The McIlvaine Company

All power pump applications to be analyzed on a free website


Source: The McIlvaine Company

Pumps work in thousands of power industry applications.  Each coal-fired, combined cycle gas, and nuclear power plant requires hundreds of pumps.  They range the gamut of sizes and designs from the 6000 gpm (7000 ft head) vertical boiler feed water pumps to the little positive displacement chemical metering pumps.  Geothermal plants have special pump requirements.  Pumps are critical elements to keep the gearboxes functioning in wind turbines, the panels rotating in solar power plants, and the turbines rotating in steam and gas turbine plants.

The McIlvaine Company is creating a free website to identify each application and provide the technical information necessary to the specifier.  Utilities, engineering firms, pump suppliers and anyone with knowledge in the field are invited to participate in this effort.

The magnitude of difficulty should not be underestimated.  The FGD absorber recycle pump is a good example.  This is not one application but many.  The pump requirements vary greatly depending on whether the reagent is lime, limestone, ammonia, seawater, or sodium.  The chemistry is important.  Forced oxidation creates a slurry with large granules.  Inhibited oxidation creates a difficult slurry with small granules.  The requirements also vary with the type of absorber used.  Spray towers rely on liquid mass and tray towers rely more on fan energy, so the slurry flows vary and process sequences vary.  Some absorbers are also designed to remove particulate flyash.  Others have little flyash contamination.

The system will document the requirements for each of these variations.  Most importantly, it will classify all the alternatives to help the specifier with actual decision-making.  A unique sequence of classifications will be the key to the ultimate value.  They include the foster hierarchy, the genetic hierarchy, the enhanced clones, and the aliases.

The foster hierarchy relies on the decision tree software previously introduced by McIlvaine.  The plant is divided into sub systems e.g. fuel handling, combustion, air quality, and steam.  Sub systems are divided into unit operations e.g. granular material handling, and size reduction. Diagrams are provided at each step along the way.  Further sequencing provides the specific application of each pump.

The genetic hierarchy identifies unchanging relationships.  A vane pump is always the child of a rotary pump which is always a child of a positive displacement pump.  The Hydraulic Institute classifications will be utilized for this specific genetic hierarchy.  Many new genetic hierarchies will need to be created.  On a special website for this project, McIlvaine displays the initial phases of a genetic system to incorporate all the different association, government, and supplier hierarchies for identifying metal alloys.

The enhanced clone identification allows classification but also enlightenment as to special features required.  A rubber lined horizontal centrifugal pump is an enhanced clone of a horizontal centrifugal pump.  McIlvaine will seek industry-wide advice on distinguishing enhanced clones from true genetic children.

The aliases thesaurus will eliminate confusion and insure precise classification.  It is important to the specifier to know that one descriptor is just a synonym for a classification and not a new classification.  All decision-making is classification.  Therefore, a better effort at classification will result in better decisions.

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