What Is a Sea Water Pump?

Posted on Dec 16, 2020

Sea Water Pump

A sea water pump is a machine used to transfer or circulate seawater for multiple applications. It can be used in the water cooling system to circulate the seawater inside a machine; it can also be used in desalination, the process that removes the minerals and salt from seawater.

Introduction to Sea Water Pump

The sea water pump is the machine used to transfer or circulate seawater for multiple applications. The sea water pump can be used in the water cooling system to circulate the seawater inside a machine. It can also be used in desalination, the process that removes the minerals and salt from seawater. Moreover, they can be used in bilge dewatering or high-pressure deck washing. To resist the corrosion of the seawater, a sea water pump is mainly made of stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials such as bronze. Bronze is a cost-effective alternative since the sea water pumps that are made of stainless steel usually come at a higher price.

The sea water pumps are a kind of marine pump, which are typically used on a ship or a vessel for dewatering work. Either the marine pumps or the sea water pumps are usually centrifugal pumps since the centrifugal pumps are efficient in the dewatering work or in water circulation applications. The efficiency of the centrifugal pump in such works has to do significantly with how the machine works. Learn the components of the centrifugal pump and how it works helps the user to get a better understanding as to how to best apply such a machine in the works.


What Is a Centrifugal Pump?

The nature of a centrifugal pump is to move fluid by means of transferring it with the rotational energy from the impellers. The components of a centrifugal pump are simple. There are the inlet and outlets of the fluid, the impellers, the motor, and the casing of the pump. The seawater enters the impellers of the pump through the water inlet. The impellers rotate rapidly along the axis and hence create the centrifugal force along the circumference of the impellers. When the seawater passes through the rotating impellers, the velocity and pressure of the water are increased. The seawater will then be cast out directly to the outlet of the pump. The motor drives the impellers to rotate and the pump casing directs the seawater to pass the centrifugal pump through the path of the water inlet, impellers, and water outlet.

:: Read More: What Is Multistage Centrifugal Pump - Types Compared And Explained


How does a Sea Water Pump Work?

The essential component of a sea water pump, which is referred to as the centrifugal pump, is the impellers. The impellers consist of a center and curved vanes. The center of the impellers is the axis, which is sometimes called the eye. The eye is the place where seawater passes through. The water exits along the circumference between the vanes when the impeller rotates. The impellers are connected to the motor with a shaft. Typically, the impellers rotate at a speed from 500 to 5000 rpms. The faster the impellers rotate, the greater the centrifugal force is. The rotation of the impellers pressurizes and accelerates the seawater and then cast it out through the vanes into the pump casing. The pump casing comes in two styles to direct the pressurized water out of the pump: the volute and the diffuser. The diffuser design is more efficient while the volute design is better for directing water with solids.


Sea Water Pump Features

Based on the way a centrifugal pump works, the sea water pump offers higher flows of water and is more preferable in moving low viscosity liquids such as seawater. The design and mechanism of the centrifugal pump are simpler compared to other types of pumps. It uses the kinetic energy of a motor to move liquids.

Since the design of the sea water pump is very simple, it does not require as many moving parts or valves as other types of pumps. This makes it a lot easier to maintain even when it runs at a high speed. Also, the sea water pumps are smaller in size. As a result, these pumps are applied mostly in the water circulation system or dewatering operations where the working environment is confined and the operation needs to proceed timely.

On the other hand, a sea water pump does not apply suction to move water, so it does not have suction power. Consequently, this pump needs to be put into water or be primed before running. This feature makes it suitable for underwater operations. Therefore, the centrifugal pump is the best to adapt to the sea water pump.


Applications of Sea Water Pumps

One of the main applications of the sea water pumps is in the coastline power plants or factories. Since the waste heat generated by the machinery or equipment in these types of working environments is enormous and the apparatus needs to be cooled down to preserve efficiency, the sea water pumps can be used to extract the seawater and circulate it through the machines as the cooling system. In some areas, the seawater will be channeled into the desalination plants for irrigation; yet it is rare compared to the application in industrial cooling systems.

The sea water pumps can also be applied to the ships or vessels for dewatering operations. The most common use of the sea water pumps on a ship is the ballast water transfer. Ballast water is the seawater channeled into a ship to balance and stabilize the ship. With the sea water pump, the seawater can be directed into a ship when necessary and channeled out of the ship when not needed. The sea water pumps can sometimes be applied in the deck firefighting operations too. When there is a fire on the deck, the seawater will be extracted by the sea water pump and forced out as the high-pressure water blast to put out the fire.

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