and this article is all about that. It is possible to build submersible pumps of several hundreds of horsepower for applications that allow such constructions practically.
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As per the requirement, the submersible motors have been categorized into various types and their detailing has been customized to make it efficient for each field where the installation takes place.

Types of Submersible Pumps

Submersible pumps do not have such depth limitations a present in most of the water pumps and they can submerge into 400 feet depth of water. There are shallow wells and deep wells as per the categorization of water pumps.

  • Dewatering Pumps: Standing water in mining and construction is removed by these pumps. They are used for water and water with light suspend solids.
  • Sand, Sludge, and Slurry Pumps: The demanding application of removing abrasive, stringy and fibrous solids is accomplished by designing these heavy-duty pumps.
  • Solids Handling Pumps: Materials such as sewage, viscous liquid wood chips, wastewater, mud raw and other solids are handled by this design of pumps. Shredder or Cutter pumps are used for cutting of materials before pumping.
  • Electric Pumps: In oil wells, typically electrical submersible pumps that run by electric power are used. With a three-stage induction motor ESPs are multistage centrifugal pumps with a sealed chamber section. The electricity is supplied to the pump by a surface power control system through a power cable. These pumps are also used in plants and pools.


Applications of Submersible Pumps

Oil Production
Submersible motors are best known for their oil mining applications. So, let’s have an insight into how they play a major role in oil production platforms:
Submersible pumps produce an efficient artificial lift and operate across a broader range of flow rates and depths as compared to other pumps. The submersible pumps provide greater pressure at the bottom as compares to the natural production dynamic and increase work efficiency. The category of pumps deployed for this task is electric Submersible pumps (ESP).
There are both surface and subsurface components present in the ESPs. The surface components are for example used for oil production platforms purposes whereas the latter one is used in well holes. Transformers, surface cables and variable speed controller for motors constitute the surface components. The subsurface components are deployed by attaching them to the tubing string while on the surface and later suspending them into the well using the string. There are fifteen different brands of ESPs that are being used across the world.
Sewage Treatment Plants
These pumps are completely dispersed in the liquid they are supposed to displace. To drain slurry and sewage these pumps are generally used. Under the sewage levels, the level sensors handle its operation. There are different submersible pumps for handling liquid and solid sewage.
Cables
As per the pump environmental conditions, there are specifically designed cables for or wet ground use. In deep wells and conditions that are harsh for the submersible pumps, the cables are designed specially.
The durability and reliance on the submersible pump cable become important in hostile environmental conditions. The submersible pump cables can be installed in fresh as well as saline water.
Industries That Use Submersible Pumps
  • Fire fighting: The submersible pumps are extremely versatile, lightweight and can be deployed by hands.
  • Deep and crooked wells may create problems while shafting and submersible pumps are savers to that problem.
  • Submersible pumps are a good source of draining water from flooded areas.- Electric motors might get damages if put inside flooded surfaces but the submersible pumps would not.
  • When booster pumps are to be installed at locations that require a quiet operation then submersible pumps are again apt for that service
  • Under the sidewalk or streets, there is merely any little space to install water pumps on the floor but the petit size of submersible pumps is relatively very easy to adjust at such locations
  • The maintenance operations of installations in agricultural units consume a lot of time, energy and money and thus it is better to use submersible pumps for irrigation purposes wherever it possible
  • Handing of seawater, deep well drilling, water drilling, artificial lifts, offshore drilling rigs are other applications of Submersible pumps.

Easy to Operate
Like turbine pumps the operation and controlling of Submersible pumps is same and their applications are also similar. Except for the motor starting equipment no other special consideration is needed. This is because unlike the overload relays, the submersible pump motor is not exposed to such temperature when it is submerged into the fluid.
Correct overload protection of motor is thus a necessity for submersible motor pumps.
  • Quick trip heaters that compensate to immediate temperature as per their surroundings should be used in three-phase submersible motors.
  • To prevent the motor windings from any damage the power should be cut within ten seconds of the motor stops due to overload.
Important Tips To Remember – Preventive Measures
It is highly important to take proper preventive measures for centrifugal pumps. Since these pumps are often subjected to extreme temperatures, deal with heavy volumes of materials and perform under strenuous environmental conditions, they have high chances of corrosion, abrasion, and poor performance due to faulty components.
Here are some tips to remember that can help your pumps run efficiently for a longer period of time:
1. If the temperature of the fluid is too high or that abrasives are in large amount then the submersible pumps can lead to a bad performance.
2. The water flowing through the submersible pump motor must be adequate in order to maintain the required operating temperature. This is also important to prevent any premature failure.
3. The configurations related to the installation must be discussed well with motor manufacturers in order to obtain the right side of the motor shroud. There can be a variation between the liquid-temperature and motor manufacturer’s recommendations. A top shroud above the pump suction inlet forces the liquid into the motor first before letting it pass through the pump. This shroud is required in case the well-casing is oversized or the motor has to be submerged inside any pond or a pit.
4. In comparison with the line- shafts the submersible pumps have shorter shafts and this helps them in providing better services in contorted wells. In the crooked wells, a gage along with the bowl assembly has to be lowered to the depth where the pump installation is supposed to take place. The installation of a submersible pump is not possible if the gage cannot be placed on at least 40 feet of pipe.
5. The pipeline booster services deploy submersible pumps in municipal water systems, pipelines for petroleum products, industries, and some other applications that require boosters.
6. The submersible pumps can be horizontally suspended into the installation area due to its unique design even in a vertical setting. They equip a strong booster the fluid flowing in line with the pump. Thus submersible pumps are a big solution to problems related to the line- boosters.
7. The economy operation reduces the vandalism and the need to buy an additional property is dismissed with the availability of these engineered answers to all such issues.
8. Its structure lets it fit in the special section of the pipeline horizontally. In fact, its designing is such that allows the motor to adjust in the installation place easily.
9. The submersible pumps can be fitted into the canisters used as boosters due to their vertical application.
10. The coupling of the turbine bowl with the hydraulic motor, noise- free running and lightweight makes it a suitable water pump above other larger pumps. Its size is of great advantage which accomplishes greater tasks and at the same time reduces cost and expenses.
The statistics, facts and uses mentioned above in this article indicate that submersible pumps are a relevant and efficient source of water pumping. This new invention with its various categories can resolve many issues and save a lot of time spent in the pumps otherwise.
To know more about different pumps, you can read our blogs here. If you are an organization which is looking for expansion and in the need for the strategic implementation of pumps, we can help you out.
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