One input. Two rotors. One output.
Fundamentally, that’s what a gerotor pump is. When you break it down, a gerotor pump is a housing structure with an inner rotor and outer rotor, rotating to pump fluid from the inlet through the outlet.
Over time, the basics of gerotor pumps have stayed the same, with design improvements to keep up with increasing demand and mass production.
Though all gerotor pumps function similarly, they all have different applications from agriculture, automotive, and recreational vehicles to aerospace.
How Do Gerotor Pumps Work?
Once fluid enters the gerotor’s chamber, its rotors start rotating.
As this motion continues, the area between the inner and outer rotors incr
eases, creating a vacuum suction. Then, the space decreases, causing compression – allowing fluids to be pushed through the gerotor pump.
Not only are gerotor pumps used for fluid distribution, but they can also act as a motor. When high-pr
essure gas flows through the chamber and pushes against the inner and outer rotors, the space between the rotors increases and then decreases, creating compression. During this, the exhaust is pumped out.
Whether distributing fluids or acting as a motor, gerotor pumps have the same core parts and features.
A Quick Look at the Gerotor Pump’s History
Although gerotor pumps haven’t changed their original design, with increasing demand, mass production of gerotor pumps was necessary. W.H. Nichols became the world’s first manufacturer able to commercially produce the complex, shape of gerotors.
From there, Nichols Portland produced the first gerotor pump. The experts at Nichols Portland have been promoting and innovating their gerotor design since the late 1920s.
Gerotor Pump Applications
Gerotor pumps are used more commonly than you may think. While gerotor pumps have applications across many industries, there are three you’ll see them more in:
- Industrial & recreational vehicles
With the ability to pump liquids of nearly any viscosity, gerotor pumps are driving the automotive industry in oil, fuel, and water distribution. Though there are several variations of gerotor pumps in vehicles, they’re typically used for:
- Gear-rotor pumps rotate to create suction and push oil into the engine, transfer cases, transmissions, and differential. Whether located inside the vehicle’s oil pan or mounted externally, these pumps ensure the oil distributed is only as much as needed.
- Gerotor fuel pumps follow the same process to ensure fuel is transmitted to the engine system. These pumps are able to deliver high flow rates, while still being relatively quiet and compact.
- EV cooling and lubrication application requirement for electric motors and gearboxes.
Similar to your car, aircraft also use gerotor pumps to distribute fuel and oil – but they have more restrictions.
Back pressure in jet engines must be as low as possible to ensure efficient engine performance. If the back pressure drops, the flow rate decreases. Since gerotor pumps have a high flow rate while maintaining low pressure, they’re an ideal solution for aircraft fuel and oil distribution.
Like limitations on luggage size, aircraft also have part weight requirements. Frankly, if aircraft are too heavy, they can’t fly – making compact, lightweight gerotor pumps well-suited for takeoff.
3. Industrial & Recreational Vehicles
In agriculture and construction, gerotor pumps play an essential role. As an efficient, low-pressure way of moving fluid, gerotor pumps can help reduce energy consumption and therefore operating costs for these industries.
In agricultural equipment, such as tractors and combines, gerotor pumps can take on many roles. They meet a variety of needs, from powering hydraulic systems to operating plows to providing fuel and oil to the engine.
In construction, gerotor pumps are used for lubrication and fuel systems. Similar to your vehicle, gerotor pumps provide fuel to engines in construction equipment and also ensure oil is circulated throughout the system.
Additionally, gerotor pumps are used in heavy machinery hydraulic systems. Gerotor pumps power cranes, backhoes, and other construction equipment by pumping fluid out to the hydraulic system with an internal rotor.
As a low-pressure, efficient way to pump fluid, gerotor pumps are ideal for construction and agricultural equipment.
Whether you’re tooling down the highway on a motorcycle, cruising in your boat, or ripping up the trails on your UTV, these all incorporate gerotor for engine, fuel, and transmission applications.
Advantages of Gerotor Pumps
Why are gerotors used in so many applications?
Aside from being able to pump liquids of almost any viscosity, gerotor pumps have many other advantages, such as:
- High-speed function
- Two moving parts
- Constant distribution
- Quiet operation
Gerotor pumps operate at high speed to move fluids of high volume with very low power consumption. Not only do they maximize efficiency but also provide constant and even fluid distribution regardless of pressure conditions.
Additionally, when broken down, gerotor pumps are relatively simple. With only two moving parts that operate in either direction, gerotor pumps are simple to operate.
The Future of Gerotor Pumps
Gerotor pumps are one of the most widely used pump systems. With their original design being shaped to meet the technical demands of the future, they will continue to see success.
Begin Your Next Project with Gerotor Pumps
Knowing where to begin when looking at gerotor pumps can be difficult. Let our experts at Nichols Portland help you find the right pump today.