Axial thrust in vertical turbines
Vertical turbine pumps (VTP) are currently among the most used equipment in the mining industry worldwide. Their multiple benefits, such as high efficiency performance, reliability, modular design and minimum space requirements, make them one of the favourite pumps when designing a new industrial process or project. Historically, these pumps have been widely used for fluid intake or transfer applications, generally requiring Total Dynamic Head (TDH) of up to 300 m so they can be immediately connected to a booster pumping station –generally equipped with a tank and a set of horizontal pumps- that will finally provide the required high pressure.
Nowadays, as mine sites get bigger and metal ore grades decreases, the mining industry requires total dynamic heads so large that pumping must be done in multiple pump stations installed in series. This increases a project's CAPEX and sometimes this alternative may not even be feasible, as in cases where geographical or regulatory conditions do not allow the installation of several pump stations. That is why some manufacturers are pushing the limits of this pump model, designing engineered vertical turbine pumps within a limited range of specific speeds (30 < nq < 50), for high-head per stage, reaching Total Dynamic Heads (TDH) of up to 700 (m) or 2,297 feet.
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