Understanding the Unique Benefits of Peristaltic Pump Design

Moving liquid from one place to another has always been an engineering challenge. The Romans used aqueducts that worked with the force of gravity to move water over a distance. However, pushing liquids against gravity requires a different kind of force. Engineers developed mechanical pumps to handle this problem. Like any mechanical device, traditional pumps break down over time. Cracks that develop in vacuum seals reduce pump efficiency. Moving parts are subject to breakdown. Peristaltic pumps handle many of these issues with a minimalistic design. With fewer moving parts and no seals, the peristaltic pump design has practical applications in several industries.

Peristaltic Pumps in the Oil and Gas Industry

In the oil and gas industry, pumps must transfer liquids of different viscosities from deep in the earth or through long pipelines. Peristaltic pump manufacturers know that their products must handle substances like oil, gas, and particulate-heavy fracking water. The simple design allows companies to use these devices successfully in harsh conditions.

The Basics of Peristaltic Pump Operation

Peristalsis is the involuntary, rhythmic motion that pushes food through the digestive tract in the human body. Waves of muscle movement guide food down the esophagus and through the intestines as it slowly breaks down.

A peristaltic pump mimics this repetitive motion. Liquids travel through a flexible tube. The pump consists of shoes that rotate on an axis and press against the tube. The repeated pressure moves the liquid further down the line with each rotation. This action also creates a natural vacuum that pulls the substance up from its source.

How Pump Design Affects Performance

The oil and gas industry requires pumps that move a significant volume under challenging conditions. Each unit must provide consistent performance with minimal breakdowns. Peristaltic pump manufacturers develop their products to meet these needs.

Advantages of a Minimalist Design

When a product has fewer moving parts, there are fewer opportunities for equipment failure. The most likely issue is cracking in the tube due to the repetitive motion and extended use. Companies will need to choose a tubing material based on the pumped substance. Water with grit will require a more durable material than clean water.

Reversible Operation

Peristalsis is a simple motion, making it easy to stop and reverse the fluid flow. In the event of a pump alarm, the operator only needs to reverse the rotation of the pump to move the material back towards its source.

Low Risk of Cross-Contamination

When working with toxic or sensitive liquids, cross-contamination is a concern. The simplicity of a peristaltic pump’s design minimizes the risks of contact with items outside the pump. The pumped substance only touches the interior of the tube and never the mechanism itself.

Consistent Flow Rates

Although all machines wear down with use, the simple design of a peristaltic pump provides consistent, uninterrupted flow. There are no seals to crack or joints to fail. The slow, rhythmic spinning offers dependable performance.

Peristaltic Pumps in Wastewater Management

The technology used by gas and oil companies can also benefit organizations in the wastewater treatment sector. Although wastewater is not as thick as many petroleum products, treatment plants must move water at different purity stages. A peristaltic system can push untreated water into settling tanks or clean water into supplemental holding tanks.

Fluid Pumps and SCADA Technology

Any industry that utilizes mechanical pumps can benefit from supervisory control and data acquisition technology. A SCADA system involves sensors that report data throughout a facility. Sensors might send data about volume, rate, and tube pressure for a peristaltic pump. If any functional measure falls outside the acceptable range, the system can throw an automatic pump alarm.

Information about overall pump efficiency will also help facilities take an intentional approach to maintenance. Employees can change out the pump tube or shoes to prevent a significant loss in performance.

High Tide Technologies provides SCADA technology for municipal water collection, distribution, and treatment facilities. Our cloud-based approach allows staff members to access information from any connected device. Contact us today to learn about the benefits of SCADA for your system.