Water-intensive infrastructure sectors have given rise to an increased demand for efficient pumping solutions. The power sector is the largest user of pumping systems in the country. Besides, pumps also have a number of applications in the oil and gas, water supply and sewerage, and paper industries. Pumps and pumping systems are an integral part of activities undertaken in agriculture, onshore and offshore production of oil and natural gas, petroleum refining, mining, power generation, and public water supply and sanitation. In the manufacturing sector, pumps are used primarily to run plants and other critical facilities and consume about 30 per cent of the electricity used by industrial systems. In essence, a wide variety of pumps are used in different sectors for various industrial as well as municipal applications.
The Indian pump industry has efficiently indigenised almost every type of pump used across infrastructure sectors. These pumps vary based on size, construction features, operational sophistication and suitability for the type of construction material used. Several industry players are investing in upgrading their factories and channel networks as big-ticket plans and programmes launched by the central government are expected to drive the demand for pumps. The overall demand from the infrastructure sector will, however, depend on project uptake and the pace of implementation.
Pumping solutions are heavily used in thermal, hydro and nuclear power projects. Some of these are high pressure temperature (HPT)
single-stage barrel casing boiler feed pumps, horizontal booster (HZB) pumps, GSG radially split barrel casing pumps, boiler feed water pumps and concrete volute pumps.
Boiler feed water service is one of the most demanding pump services within a power plant. The reliability and availability of boiler feed water pumps is largely dependent upon shop testing, correct field installation, pump operation training and conducting routine maintenance and service work.
HPT single-stage pumps provide high efficiency operations over an extended period of time, thus reducing operations and maintenance costs. The design of HZB pumps is optimised for pumping hot water when relatively low net positive suction head is available. The rugged design of these pumps ensures long-term reliable operations, which is critical to this application. The design of the GSG radially split barrel casing pumps is optimised for synchronous speed, direct drive applications, thus avoiding unnecessary and expensive construction features.
Water and waste management sector
Rising demand for better water management with the latest technologies, cost-effective methods and sustainable operations has increased the demand for pumping solutions in the sector. The types of pumps available for handling raw sewage has also changed considerably over the years. Moreover, increasing uptake of desalination projects has also led to an increase in the demand for water pumps. The types of pumps used in the sector include vertical turbine pumps; vertical volute pumps; multi-stage pumps; jet monobloc pumps; end suction pumps; borewell, submersible motor, non-clog pumps; and horizontal non-clog end suction pumps.
Oil and gas sector
Pumps are used throughout the petroleum and natural gas industry for different exploration and production processes as well as oil and gas transportation and refining applications. Typical pump applications include crude oil transfer (truck loading or transfer to pipeline), secondary recovery (well water flooding via seawater or freshwater injection, chemical injection, etc.), glycol dehydration, produced water disposal, blow-out prevention, hydraulic fracturing, well servicing, amine sweetening, water cooling, fire protection, lean oil circulation, refinery and gas plant process fluids, water disposal for refineries and gas plants, etc.
Other infrastructure sectors
Besides, some types of pumps have multiple applications across infrastructure sectors. At present, a wide variety of pumps is used in civil infrastructure, special economic zones, residential houses, information technology (IT) parks, hotels, commercial places, etc. The building and construction sector also has high- growth potential for the use of pumps.
- Centrifugal pumps: Centrifugal pumps are being sought increasingly for applications in the water management, chemical, oil and gas, and other manufacturing sectors.
- Solar water pumps: Solar-powered irrigation systems have emerged as a promising solution for the issues of energy shortage and erratic power supply, especially in the agricultural sector, which requires a lot of water. Awareness programmes and subsidy schemes launched by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and state governments have resulted in the installation of over 35,000 solar water pumps across the country. Economically too, solar pumps are becoming more viable with their prices coming down rapidly due to competition in the market. A number of established companies as well as start-ups are striving to capture the solar pump market, resulting in a price war. Moreover, the 30 per cent subsidy provided by the government is making the system even cheaper for consumers.
- Vertical mixed and axial flow pumps: These pumps are widely used in the steel and cement industries, refineries, thermal and nuclear plants, cooling towers, water supply, etc. and have high efficiency impellers and bowls. Their delivery size can be up to 2,200 mm with capacity of up to 40,000 cubic metres (cum) per hour and head of up to 200 metres.
- Borewell and open well submersible pumps: These pumps are used for pushing fluids to the ground surface. While single-stage pumps are typically used for drainage, sewage pumping, general industrial pumping and slurry pumping, multistage submersible pumps are used for water extraction or in water wells. These pumps can have capacities ranging from 19 to 72 cum per hour and head ranging from 200 to 249 metres.
- Horizontal multistage pumps: Widely used for firefighting, booster service, mine de-watering, domestic use, etc., the delivery type for such pumps can vary from 50 mm to 300 mm with capacities of 20-850 cum per hour. The head can range from 315 metres to 850 metres with temperatures ranging from -10 °C to 140 °C.
- Solid handling non-clog pumps: Suitable for applications with high solid content, such pumps are used for sewage, power material slurries, sludge, effluents, viscous and contaminated liquids, etc. Their delivery size can range from 200 mm to 450 mm with capacities ranging from 800 to 13,000 cum per hour. The head can range from 55 to 90 metres with temperatures ranging from -10 °C to 140 °C.
- Flow pumps: Vertical axial flow and mixed-flow pumps are used for applications that require high flow and low to medium pressure. Cooling water, seawater lift and emergency stormwater drains are typical applications for this type of pumps. The typical delivery size is up to 650 mm with a capacity of up to 7,000 cum per hour. The temperature range is from -5 °C to 140 °C.
- Axially split casing pumps: These are single-, double- or multistage pumps with applications in the oil and gas and water industries. Though the standard design is horizontal, a vertical design is possible in specific cases. These pumps are heavy duty, rugged, trouble-free and known for their balanced hydraulics. They can be single-stage axially split casing pumps or two-stage casing pumps. The delivery size can range from 150 to 1,100 mm with capacities ranging from 470 to 20,000 cum per hour. The temperatures vary from -10 °C to 100 °C. They are used in water supply, irrigation, petroleum refineries and power plants.
- Multistage ring section pumps: These are horizontal, radially split ring section pumps and are modular in design. They are suitable for pumping clean or slightly polluted, hot or cold, chemically neutral or aggressive fluids. The design is ideal for feed water supply in boiler plants, condensate supply in power stations and industrial plants, desalination (reverse osmosis), and high pressure pumps in various industries.