Awarded as the best online publication by CIDC

Why are radial flow pumps suitable for small flows and high heads?

In radial flow pumps, a diffuser/volute is normally designed at it outlet to convert the kinetic energy gained during the pumping process to pressure head. The diffuser is characterized by widening of outlet pipes, resulting in the decrease of velocity (by continuity equation) and an increase in pressure head (by Bernoulli’s equation). In case of large flows to be handled by the pumps, the large velocity results in formation of significant Coriolis force which tends to deviate the outlet flow from design conditions.


At the inlet part of the pumps, the inlet size is smaller than the diameter of the impeller. Consequently, the velocity of flow associated with a small area is relatively large and there is less problem of separation in low flow condition. All in all, the efficiency of radial flow pumps is high when handling small flows.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

Share this post

Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

If you have a query, you can ask a question here.

One comment on "Why are radial flow pumps suitable for small flows and high heads?"

Anas says:

Can I get an adivce how to size the Equipment Chamber for diffrent Water Main equipments like Isolation Gate valve,Air Rlease valve,Non return vales,Back flow preventer etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ask a question