Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Computational Fluid Dynamics-Based Pump Redesign to Improve Efficiency and Decrease Unsteady Radial Forces

[+] Author and Article Information
Peng Yan

Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: yanpeng@zju.edu.cn

Ning Chu

Engineering STI,
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
in Lausanne,
Lausanne 1015, Switzerland
e-mail: chuning1983@sina.com

Dazhuan Wu

Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: wudazhuan@zju.edu.cn

Linlin Cao

Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: caolinlin@zju.edu.cn

Shuai Yang

Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: 11228024@zju.edu.cn

Peng Wu

Institute of Process Equipment,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: roc@zju.edu.cn

1Corresponding authors.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 6, 2016; final manuscript received July 21, 2016; published online October 10, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Bart van Esch.

J. Fluids Eng 139(1), 011101 (Oct 10, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: FE-16-1013; doi: 10.1115/1.4034365 History: Received January 06, 2016; Revised July 21, 2016

In this study, a double volute centrifugal pump with relative low efficiency and high vibration is redesigned to improve the efficiency and reduce the unsteady radial forces with the aid of unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. The concept of entropy generation rate is applied to evaluate the magnitude and distribution of the loss generation in pumps and it is proved to be a useful technique for loss identification and subsequent redesign process. The local Euler head distribution (LEHD) can represent the energy growth from the blade leading edge (LE) to its trailing edge (TE) on constant span stream surface in a viscous flow field, and the LEHD is proposed to evaluate the flow field on constant span stream surfaces from hub to shroud. To investigate the unsteady internal flow of the centrifugal pump, the unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes equations (URANS) are solved with realizable k–ε turbulence model using the CFD code FLUENT. The impeller is redesigned with the same outlet diameter as the baseline pump. A two-step-form LEHD is recommended to suppress flow separation and secondary flow encountered in the baseline impeller in order to improve the efficiency. The splitter blades are added to improve the hydraulic performance and to reduce unsteady radial forces. The original double volute is substituted by a newly designed single volute one. The hydraulic efficiency of the centrifugal pump based on redesigned impeller with splitter blades and newly designed single volute is about 89.2%, a 3.2% higher than the baseline pump. The pressure fluctuation in the volute is significantly reduced, and the mean and maximum values of unsteady radial force are only 30% and 26.5% of the values for the baseline pump.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Yao, Z. , Wang, F. , Qu, L. , Xiao, R. , He, C. , and Wang, M. , 2011, “ Experimental Investigation of Time-Frequency Characteristics of Pressure Fluctuations in a Double-Suction Centrifugal Pump,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 133(10), p. 101303. [CrossRef]
Kaupert, K. A. , and Staubli, T. , 1999, “ The Unsteady Pressure Field in a High Specific Speed Centrifugal Pump Impeller. Part I: Influence of the Volute,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 121(3), pp. 621–629. [CrossRef]
Majidi, K. , 2005, “ Numerical Study of Unsteady Flow in a Centrifugal Pump,” ASME J. Turbomach., 127, pp. 363–371. [CrossRef]
Gonzalez, J. , Fernández, J. , Blanco, E. , and Santolaria, C. , 2002, “ Numerical Simulation of the Dynamic Effects Due to Impeller-Volute Interaction in a Centrifugal Pump,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 124(2), pp. 348–355. [CrossRef]
Gonzalez, J. , Parrondo, J. , Santolaria, C. , and Blanco, E. , 2006, “ Steady and Unsteady Radial Forces for a Centrifugal Pump With Impeller to Tongue Gap Variation,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 128(3), pp. 454–462. [CrossRef]
Barrio, R. , Blanco, E. , Parrondo, J. , Gonzalez, J. , and Fernandez, J. , 2008, “ The Effect of Impeller Cutback on the Fluid-Dynamic Pulsations and Load at the Blade-Passing Frequency in a Centrifugal Pump,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 130(11), p. 111021. [CrossRef]
Ye, L. T. , Yuan, S. Q. , Zhang, J. F. , and Yuan, Y. , 2012, “ Effects of Splitter Blades on the Unsteady Flow of a Centrifugal Pump,” ASME Paper No. FEDSM2012-72155.
Solis, M. , Bakir, F. , and Khelladi, S. , 2009, “ Pressure Fluctuations Reduction in Centrifugal Pumps: Influence of Impeller geometry and Radial Gap,” ASME Paper No. FEDSM2009-78240.
Khalifa, A. E. , Al-Qutub, A. M. , and Ben-Mansour, R. , 2011, “ Study of Pressure Fluctuations and Induced Vibration at Blade-Passing Frequencies of a Double Volute Pump,” Arabian J. Sci. Eng., 36(7), pp. 1333–1345. [CrossRef]
Al-Qutub, A. M. , Khalifa, A. E. , and Al-Sulaiman, F. A. , 2012, “ Exploring the Effect of V-Shaped Cut at Blade Exit of a Double Volute Centrifugal Pump,” ASME J. Pressure Vessel Technol., 134(2), p. 021301. [CrossRef]
Borges, J. E. , 1993, “ A Proposed Through Flow Inverse Method for the Design of Mixed Flow Pumps,” Int. J. Numer. Methods Fluids, 17(12), pp. 1097–1114. [CrossRef]
Zangeneh, M. , Goto, A. , and Harada, H. , 1998, “ On the Design Criteria for Suppression of Secondary Flows in Centrifugal and Mixed Flow Impellers,” ASME J. Turbomach., 120(4), pp. 723–735. [CrossRef]
Páscoa, J. C. , Mendes, A. C. , and Gato, L. M. C. , 2009, “ A Fast Iterative Inverse Method for Turbomachinery Blade Design,” Mech. Res. Commun., 36(5), pp. 630–637. [CrossRef]
Kruyt, N. P. , and Westra, R. W. , 2014, “ On the Inverse Problem of Blade Design for Centrifugal Pumps and Fans,” Inverse Prob., 30(6), p. 065003. [CrossRef]
Bing, H. , and Cao, S. L. , 2013, “ Three-Dimensional Design Method for Mixed-Flow Pump Blades With Controllable Blade Wrap Angle,” Proc. Inst. Mech. Eng. Part A-J. Power Energy, 227(5), pp. 567–584. [CrossRef]
ANSYS, 2012, “ ANSYS FLUENT User's Guide,” Release 14.5, ANSYS, Inc., Canonsburg, PA
Denton, J. D. , 1993, “ The 1993 IGTI Scholar Lecture: Loss Mechanisms in Turbomachines,” ASME J. Turbomach., 115(4), pp. 621–656. [CrossRef]
Newton, P. , Copeland, C. D. , Martinez-Botas, R. F. , and Seiler, M. , 2012, “ An Audit of Aerodynamic Loss in a Double Entry Turbine Under Full and Partial Admission,” Int. J. Heat Fluid Flow, 33(1), pp. 70–80. [CrossRef]
Zhang, L. , Lang, J. , Jiang, K. , and Wang, S. , 2014, “ Simulation of Entropy Generation Under Stall Conditions in a Centrifugal Fan,” Entropy, 16(7), pp. 3573–3589. [CrossRef]
Mersinligil, M. , Brouckaert, J. , Courtiade, N. , and Ottavy, X. , 2013, “ On Using Fast Response Pressure Sensors in Aerodynamic Probes to Measure Total Temperature and Entropy Generation in Turbomachinery Blade Rows,” ASME. J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 135(10), p. 101601. [CrossRef]
Gülich, J. F. , 2010, Centrifugal Pumps, Springer, Berlin, Chap. 3.
Wu, D. , Yan, P. , Chen, X. , Wu, P. , and Yang, S. , 2015, “ Effect of Trailing-Edge Modification of a Mixed-Flow Pump,” ASME J. Fluids Eng., 137(10), p. 101205. [CrossRef]
Barrio, R. , Fernandez, J. , Blanco, E. , and Parrondo, J. , 2011, “ Estimation of Radial Load in Centrifugal Pumps Using Computational Fluid Dynamics,” Eur. J. Mech. B-Fluids, 30(3), pp. 316–324. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

