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CRV Applications

A Cure For Pump Cavitation Cavitation means that cavities or bubbles are forming in the liquid that is being pumped. These cavities form on the low pressure or suction side of the pump.Most pump piping systems have an elbow within ten pipe diameters of the pumps suction inlet. The elbow causes a flow turbulence which results in pump cavitation. While the CRV itself has no moving parts, it imparts a rotational flow to the liquid to exactly cancel the rotational effect of the elbow so that the fluid exits the elbow with no turbulence.

To operate properly Centrifugal Pumps require ten pipe diameters or more of straight pipe at their inlet, to dissipate the elbow induced non-uniform flow. When pipe diameters become large, this requirement becomes hard to meet. As a result, non uniform flow enters a pump resulting in a flow imbalance in the impeller. In the case of a double-suction pump, induced axial unbalanced vibration, head loss, and impeller cavitation occur.

Figure 1a and 1b Top view of double-suction pump showing how a plain elbow (1a) creates cavitation while a CRV (1b) promotes an even flow distribution. In Figure 1b, a balanced, uniform flow is seen as a result of using a CRV . The CRV is a proven flow conditioner which has solved thousands of industrial pumping installation problems.

The Cheng Rotation Vane (CRV ) consists of a set of stationary vanes in a cylindrical body which is placed immediately upstream of an elbow or tee in a piping system. The device addresses the following flow problems described sections below:

A. Pump Cavitation B. Flow Measurement Accuracy C. Elbow Errosion D. Compressors E. Check Valves F. Water Hammer G. Specifying CRV The CRV eliminates elbow induced turbulence which negatively impacts the performance of pumps, compressors,

control valves, flow meters, and other equipment. The CRV inputs to the flow a counteracting gyroscopic motion to the resultant elbow induced gyroscopic motion, and enables the fluid to negotiate the turn through the elbow and then exit the elbow with a flat velocity profile. This results in an even distribution of process fluid through any cross-section of the elbow and transforms the elbow into the equivalent of a straight length of pipe, and there is no additional pressure drop with the use of a CRV.

See Customer Testimonials regarding how Dupont saved money and how Bechtel improved their flowmeter measurement accuracies below.

A. Pump Cavitation
Problems related to pump cavitation: 1. Pump cavitation, vibration and noise 2. Frequent seal, bearing, or impeller replacement 3. Non-uniform suction flow creating reduced flow and head 4. Lack of space for proper pump installation Solution: The CRV Benefits: 1. Reduced maintenance intervals, less downtime, and higher reliability 2. Reduced cavitation, vibration, and noise 3. Improved Net Positive Suction Head (NPSH) Customer Testimonial: Dupont reports savings of 50X the installation costs Case History: Figure 2 - CRV installation just upstream of a short radius elbow and overhung centrifugal pump. Figure 2 shows the feed piping configuration of a 3,500 rpm pump utilizing an eight inch CRV. Prior to installing the CRV , the pumps operation had been noisy and the unit required an overhaul every 4 months. The vibration spectra of the pump before and after the installation of a CRV are shown in Figures 3a and 3b. The dramatic reduction in measured cavitation (6-14 range on the frequency scale) also resulted in a reduction in impeller imbalance (1 on the frequency scale). This reduced the noise; extended seal, bearing, and impeller life; and increased delivered head and flow. Prior to the CRV s installation, three identical pumps in parallel operation were required to deliver the required flow rate. After CRV s were installed before the elbow of each pump, two pumps met the flow rate requirements, and the third pump served as an installed spare.

Figure 3a & 3b - Comparison vibration spectra of 3,500 rpm double-suction pump (a) without CRV and (b) with CRV

B. Flow Measurement Accuracy


Problems related to flow measurement accuracy 1. Inaccurate flow measurements 2. Lack of space for proper installation 3. Trapped fluids in dangerous chemical concentrations Solution: The CRV Benefits: 1. Accurate flow measurements 2. More compact pipe layout 3. Eliminates trapping of chemical species The CRV is a technology breakthrough that provides a uniform elbow exit velocity profile, without swirl, allowing the close coupling of pipe elbows to meters. Distortion and separated flow always accompany the fluid exiting a pipe elbow. Long meter-runs are required to allow the viscous forces to re-establish a steady equilibrium flow distribution before they encounter the measuring instrument. The CRV is a set of stationary vanes, in a cylindrical body, which is positioned upstream of the elbow. The CRV will precisely rotate the flow about its axis to compensate for the rotation caused by the elbow. The CRV produces a uniform and nonturbulent flow at the exit of the elbow, and allows the length of the meter-run to be dramatically reduced. Elimination of the separated pulsating flow also increases the accuracy of the meter system.

