Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Demonstration and Validation of a 3D CFD Simulation Tool Predicting Pump Performance and Cavitation for Industrial Applications

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Ding

 Simerics, Inc., Bellevue, WA 98004hd@simerics.com

F. C. Visser1

 Flowserve FSG, 4870 AA Etten-Leur, The Netherlandsfvisser@flowserve.com

Y. Jiang

 Simerics, Inc., Bellevue, WA 98004yj@simerics.com

M. Furmanczyk

 Simerics, Inc., Huntsville, AL 35801mf@simerics.com


Corresponding author.

J. Fluids Eng 133(1), 011101 (Jan 13, 2011) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003196 History: Received March 17, 2010; Revised November 30, 2010; Published January 13, 2011; Online January 13, 2011

Due to complexities in geometry and physics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) pump simulation has historically been very challenging and time consuming, especially for cases with cavitation. However, with the evolution and innovation of CFD technologies, pump cavitation simulation has improved significantly in recent years. In view of these developments, this paper will discuss a new generation CFD tool for pump cavitation simulation, using an axial flow water pump as a demonstration case. A novel CFD methodology and advanced cavitation model will be presented and discussed. Key components that are relevant to the improvement of accuracy and CFD simulation speed will be discussed in detail. An axial flow water pump is chosen as the test case to demonstrate and validate the capability and accuracy of the code discussed. Simulation results include pump head, hydraulic efficiency, and cavitation characteristic in terms of incipient net positive suction head for the whole pump flow passages using both multiple reference frame and transient approaches. Multiple operation conditions, from 70% to 120% of duty flow rate, have been evaluated and will be projected against experimental data. Furthermore, simulated cavitation patterns will be compared with video images recorded during the experiments.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Binary tree cell shown in a cutting plane of a centrifugal pump

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Figure 2

Cavitation damage on the blade of a centrifugal pump (Ref. 13)

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Figure 3

Mismatched grid interface between the ends of two offset cylinders

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Figure 4

CFD model of a centrifugal pump, with a detail of 0.3 mm seal gap

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Figure 5

Cavitation/aeration pattern of a gerotor, showing cavitation total volume fraction

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Figure 6

Gerotor volumetric flow rate

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Figure 7

CFD predicted cavitation bubble location compared with cavitation erosion on an axial piston pump valve plate

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Figure 8

Schematic of test setup for a water hammer experiment

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Figure 9

Pressure ripple in a water hammer case

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Figure 10

Schematic layout of the model test loop

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Figure 11

Picture of the test setup with the close-up of test impeller mounted in the flow visualization part of the test section

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Figure 12

Pump model CAD surfaces

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Figure 13

Grid of the pump

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Figure 14

Grid resolution in the tip gap

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Figure 15

Graphical user interface with the verification case loaded

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Figure 16

Typical static pressure distribution on the surfaces and a cutting plane

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Figure 17

Typical streamline, relative to their respective frame of reference, colored by velocity magnitude

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Figure 18

Gap induced cavitation: model impeller 1272 m3/h, 1150 r/min (80% duty flow τA=0.40)

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Figure 19

Pump pressure head prediction compared with test result: model pump, 1150 r/min

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Figure 20

Predicted hydraulic efficiency compared with test result: model pump, 1150 r/min

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Figure 21

Cavitation bubbles on the impeller blade surface (model pump, 1150 r/min τA=0.40): [(a)–(e)] front view and (f) back view

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Figure 22

Comparison of (a) MRF and (b) transient simulation in cavitation bubble size distribution at 1414 m3/h (90% duty flow τA=0.40)

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Figure 23

Comparison of predicted cavitation patterns and flow visualization images (τA=0.40)

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Figure 24

Schematic of how NPSHi is determined in the experiment

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Figure 25

Comparison between predicted and tested incipient NPSH: model impeller, 1150 r/min




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