Centrifugal pumps are widely used in the industry, especially in the oil and gas sector for fluids transport. Classically, these are designed to transfer single phase fluids (e.g., water) at high flow rates and relatively low pressures when compared with other pump types. As part of their constructive feature, centrifugal pumps rely on seals to prevent air entrapment into the rotor during its normal operation. Although this is a constructive feature, water should pass through the pump inlet even when the inlet manifold is damaged. Modern pumps are integrated in pumping units which consist of a drive (normally electric motor), a transmission (when needed), an electronic package (for monitoring and control), and the pump itself. The unit also has intake and outlet manifolds equipped with valves. Modern systems also include electronic components to measure and monitor pump working parameters such as pressure, temperature, etc. Equipment monitoring devices (vibration sensors, microphones) are installed on modern pumping units to help users evaluate the state of the machinery and detect deviations from the normal working condition. This paper addresses the influence of air-water two-phase mixture on the characteristic curve of a centrifugal pump; pump vibration in operation at various flow rates under these conditions; the possibilities of using the results of experimental investigations in the numerical simulations for design and training purposes, and the possibility of using vibration and sound analysis to detect changes in the equipment working condition. Conclusions show that vibration analysis provides accurate information about the pump’s functional state and the pumping process. Moreover, the acoustic emission also enables the evaluation of the pump status, but needs further improvements to better capture and isolate the usable sounds from the environment.
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