Customer Testimonial: Bechtel reports improved flowmeter accuracy in tight spaces

The conventional need for pipe meter-runs Three examples of meter-run requirements: 1. 2. 3. For a plain elbow, standard meter-runs are up to 30 diameters long, depending upon the type of fluid being measured (see example A below). Tubular flow straighteners, used to homogenize the separated, non-uniform flow from elbows, still require at least 20 pipe diameters in length for settling velocity distortion (see example B below). The CRV prevents the formation of separation and cross flow in the elbow. Now the meter-run can be as short as 1 diameter (see example C below).

It is not always convenient to provide a long meter-run, especially when metering instruments are added to an existing piping system. The use of a CRV eliminates the need for long meter-runs, and provides a steady, uniform flow which results in consistent accurate flow measurements for all types of meters.

Usage example for flow meters: Continuous Emission Monitoring (CEM) is an EPA requirement for all power plants. A poor stack piping design will result in fluctuations, inaccurate pollutant readings, and burst phenomena (see Figure 1 below). This is a result of the separated flow caused by the ducting elbows in the stacks.

Figure 1 - In a typical installation of a CEM unit the figure below illustrates flow trapping and attendant emission fluctuations. With the proper installation of a CRV into the piping, the flow up through the stack becomes more uniform. This configuration avoids the burst phenomena (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2 - With proper choice of CRV, flow measurements are more accurate.

C. Elbow Erosion
Problems: 1. Frequent elbow erosion can be caused by particulate or two-phase flow 2. Unsafe elbow erosion conditions Solution: The CRV Benefits: 1. 2. 3. 4. Extended life of elbow/less downtime, more reliability Safer operating conditions (nuclear plant) Elbow erosion is eliminated by preventing turbulence, internal pressure gradients, and cavitation, through the use of an internally hardened CRV. The particulates remain in the flow stream, instead of hitting the outer wall, thus cavitation induced erosion is eliminated. Reduced pump vibration and noise.

Above is a typical cavitation induced elbow erosion that developed in a power plant over a span of only two months. Applications: 1. Coal slurry, particulate, and catalyst-blow down systems 2. Saturated liquid flashing 3. Various internal coatings for the CRV 's are available to meet particular customer applications Results: 1. 2. Steam-water punch through was every two months. Three years after a CRV was installed, x-rays show no signs of extraordinary erosion. Catalyst blow-down pipe was penetrating the elbow wall every four months. Sixteen months after a CRV was installed, xrays show no signs of any preferential wear.

D. Compressors
Problems: 1. Inlet distortions cause the compressor to operate at less than the factory rated flow, head and efficiency 2. Interstage hunting caused by non-uniform flow Solution: The CRV Benefits: 1. 2. 3. Operates closer to the factory rated flow, head, and efficiency Lower suction piping pressure drop Reduced energy operating costs Figure 1 - CRV in feed suction piping of a multistage compressor

Centrifugal and Fiaxial compressor operation and performance are sensitive to velocity and mass distribution at the inlet. The ASME Power Test Code for compressors (PTC-10) requires a fully developed uniform velocity profile entering the compressor OR a minimum straight run of three pipe diameters is required at the straight pipe inlet to produce a flat velocity profile. In field operations, however, compressors do not always have this ideal suction piping configuration. Poor field suction piping includes single, double and triple elbows immediately upstream of the compressor, which create a considerable amount of distortion. For example, large multistage axial or centrifugal compressors (i.e. a refrigeration compressor) that supply high pressure systems, as shown in Figure 1, can have upstream turns in

the suction piping which result in non-uniform mass and flow profiles approaching the splitter in the compressor casing. The CRV , when placed on the inlet side of an elbow, produces a flat velocity profile and an even distribution of process gas at the elbow exit. This allows the compressor to more closely approach its factory test inlet conditions and performance curves. Typical CRV locations in compressor feed piping systems are shown in Figure 1 for multistage compressors and Figure 2 for interstagecooled compressors.

Figure 2 - CRV's in the feed suction piping of an interstage-cooled compressor

E. Check Valves
Problems: 1. Chatter from check valves close coupled to an upstream elbow 2. Disc pin wear and breakage 3. Poor sealing due to disc pin and valve seat wear Solution: The CRV Benefits: 1. Eliminates elbow induced flow turbulence in check valves 2. Extends disc pin and valve seat life 3. Improves sealing reliability Check valves, by the very nature of their design, respond to flow and pressure disturbances such as turbulence in the upstream piping system. This can result in the disc oscillating back and forth on the pin support. When a check valve is close-coupled to an upstream elbow, the turbulence becomes severe and if the oscillations are of a large enough amplitude, the disc may bang against the stop. Eventually, the pin fails, leakage though the pin starts, and the valve seat will not seal. Results of time history measurements of the complex fluid pressure waves resulting from the interaction of the elbow generated turbulence and the oscillating check valve generated turbulence are presented in the figures below. Without the CRV as shown in Figure a, it may be seen that the interaction of these two turbulant flows, results in periodically large amplitude pressure bursts. These bursts are damaging to the check valve because they result in a more severe check valve oscillation.

