Blackmer launches new energy-smart Web site

By Ron Kotrba | March 23, 2010
Posted April 14, 2010

Blackmer is launching a new Web site to help its existing and potential customers save energy. It's called the Blackmer Smart Energy Web site ( and it was designed to help enable pump users to gain a competitive business advantage through the deployment of energy-saving positive displacement sliding vane pump technology, the new Web site states.

The site is equipped with information on energy policy, comparative data, smart energy tips and frequently asked questions, including an energy calculator to figure out how much energy could be saved by replacing existing pumps with Blackmer's sliding vane pumps. Inputs required for the calculator include energy cost in cents per kilowatt hour and brake horsepower of an existing pump for a specific application.

Established in 1903 and part of Dover Corp. since 1964, Blackmer knows pumps. In fact, the U.S. Navy, the world's largest consumer of distillate fuels, has been a Blackmer customer for more than 50 years and specifies its pumps on every ship for mission-critical fuel services.

With as much as the company knows about pumps, it recently learned that the design features of its NP Series sliding vane pumps can be used in virtually every pump activity in biodiesel plants to improve overall efficiency and performance.

The company has a suite of pumps for the biodiesel production market-the Provane, System One, ML/HXL Series, GX/X Series, and TX(S)D Series pumps-all for different applications in the biodiesel process with some overlap, from pretreatment to mixing caustic, and glycerin separation to blending of the final fuel. When Blackmer learned that one of its biodiesel customers was using its NP Series sliding vane pump throughout its refinery, it realized how versatile and efficient that particular pump design really was.

At a chemical terminal in the Chicago area, hydrogen peroxide-obviously not biodiesel but a fluid for comparison nonetheless-was being pumped throughout the terminal using air operated double diaphragm, or AODD, pumps. When those AODD pumps were replaced with the NP Series sliding vane pumps, the terminal was able to double its throughput volume while energy costs remained the same.

The design advantages of the NP Series have resulted in quieter operation, longer service life and reduced maintenance requirements, while providing significantly reduced energy consumption in several transfer applications within a biodiesel plant.

The high volumetric efficiency and low slippage of these pumps means they require less horsepower and up to 50 percent less power when handling viscous fluids. The pumps are available in five port sizes ranging from 1.5 to 4 inches with flow rates from 5 to 500 gallons per minute and operating temperatures to 500 degrees F (260 C). The versatility of the pumps allows them to be used in a variety of loading and unloading operations, including the difficult application of top-unloading railcars. According to Blackmer, the pump's tremendous suction capability also increases efficiency in the process of removing the "heel" out of a railcar or tanker truck.

The key to the NP Series' versatility is Blackmer's unique sliding vane design that provides sustained, high-level performance over a wide viscosity range. NP pumps are self-priming, meaning they can run dry for short periods of time for priming and clearing lines of residual product.

The pumps have a unique head and sleeve bearing design that allows a small quantity of fluid to flow from the discharge side of the pump to the bearings. This small, continuous flow of fluid over the bearing surfaces provides a hydrodynamic film, which minimizes temperature rise for longer bearing life.

NP pumps are also available in a 316 stainless steel SNP Series with port sizes ranging from 1.25 to 3 inches and flow rates from 2 to 265 gpm (8 to 1,000 lpm). While 316 stainless steel is used on all significant wetted parts, the sliding vanes and end discs are non-metallic, which reduces friction and eliminates galling.
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