Applicable industrial standards for centrifugal pumps endorse several different sealing options as “best practice.” However, the overall acceptance of best practice techniques seems slow and is linked to the fact that sealing devices account for only a small fraction of the energy consumed by pumps. Yet, regardless of perception, significant energy conservation has been achieved by thoughtful sealing practices, as this paper will show. It will highlight case studies that provide guidance on issues of increasing technical and societal concerns relating to fluid emissions. Special attention will be directed to barrier fluid circulation devices used in dual mechanical seal arrangements as described by API-682 (Ref.1), a Standard widely used in the oil refining and petrochemical industries. The applicability of these ciculation devices to the Power Industry will be explained. Comparisons of three of the most widely used conventional integral flow induction/pumping ring devices will be made and the results of extensive testing presented. The paper and presentation also quantifies the value of advanced sealing technologies for pumps and highlights configurational differences between the newer and the more traditional (older) devices. Without exception, international utilities and power producers know that both energy and maintenance expenditures are affected by availability and reliability considerations relating to power generators and their turbine drivers. But feed water pumps and cooling water issues play their part as well. Consequently, a measure of attention has been given to “other big ticket items”, such as cooling tower losses and the like. However, there is compelling evidence that additional, less prominent or less obvious opportunities exist and that these can no longer be overlooked. Pump sealing falls into that category, although sealing devices and seal cooling account for only a small fraction of the energy consumed by pumps. In can be readily shown that significant energy savings have been achieved by thoughtful sealing practices. The general narrative and the implications conveyed by our case studies give visibility to the issues and provide guidance to the user.

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