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Which Centrifugal Pump to Choose? Horizontal Vs. Vertical – A Comprehensive Guide

Posted: 20/06/2018
Category: centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps are one of the most popular choices for industrial applications like sugar processing, paper manufacturing and much more. Highly efficient, these pumps are highly versatile – meaning they can accommodate a wide range of pressures and liquid flows, making them suitable for several heavyweight applications. When it comes to inline centrifugal pumps, they are of two main types:

  1. Horizontal
  2. Vertical
In today’s post, we give you all that you need to know about the differences between these two pump types while listing the pros and cons of each so that you can make the right selection. Fundamental Differences between Vertical and Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps The primary difference between these two pumps is in the shape and position of the shaft. As the name implies, the horizontal centrifugal inline pump has a shaft that is placed horizontally. It is either placed between the bearings or overhung. On the other hand, the vertical inline pump has a shaft that is positioned vertically. Just like the above type, the design of the shaft is overhang and is radial split. How to choose between Vertical vs. Horizontal Inline Pumps? When choosing between vertical and horizontal pumps, one of the major factors to consider is “convenience.” What works for one application may not work for another. Here, we list the pros and cons of each, so that you can arrive at the right decision. Pros of Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps
  • Easier installation and maintenance as the internal parts like the rotor are easy to access.
  • Opt for an overhang shaft design for applications that require low suction pressure.
  • Opt for in-bearing shaft design for applications that require high suction pressure.
  • Secure coupling with external accessories like engines, electric motors or turbines.
  • Several nozzle configurations are possible to suit external piping requirements like:
    • Top suction top discharge
    • End suction top discharge
    • Side suction side discharge
  • Highly suitable for indoor applications, since the pump has low headroom, meaning it can be comfortably fit even in cramped spaces.
Cons of Horizontal Centrifugal Pumps
  • Working temperature and pressure is lower compared to vertical centrifugal pumps.
  • Cannot be used for applications that require NPSH higher than the NPSH available. Here, NPSH refers to the net positive suction head.
  • The footprint of horizontal designs is higher compared to vertical pumps.
Pros of Vertical Centrifugal Pumps
  • Smaller footprint when compared with horizontal pumps.
  • Suitable for applications that have restricted surface area.
  • The NPSH can be altered thereby making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
  • Suitable for liquids with high pressures and high temperatures.
Cons of Vertical Centrifugal Pumps
  • Requires large headroom, making installation and maintenance a bit challenging, especially when using turbine pumps or multistage units.
  • Coupling capability is limited. Can be used only with electric motors and not with drivers like turbines or engines.
  • It requires expensive pit and barrel, especially for large multi-stage units.
  • The overhang design makes it challenging to balance the axial thrust at high suction pressures.
  • When pumping liquids that contain high concentrations of dissolved gases, it becomes difficult to handle, and the mechanical seals are likely to fail.
The Bottom Line Now, that you have a clear picture of the pros and cons of both the types, we hope that you can arrive at the right conclusion. For further help on choosing the right pump type for your specific requirement, remember that our pump experts are just a call away. Give us a ring at +91-120-417-6000 for all your pump queries. If you found this article helpful, give us a shout-out in the comments below.

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