An introduction to basic hydraulic fundamentals

Learn about the most basic hydraulic fundamentals including terms such as flow and head.

When it comes to hydraulics in water pumping systems, we need to consider three major parameters:

Flow, head and power – or Q, H and P.

In this short module, we’re going to introduce you to these basic parameters and what they mean for each other.

Let’s get started.

Flow (Q) is typically measured in m3/h. Simply put, the flow describes the amount of water that a pump moves through pipes within a given time period. This is exactly why it is measured in m3/h.

The head (H) of a pump is the pressure that it is able to provide. It describes the height to which the pump can elevate water. So, if a pump’s head is, say, 20 metres, it means that it can lift water 20 metres in the air.

Finally, there’s the power (P). As the name suggests, power denotes the force and speed at which the water is moved. The power is measured in kilowatt.

As the power is dependent on the aforementioned flow (Q) and head (H), you can measure it by using the following formula: P = Q x H x c.

In this calculation, c is a constant which depends on your pump’s efficiency, the level of gravity, and the fluid you are pumping.

Keep in mind that if you double the pump’s flow or head, you automatically double the pump’s power.

And if you double both the flow and the head, you quadruple the energy usage.

That just about covers our introduction to the fundamentals of basic hydraulics.

Thanks for tuning in.

Course overview

Modules: 3
Completion time
Completion time: 8 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Basic