Performing Multi-Objective Pump Optimizations with 3D Inverse Design

At ADT we deal with many complex turbomachinery optimizations. Here, we discuss multi-objective pump optimizations using the 3D Inverse Design method in the June 2020 edition of Pump Engineer magazine.
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Carrying out complex multi-point, multi-objective optimizations is prohibitively expensive with conventional design methods. A 3D Inverse Design approach makes this type of optimization possible by drastically reducing the computational cost.

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The hydrodynamic design of rotodynamic pump stages usually involves quite complicated multi-point and multi-objective trade-offs. At the simplest level, designers have to meet the duty points of the pump, while maximizing its efficiency at the design point and improving cavitation performance. Normally what is good for cavitation performance (e.g. longer blade chords) makes skin friction loss and efficiency worse. This means there is a natural trade-off between these two requirements.

What makes the design of pumps complicated is that the pump is required to operate over a very wide range of fl ow rates; from shutdown conditions to upwards of 130% flow conditions. In addition to meeting the maximum power requirement for the motor, the pump also has to meet certain targets and requirements on the continuously rising head characteristics, on the maximum power ratio and on certain NSPH requirements.

In order to meet these complicated multi-point/multi-objective requirements, the designers must explore a large design space.  Improving off-design performance and ‘flattening’ the efficiency envelope is a difficult task for any experienced pump designer. Improving the design manually requires producing many iterations via trial and error. By using 3D Inverse Design-based automatic optimization, pump stages can be rapidly designed to achieve improvements in efficiency, cavitation and shape of head curve at multiple operating points.

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James Knight

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