Performance Test of Fire Pump for Offshore North Sea Installation

The SPP 18HXB pump is installed on a Oil Drilling & Production Platform 120 miles off Aberdeen in the North Sea.  On the platform the unit operates as a Fire Pump, meaning that the when called upon, effective operation of the pump is critical. The pump was removed from site as part of scheduled maintenance programme, overhauled by the OEM and Pump Group were contracted to carry out a witnessed Performance Test of the unit prior to re-installation offshore. As the whole unit wasn’t removed from the platform, Pump Group had to source the following to facilitate the testing: Headpiece & Discharge Bend Mechanical Seal & Housing Bearing Assembly Bearing Cooling Pipework Headshaft with Sleeve & Bearing Housing Lock Nuts As the site motor was still offshore, a suitable slave motor was selected from PSRG Test stock, in this case being a 1490rpm 250kW flange mounted motor. Prior to the pump arriving at Pump Group premises, our in-house fabricators made a bespoke adaptor piece to connect the test motor to the sourced headpiece. On site the pump has several ‘riser pieces’, which are straight lengths of pipe between the discharge bowls and the discharge head, combining to give tens of metres of pipe between where the water is being lifted from and the motor/discharge head.  To ensure that the operations engineers could calculate exactly what discharge pressure would be available on site, they specified that Pump Group connected pressure tappings directly after the final pump bowl – before any rising pipe – see below image.   On arrival at Pump Group premises, the pump was installed in the test cell below ground tank, LASER Aligned using Pruftechnik Optalign Smart RS ©  equipment, and discharge pipework was fitted including throttling valve & calibrated 10″ flowmeter. Representatives from the client and the Platform Operator attended our site to witness the testing . The pump was run up to speed and a full performance curve was taken from closed valve to the max flowrate. Condition monitoring readings were recorded using Pruftechnik VibXpert II Dual Channel system, and the vibration spectra were reviewed by the client’s engineers. Bearing temperatures were logged throughout the duration of the test using a FLIR T420 Thermal Imaging Camara  connected to data acquisition software on a laptop. The engineers selected several specific “spots” on the pump & motor, and the software then plotted the temperature trends showing the ΔT … Continue reading

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Performance Test of Split Case Pump for Oil & Gas Client

The 3 tonne Weir Medivane 10/12” ZSB Split case pump  had undergone a  refurbishment by the Manufacturer and Pump Group were contacted to carry out full performance testing prior to re-installation offshore. The unit is used on Sea Water Injection (SWI) application on a North Sea platform and had been removed as part of a maintenance programme following experiencing problems with the cooling for the bearings/thrust pad.The unit had been fully refurbished and was scheduled to be departing Aberdeen Terminal on a specific ship in order to meet the production requirements of the platform. Pump Group  were initially given a 2 week window in which to facilitate the testing of the pump (including the fabrication of high pressure pipework & manufacturing of a coupling hub to fit the tapered pump shaft) which was subsequently reduced to less than a week. Pump Group Test Engineers had been in constant dialogue with the Clients’ Engineering Focal Point contact as the potential testing window shrank, and by the time it was made  apparent that the pump would only have a few days in Manchester for testing, all of the details necessary to have all of the necessary pipework/couplings manufactured had been taken. A counterflow heat exchanger was sourced to cool the oil during the 8 hour endurance test, and fittings were manufactured by Pump Group in-house to enable a seal flush system to be connected to the seal. The pump arrived on overnight transport from Aberdeen, the unit was set up in the Performance Test Cell (including hydrostatic pressure testing of the bearing lube oil system), LASER aligned and a preliminary test run was carried out prior to a representative from the client flying in on to witness the endurance test. The pump was ran for 8 hours, with bearing temperatures recorded throughout the duration of the test & condition monitoring results were taken several times using Pruftechnik VibXpert II system during the test to identify any vibration trends developing. Following the successful endurance test, the unit was removed from the Test Cell at 16.00, drained of all liquids and despatched that evening on overnight carrier for immediate delivery to Aberdeen. The completed oil cooling system & seal flush pipework was then connected & the pump was shipped offshore on Monday AM. For more information on how we can utilise our extensive workshop and testing facilities to assist your company with your operational … Continue reading

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Crude Oil Booster Pump – 60Hz Performance Test For North Sea Oil & Gas Client

Industry – Oil & Gas A Crude Oil Booster Medivane Split Case pump was suffering operational issues where it was installed offshore. The pump was removed by the operator and returned to the OEM for overhaul. We were contacted by the pump OEM to test the performance of the unit post refurbishment ahead of its return to a North Sea Oil Field installation within a 2 week window. Inside this timescale the unit was installed & Laser Aligned in Pump Group’s test facility, commissioned ahead of testing, operated during a 4 hour Customer Witnessed Test Session to confirm performance at the site operating conditions. The test circuit was artificially heated and maintained to 50°C for the duration of the test. We also utilised our positive pressure system to provide an additional 0.5 bar pressure to the suction tank, and our installed duplex filter system allowed us to carry out the extended duration test whilst keeping the filters clear. In addition to the pump performance test report, a mechanical report was prepared which included the bearing temperatures recorded throughout the duration of the test, and once the pump temperatures had stabilised, condition monitoring readings were taken using Pruftechnik Vibscanner equipment and a detailed vibration analysis report was issued. The test was only made possible by the support of Pump Group’s manufacturing and fabrications teams, allowing in-house modifications to critical components during the installation and setup. Following testing the unit was returned to the North Sea installation and has been successfully installed and is in now in operation. Working to such a critical deadline Pump Group was able to rely on strong working relationships with key suppliers to source parts required for testing from across the UK and Europe, with a coupling being sourced from John Crane in Czech Republic, couriered to Pump Group in Trafford  and machined, all within 48 hours, to allow testing to be completed on schedule. Further to the successful completion of this testing for the Pump OEM, Pump Group have just received confirmation of more orders for Performance Testing in the coming weeks. For more information on our Performance Test Cell, or to discuss how our test facilities can be of use to you, please contact our Test Manager James Pendleton-Briers on 0161 864 4678 or via  

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