Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Pump Flow Test Loop Facility
Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) Pump Flow Test Loop facility, a multi-purpose modular laboratory, provides versatile fluid system conditions for configuring and testing motors, pumps, valves, flow metering devices, and other components. Sensors within the fluid system can monitor, record, and analyze various parameters such as pump and motor vibration; fluid flow; temperature; and output torque. Specialized instrumentation allows researchers to perform detailed, dynamic signal analysis on pumping systems beyond normal, steady-state monitoring.
The flow loop system provides a maximum flow capacity of 3,500 gallons per minute and a working pressure of 100 pounds per square inch. The supplied motor power (three-phase, 480 volts, and 300 amps) contains a starter/circuit breaker which can be programmed to any setting within the amperage range. A versatile valving setup allows the system to be configured for various testing situations such as complete shutoff, very low flow, and full pump runout flow. In conjunction with the Motor Test facility, flow loop pump motors can be calibrated for flow loop research. Recorded data acquired at the flow loop under realistic operating scenarios can be used at the Motor Test facility to test motors under simulated conditions. In addition to pump and motor systems, the pipe system uses a modular design which allows researchers to remove sections, install flow metering devices or valves, and calibrate them against the system.
The Pump Flow Test Loop facility is also used when conducting the fluid and thermal system training for operations personnel. The training explains the overall system, offers hands-on experience, shows methods for using the system efficiently, and provides insight for problem solving.
ORNL’s Pump Flow Test Loop facility offers data analysis and unique, versatile testing. Applications include pump and motor efficiency; hydraulic stability; actuator performance; motor current and power signature analysis; pump flow design validation; and non-intrusive check valve diagnostics. ORNL realized a $100,000 per year savings from a project with the Fusion Energy Building. By evaluating and changing the pumps, personnel increased the flow efficiency of the chilled water system. Vibration problems were also solved which reduced operator stress and eliminated the need for hearing-protection equipment.
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