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Pump Submergence

When liquid is pulled through a pipe, the fluid may swirl. This swirl can extend to the air surface when a pump is pulling from an open reservoir. Free-surface air core vortices can form which will disrupt normal pump operation if they reach a pump’s inlet. Therefore, submergence –the distance between suction inlet and free liquid surface—is an important parameter to consider when designing pumping systems.

This is an additional consideration on top of NPSH requirements – it is possible that a pump meeting NPSHR will not meet the required submergence.

AFT Fathom calculates the required submergence at system boundaries with the following equation, pursuant to ANSI-HI 9.8.7 1998:

S = D+2.3V√(D/g)

Figure 1 – Submergence Calculation

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