Maximizing System Efficiency Using Manufacturer Supplied Pump Curves

PIPE-FLO® uses individual data points to model the performance of centrifugal pumps instead of developing a mathematical expression to simulate the operation. This approach uses actual manufacturer supplied test data of head, efficiency, and NPSHr for a range of flow rates.

The PIPE-FLO® program can import pump performance information from manufacturer supplied electronic pump catalogs. The advantage of this approach is that the manufacturer has entered the information to accurately represent the operation of their pump. Also, the manufacturers catalog has additional information about operation of the specific pump that cannot be entered in the PIPE-FLO® program. In this example we will select a pump from one of the supported electronic pump catalogs and insert it into a PIPE-FLO® model.

Catalog Pump Curve Data

Over 120 pump manufacturers support the program, making their electronic pump catalogs available for use with PIPE-FLO®. Many engineers use PIPE-FLO® to calculate the design point needed for pump selection. These calculated results are used to create a specification that is supplied to the pump seller.

The seller selects a pump to meet the customer’s needs and provides the information to the pump buyer. Once the seller provides the buyer with the pump type, model, size, and speed they can insert the pump into the PIPE-FLO® model and use it in the piping system simulation.

In this example, we will be opening the Sample Catalog.60 and importing the ESP 4×3-7 pump, operating at 3550 rpm with a 7-inch impeller. The advantage of using the manufacturer’s supplied electronic pump catalog is that all the information is imported without the need to manually enter the performance data.

Loading the Pump Data from a Catalog

The following steps are performed within the PIPE-FLO® program. You will need to have the pump manufacturer’s electronic pump catalog installed prior to being able to open the catalog. For directions regarding downloading and installing manufacturer pump catalogs refer to the PIPE-FLO® help file. The Sample Catalog.60 was automatically installed with your PIPE-FLO® program.

  1. Place a centrifugal pump on the PIPE-FLO® Flo-Sheet
  2. Highlight the centrifugal pump and choose the ‘Select Catalog Pump’ menu item.
  3. On the pump selection dialog choose the Sample Catalog.60 from the ‘select catalog’ drop down list.
  4. Choose the EPS pump from the ‘types’ check box list.
  5. Choose 3600 from the ‘speeds’ check box list.
  6. The list of all the pumps meeting the types and speeds in the selected catalog are displayed.
  7. Choose the appropriate pump from the list. In this example we will be choosing the 4×3-7 pump size.
  8. Double click on the thumbnail of the 4×3-7 to display the pump curve. Enter 7-inch for the impeller diameter and click OK.
  9. Click on the ‘select pump’ button in the ‘pump selection’ dialog to import the pump performance information from the catalog into the piping system model.

To view the pump curve in the PIPE-FLO® program:

  1. Select the centrifugal pump and choose the ‘graph’ menu item.
  2. Click on the down elevator button next to the ‘Dia:’ button until the impeller diameter is 5-inches.
  3. Click on OK to save the data.

Figure 1 – The manufacturer’s supplied pump performance data is automatically inserted with all available information from their electronic catalog.

Advantage of the Manufacturer’s Supplied Pump Curve

Having access to a manufacturer’s supplied pump curve is important, since all manufacturers’ electronic pump curves have been created, reviewed, and approved by the pump manufacturer. The data is compiled from actual pump tests prior to being corrected to accurately reflect the operation of each pump in the catalog. The manufacturers are able to insert specific details about each of their pump products so PIPE-FLO® can reflect the manufacturer’s limits.

Many of the listed manufacturers use the same electronic pump catalogs in their internal pump sales and configuration tools. As a result, these catalogs currently reflect the products of each manufacturer.


The electronic pump catalogs for use with PIPE-FLO® are a way to connect the pump buyer with the pump sellers. The information has been entered by the manufacturer and critically reviewed and approved prior to releasing it for use.