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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Efficiency Improvement of Centrifugal Reverse Pumps

[+] Author and Article Information
Shahram Derakhshan, Ahmad Nourbakhsh

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 11365/4563, Tehran 14147, Iran

Bijan Mohammadi

Mathematics and Modeling Institute, University of Montpellier, 34095 Montpellier, France

J. Fluids Eng 131(2), 021103 (Jan 15, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3059700 History: Received April 16, 2008; Revised November 15, 2008; Published January 15, 2009

Pumps as turbines have been successfully applied in a wide range of small hydrosites in the world. Since the overall efficiency of these machines is lower than the overall efficiency of conventional turbines, their application in larger hydrosites is not economical. Therefore, the efficiency improvement of reverse pumps is essential. In this study, by focusing on a pump impeller, the shape of blades was redesigned to reach a higher efficiency in turbine mode using a gradient based optimization algorithm coupled by a 3D Navier–Stokes flow solver. Also, another modification was done by rounding the blades’ leading edges and hub/shroud interface in turbine mode. After each modification, a new impeller was manufactured and tested in the test rig. The efficiency was improved in all measured points by the optimal design of the blade and additional modification as the rounding of the blade’s profile in the impeller inlet and hub/shroud inlet edges in turbine mode. Experimental results confirmed the numerical efficiency improvement in all measured points. This study illustrated that the efficiency of the pump in reverse operation can be improved just by impeller modification.

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Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Radial blade parametrization. (a) First parametrization, blade angle distribution from leading to trailing edges. (b) Second parametrization, rotation midspan and shroud-span around leading edge with respect to hub-span.

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Figure 2

Comparison of |x|, absr(x), and x2

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Figure 3

(a) Rounding of blades profile at impeller inlet in turbine mode. (b) Rounding of hub/shroud inlet edges.

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Figure 4

The minihydropower established in University of Tehran

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Figure 5

Computational domain and the grid on midspan

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Figure 6

Optimization for the first parametrization of a centrifugal pump blade. (a) Blade performance versus optimization iterations (ηh/ηh0, h/h0, Tr/Tr0). (b) Initial and final blades, hub-span, midspan, and shroud-span.

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Figure 7

Optimization for the second parametrization of a centrifugal pump blade. (a) Blade performance versus optimization iterations (ηh/ηh0,h/h0, Tr/Tr0). (b) Initial and final blades, hub-span, midspan, and shroud-span.

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Figure 8

Experimental results for head number and efficiency

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Figure 9

Experimental results for power number and efficiency

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