In check valve systems with upstream close-coupled elbows, harmful high amplitude pressure bursts can be eliminated by installing a CRV upstream of the elbow. With a CRV mounted in front of the elbow-check valve combination, turbulence generated by the elbow is eliminated. Figure b shows an absence of high amplitude pressure bursts. This results in minimized wear on the check valve pins; extended life; reduced vibration and noise; and better sealing reliability.

The discharge of many pumps are equipped with check valves in order to prevent backflow when the pump is being shut down. The illustration shows a typical CRV installation. Without a CRV , the oscillating check valve generates a pulsating back pressure on the pump which causes excessive vibration, headbox breakage, bearing wear and even shaft breakage. Installation of a CRV prevents check valve oscillation and largely reduces pump vibration problems. The CRV 's installation may also result in a higher flow rate and improved pump efficiency. Many utility boiler feed pumps and cooling water pumps have CRV s installed.

F. Water Hammer
Problems: Traveling pressure waves reflect back and forth and can resonate in a piping system, resulting in high pressure shock waves, which can break through pipe, joints, and elbows. Solution: The CRV Benefits: The CRV can act as a passive one way dampener, which will dissipate the pressure wave energy into heat, along the piping system. Water hammer is actually a travelling pressure wave. It is initiated by the rapid stoppage of an incompressible flowing liquid in a piping system. For example, the pounding heard in process piping usually occurs due to a rapid valve closure or when large steam bubbles are introduced into water and the water rapidly collapses the steam bubbles. These pressure waves reflect back-and-forth between the interior wall of a piping system, reinforcing themselves as succeeding waves encounter each other. These waves become so energetic that catastrophic structural damage can occur. The CRV s geometric features prove extremely useful in controlling water hammer. When fluid is flowing in the forward direction, the CRV is passive and offers no pressure drop and keeps the flow laminar. But when the fluid travels backward, it will exhibit a high pressure drop and it will not remain attached to the CRV s vanes, as shown in Figure a. This high drag footprint (as shown in Figure b) for a backward flowing fluid and travelling pressure wave, acts as a passive dampener controlling the water hammer. 1. 1.

Figure a and b - The CRV acts as a passive dampener, for the reverse flow pressure waves, and thus controls water hammer Dramatic improvements were seen in a piping circuit with four elbows between the supply line and the shut-off valve where the wall static pressure, with and without CRV s, was measured. The results indicate that with CRV s in place upstream of each elbow, the amplitude of the peak pressure pulse was 49% of that without CRV s.

G. Specifiying CRV
For the convenience of engineers, architects and designers in writing CRV specifications, Cheng Fluid Systems suggests the following: The Cheng Rotation Vane (CRV ) must be located right at but no further than one pipe diameter away from the elbow's inlet. With this arrangement there will be a uniform velocity profile with no downstream residual rotation. Depending on the application, the CRV is designed to address specific flow requirements such as velocity distribution, separation (which has accelerated and reverse flows), noise, vibration, erosion, elimination of turbulence, and pressure drop reductions. Cheng Rotation Vane (CRV ) Specification Sheet Materials of Construction The CRV can be manufactured from most commercially available materials, pipe diameters, pipe schedules and end connections. N-stamped units are available for nuclear applications. Special internal coatings and finishes are also available. Applications For the convenience of engineers, architects and contractors in writing CRV specifications, please reference the application diagrams provided below.

Dimensions CRV - standard unit dimension in 2" to 12" sizes are shown in Table 1 below. Special length or design CRV s can be quoted on request. Pipe Fitting Geometry When specifying a CRV , it is critical that the CRV matches the geometry of the fitting to which it will be attached. The fitting schedule (wall thickness) and type of fitting must be specified. We must know if the CRV will be used with a long radius or short radius elbow. Incorrect fitting specifications will result in poor performance because the angle of the CRV is very sensitive to the fluid path traveled in the elbow. To assist in the proper specification of a CRV , standard common fitting types, their nomenclature, and dimensions are shown in Figures 11-15 (Table 2) for both short and long radius applications.

Table 1

Table 2