What is a booster pump?
A type of centrifugal pump used to increase the pressure of liquid that is already flowing from one place to another in a pipeline. They are employed in many varied applications and may be used in combination with vertical turbine pumps or vertical submersible pumps to further boost the pressure (head) of irrigation or drinking water being pumped from wells.
Booster pumps are often used in pipelines to add pressure (head) to move the liquid along to the next pump or to its final destination at the end of the pipeline. And they are used in many process applications, where the pressure (head) required for the service is more than one pump can deliver, or where a second pump is required to make sure that the pumps do not cavitate.
They generally work within the following ranges:
- Flow rate ranges between 5 and 10,000 gpm
- Total head (pressure) ranges between 200 and 7,500 ft
- Horsepower ranges between 1 and 5,000 hp
How do booster pumps work?
Most are centrifugal pumps, relying upon one or more impellers to draw the pumped fluid into the intake of the pump, and to boost its pressure as the fluid passes through the impeller and the volute or diffuser casing. Some are single-stage, meaning that they have a single impeller. These are generally used in applications where the amount of additional pressure (head) that is required is not significant. There are also multi-stage configurations involving more than one impeller, which are used to deliver higher heads such as would be required to move water up to substantially higher elevations or through much longer pipelines.
Where are booster pumps used?
Single-stage booster pumps are used in private residences or other buildings that are far from the municipal water supply, or where water pressure at the building is inadequate. They’re also useful for irrigation systems if the well pump doesn’t have sufficient pressure (head) for the distance the water needs to travel and how big of a field needs to be irrigated.
Multi-stage configurations are often used to boost water supply in hilly areas, for both agricultural, commercial, and residential uses. They’re also essential in tall buildings. In industrial applications, booster pumps are used in pipelines, and some process systems.
Here are a few booster pump manufacturers to consider.
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