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I was recently updating descriptions on a new line of soft starters from Carlo Gavazzi (the RSWT series) and came across this sentence:

The RSWT Series is a 3-phase pump soft starter, in which all three phases are controlled to achieve current balancing on all phases, to minimize vibrations during starting and stopping of centrifugal pumps, and to minimize the inrush current.’

That got me wondering on what a centrifugal pump even was. After a quick search on Google, Wikipedia had this to say on the matter:


Centrifugal pumps are a sub-class of dynamic axisymmetric work-absorbing turbomachinery. Centrifugal pumps are used to transport fluids by the conversion of rotational kinetic energy to the hydrodynamic energy of the fluid flow. The rotational energy typically comes from an engine or electric motor. The fluid enters the pump impeller along or near to the rotating axis and is accelerated by the impeller, flowing radially outward into a diffuser or volute chamber (casing), from where it exits.

Wow. That cleared things right up…

I could now either search another 3 or 4 words from that description to figure out what they meant or I could just head to my next source; Chris in our technical department. I chose Chris and here is what I took away from that conversation:

“Basically centrifugal pumps are the most common pump out there. The water/fluid comes in the side and the impeller throws it up out of the pipe.”

Great, I can easily understand that! Basically, this is a pump that moves fluids by rotating a wheel (the impeller) to create suction within the chamber.

Check out this great video explaining in detail how it all works provided by the YouTube channel ‘The Engineering Mindset.

Next up, I asked for some examples and that is where the ‘a-ha moment’ came in. I can now sum up a centrifugal pump in one sentence for all of us that didn’t know:

“Your sump pump in your house is a centrifugal pump. (So is the one on your pool too, if you have one!)”

We’re not selling the centrifugal pump short either, these bad boys are seemingly integrated into almost every industrial building and many commercial homes. Between the energy and oil industry, water maintenance and temperature regulation, centrifugal pumps have become integral for energy efficient fluid transfer. 

Coming back around to the whole point behind learning what a centrifugal pump, Carlo Gavazzi’s new line of soft starters, the RSWT Series, has been designed with centrifugal pumps in mind. Need help configuring your application needs? Feel free to give us a call at (815) 658-8130 or email our tech support directly at:

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