ADT will be part of the IMECE® 2021 Conference

Prof. Mehrdad Zangeneh will be part of the Track Plenary Speakers at the IMECE® on November, 2nd at 12:35pm. ASME's International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE) is the only event where R&D leaders from industry, government, and academia converge to make connections and share insights for innovation across engineering disciplines.

Prof. Mehrdad Zangeneh, University College London, will be presenting the Multi-objective Inverse Design Based Automatic Optimization of Contra-Rotating Low Head Reversible Pump Turbines for Energy Storage Applications on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, from 11:50AM - 12:35PM.


Rapid growth in intermittent renewable energy, in order to meet the growing need for rapid decarbonization, has created challenges in maintaining grid stability. Hydropower energy storage can play a key role in this area. However, up to now, hydropower energy storage has been relying on high head configurations which restrict applications to limited areas with the right topology. The EU's Horizon 2020 sponsored ALPHEUS project is involved in development of low head contra-rotating reversible pump turbine hydro storage, which can enable larger scale application in most coastal areas.

In this presentation, the design and optimization of a shaft driven contra-rotating pump-turbine by coupling a 3D inverse design method with surrogate model based optimization strategy will be outlined.



The 3D inverse design method computes the turbomachinery blade geometry for a specified distribution of blade loading and pressure field. The method enables designers to optimize turbomachinery vanes and blades by exploring a large design space without the trial and error of traditional design methodologies. There are also computational advantages in using inverse design as an optimization strategy.

In this approach, the blade is parametrized by using the blade loading and not the blade geometry, which can significantly reduce the number of design parameters to cover the same design space. This feature improves the speed and accuracy of automatic optimization. In particular, by using the inverse design approach, it is possible to achieve accurate surrogate model based optimization. This approach can then be used to solve difficult multipoint, multi-objective and multidisciplinary problems under industrial time scales.

The presentation starts from the basic initial flow path design of the contra-rotating pump turbine. This initial flow path is then used together with the 3D inverse design method to generate an initial 3D geometry of the contra-rotating pump turbine, which is then analysed in 3D CFD in pump and turbine modes at various conditions. This initial stage is then parametrized both in terms of 3D blade geometry and flow path by using a total of 21 design parameters for both blade rows. An initial sensitivity analysis is carried out to select the most influential 11 design parameters for detailed optimization using Kriging as surrogate model and 95 different configurations of the contra-rotating stage.

The goal of the optimisation was to maximize the average power output of the turbine and minimise the power required for the pump, and reduce the risk of cavitation. Cavitation was considered because of its impact on fish mortality. The selected geometry obtained from the surrogate model based optimization process was verified by detailed CFD and significant improvement in stage efficiency were obtained in both pump and turbine modes.



Mehrdad Zangeneh is Professor of Thermofluids at University College London and Founding Director of Advanced Design Technology, Ltd. For the past 30 years he has been involved in development of advanced turbomachinery design codes based on 3D inverse design approach and automatic optimization to turbomachinery design. His research has resulted in important breakthroughs in radial turbomachinery, such as the suppression of secondary flows in radial and mixed flow impellers and the suppression of corner separation in vaned-diffusers. He has been granted 7 international patents. He is recipient of Japan's Turbomachinery Society's Gold Medal and the Donald Julius Grone Prize by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in UK. He has published more than 120 papers in journals and refereed conferences.

Discover the Track Plenary Speakers

Book a LIVE demo on the design of a turbomachinery application of your choice.

Our demo is tailored to your specific application and design challenges

Book a Demonstration

Mehrdad Zangeneh

Mehrdad Zangeneh is Founder and Managing Director of Advanced Design Technology and professor of Thermofluids at University College London.

View All Articles


TURBOdesign Suite 2024.1: Optimize your designs with the power of automation

TURBOdesign Suite is a unique aerodynamic and hydrodynamic 3D design software package that allows users to design, analyze and optimize all types of...

Optimization of a Heat Pump Compressor for Small-Scale Domestic Application

In the first part of this article on the design of a small-scale high speed centrifugal compressor for domestic heat pumps, we showed that the...

Design of a Heat Pump Compressor for Small-Scale Domestic Application

Heat pumps are used to absorb heat from a cold space and transfer it to a warmer one, such as for ambient heating in case of air conditioners. For...