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Novel method for detecting cavitation in centrifugal pump with frequency converter

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Centrifugal pumps are often used in operating conditions where they can be susceptible to premature failure. The cavitation phenomenon can be considered as a typical cause of pump failure as it erodes the internal parts of the pump and deteriorates the pump performance. The cavitation phenomenon can be detected by means of external measurements, for instance by monitoring the pump vibration. However, the use of additional sensors results in additional costs, which favours the use of sensorless methods in the field of condition monitoring.

In this article, a novel method for detecting cavitation in a centrifugal pump with a frequency converter is proposed. The method is based on the frequency converter's estimates for the rotational speed and shaft torque of the pump. The method has been tested in the laboratory with two different pumping systems and the obtained results are presented. Test results show that high flow cavitation can be detected by the proposed method.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Tero Ahonen received MSc and DSc degrees in electrical engineering from Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, in 2007 and 2011, respectively. He currently works as a researcher at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, FI-53851, Finland. His current research interests include diagnostics of industrial pumping systems using the available process information and devices, such as frequency converters.

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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