Ever since doing pump top testing for the DDC series pumps, there was always some thought that gains from the DDC tops was larger in part (vs D5 tops) due to the sharp and small elbow at the pump inlet in the factory top that is removed. In addition, past testing of aftermarket tops with alternate inlets also showed some rather large losses when using those alternate elbow inlets. Which brings me to this fairly simple test of a single DDC pump + top using Bitspower 90 degree elbows and straight barbs as the variable.
While I didn’t request a sponsor specifically for this test, I did use some parts sponsored from a long time ago. The top was provide by XSPC many years ago. This is the king of DDC pump tops that I tested back here in 2008. I have tested other newer tops and have yet to find one that outperforms it on a like DDC motor. It has a fairly typical thicker top with a reduced inlet opening so I figured it represents the DDC tops out there fairly well.
Bitspower also sent me the elbows many moons ago when these handy little swivel elbows first came to market. They have the same quality barb and have a larger 10mm or so. The internal transition is not quite a smooth radius, but it’s a fairly large diameter which makes a big difference. These elbows are exceptionally nice and easy to use with the swivel feature.
So, the mission of this test, do modern 90 degree elbows like the larger 10mm ID bistpower swivel 90s create a significant loss on pumps when installed directly on the pump top itself?
We shall see…
The obligatory test setup picture, below is during the straight in and straight out configuration:
I am using:
- Mastech HY3005D DC power supply to regulate voltage
- Cen-tech P98674 Digital multimeter to read molex plug voltage
- Crystalfontz CFA-633 + WinTest B1.9 to monitor and smooth RPM
- Dwyer 477-5 Digital Manometer to read Pressure Differential across the pump
- King 7520 (Valved) to measure flow rate and adjust restriction
The large reservoir bleeds out the loop almost instantly, I simply swapped out the barbs for elbows in the other conditions.
Detailed Test Results
Straight In and Straight Out
Elbow In and Straight Out
Straight In & Elbow Out
That’s not quite what I expected. I had expected the inlet side to be the bigger loss than the outlet AND I expected the losses to be much larger than that. While you can see upwards of a 30-40% pressure loss at 1.5GPM using aftermarket pump top alternate inlets with their tiny little drilled passageways and close proximity to the impeller, the larger ID bitspower 90 degree elbows and more distant proximity is not affecting pump performance very much at all on this particular pump top. I think the reduced diameter inlet built into the top probably straightens out the flow pretty well and we are mostly just measuring restriction added. Some of the DDC tops such as the MCP35X likely have more impact, but there isn’t much showing when the inlet has a step down diameter after the elbow.
In an earlier elbow testing experiment here on blocks, I found this same elbow to have roughly .15PSI loss at 1.5GPM and in this test I’m getting around .1-.2PSI loss depeding on the location, so pretty close.
That data is fairly good for this discussion as well, so for those that like speaking in “Degrees”, adding an elbow to your pump inlet or outlet is about equivalent to a 0.05C temperature loss. Probably not something to worry about much.
So, that’s that. While I used to be a skeptic about installation of elbows on pumps, I’m not so worried about it now. At least with your typical DDC top with reduced inlet opening, the larger ID Bitspower elbows do not seem to cause much more than a little restriction which is not going to add up to more than a tenth of a degree and really not worth worrying about.