The mention above, of numbers of IS standards for different types of agricultural pumps should in itself become a point to note.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), formerly Indian Standards Institution (ISI), has had a Technical Committee for pumps almost since its inception. As of 2005, 42 Indian Standards have been developed. More information on this is detailed in the chapter on Pump Standards.
However, it is important to note, especially in the context of agricultural pumps, that Indian Standards have addressed issues of national concern. Growth in agriculture and growth in use of agricultural pumps started putting heavy strain on power and fuel.
Norms for minimum efficiency were incorporated first time in 1979 in Indian standards on agricultural pumps. This aspect is so unique that even today no International standard specifies norms for minimum efficiency. Only in Hydraulic Institute standards, there is a monogram on “Estimating efficiency of centrifugal pumps”. The monogram is primarily a guideline and is not a norm for mandatory compliance.
Apart from developing standards BIS operates scheme for licensing use of ISI mark. Since years, tenders of Government departments have been specifying pumps to have ISI mark. This inherently means compliance with the norms for minimum efficiency. As of 2005 there were more than 200 manufacturers across the country having license to use ISI mark for bore well submersible pumps as per IS-8034 alone.
Importance of pumping system to be proper, so that the consumption of power will be optimal, was realized long time back. It was in 1979 that IS-10804 standard for “Recommended Agricultural Pumping System” was developed. Although the title of the standard read as “Recommended”, NABARD made it mandatory for its refinance of loans afforded to farmers for the pumps.
It is interesting to note that HI also now emphasizes the importance of pumping systems to be optimal for good performance of pumps. At their website www.pumps.org they now provide for free download “Pumping System Improvement Modeling” (PSIM) Tool.
Realizing that a system component such as a foot-valve can cause unwarranted frictional loss and in turn offend optimal performance of the pump, IS-10805, the standard on foot-valves was developed. BIS operates ISI-mark licensing scheme also for foot-valves as per IS-10805.
The norms for minimum efficiency have also been periodically upgraded, so much so, that even as minimum norms, the values are close to 95% of internationally recognized “chart” efficiencies.
Technology UpgradationAcross the Industry
It is notable that meeting the norms of minimum efficiency has been greatly facilitated, especially for the small scale sector, by research institute such as Small Industries Testing and Research Centre (Si’Tarc) in Coimbatore, set up by members of Southern India Engineering Manufacturers Association (SIEMA). SIEMA got funding support for Si’Tarc from IDBI, “Project Uptech” of State Bank of India and later on from UNIDO.
Si’Tarc developed energy-efficient designs for pumps meeting norms of Indian Standards, taking into consideration the limitations of basic manufacturing facilities of small scale sector. The designs were made available to the industry at a very nominal cost.
In general, the commendable contribution of Indian Pump indusrty in the growth of agricultural sector in the country can be carried by the industry to many developing countries.
Apart from world-renowned technologies having been absorbed through technical collaborations, which were widely prevalent prior to globalisation of Indian economy, Indian pump industry always exhibited an urge also for indigenous R&D. Near self-sufficiency in pumps for nuclear power is the most shining evidence of this urge.
Ministry of Science and Technology also lent good motivation to such enterprise by according CSIR registration/recognition to R&D setups of many Indian pump companies.
When CFD software and techniques were not developed, capital-intensive techniques such as scale-modeling, wind-tunnel validation, high-speed photography of insipient cavitations, seismic qualification, etc. were all employed by Indian pump industry.
One can broadly consider pump-technologies into three strata of intensity and complexity
- Technology appropriate for pumps for agriculture and domestic sector
- Technology appropriate for pumps for industrial and public services of urban water supply and sanitation
- Technology appropriate for pumps for
- a. power-generation, especially for Nuclear power such as
- primary coolant pumps of Heavy Water circuits
- liquid sodium coolant pumps for Fast Breeder Reactors
- b. transfer at large flow-rates as for
- cooling water circulation in thermal power generation
- transfer from water-rich areas to water-starving areas across hundreds of kilometers
Indian pump industry has a proud record of indigenous R&D in all three strata of technological intensities – for mass-produced pumps as for agriculture, for gigantic pumps as for interlinking rivers and for pumps for critical services as in nuclear power generation.