geometry of centrifugal pump: (a) double volute, (b) single volute, (c) baseline impeller, (d) redesigned impeller without splitter blades, and (e) redesigned impeller with splitter blades

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Comparisons of meridional profiles and axial cross section of volute between baseline and redesigned pumps

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Schematic of splitter blade design

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Computational domain and grid of centrifugal pump

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Results of grid independence investigation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Combination of impeller and volute for CFD calculation

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Comparison of CFD results with experimental data of geometry #1: (a) comparison in head and (b) comparison in efficiency

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Calculated performance curves of different geometries: (a) head curve and (b) efficiency curve

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Contours of entropy generation rate per unit volume on stream surface (span = 0.25) of impeller and midspan plane of volute: (a) geometry #1, (b) geometry #2, (c) geometry #3, and (d) geometry #4; Contours of entropy generation rate per unit volume on: (e) cross section A shown in Figs. 9(c) and 9(f) cross section B shown in Fig. 9(d)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Control volume in impeller

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Local Euler head distribution: (a) geometry #1, (b) geometry #2, and (c) geometry #3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Relative streamline on blade to blade surface: (a) geometry #1, (b) geometry #2, and (c) geometry #3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Time-averaged blade loading of geometry #1–3: (a) span = 0.1, (b) span = 0.5, and (c) span = 0.9

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

Relative velocity vector on surface near blade pressure surface: (a) geometry #1, (b) geometry #2, and (c) geometry #3

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

Standard deviation of static pressure coefficient on midspan of volute: (a) geometry #1, (b) geometry #2, (c) geometry #3, and (d) geometry #4

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Comparison of vector diagram of unsteady radial forces (a) at RF during one rotation period, (b) at main blade passing frequency during a main blade passing period, and (c) statistics of unsteady radial force in four geometries




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In