Parametric Design of a Waterjet Pump by Means of Inverse Design, CFD Calculations and Experimental Analyses

The present paper describes the parametric design of a mixed-flow water-jet pump. The pump impeller and diffuser geometries were parameterized by means of an inverse design method, while CFD analyses were performed to assess the hydrodynamic and suction performance of the different design configurations that were investigated.

An initial pump design was first generated and used as baseline for the parametric study. The effect of several design parameters was then analyzed in order to determine their effect on the pump performance. The use of a blade parameterization, based on inverse design, led to a major advantage in this study, because the three-dimensional blade shape is described by means of hydrodynamic parameters, such as blade loading, which has a direct impact on the hydrodynamic flow field.


Waterjet Pump BlogFig. 1. Grid dependency analysis— a) Normalized pump head at design point, b) spanwise distribution of the total pressure at the diffuser exit, and c) 3D view of Grid 3.


On the basis of this study, an optimal configuration was designed with the aim of maximizing the pump suction performance, while at the same time, guaranteeing a high level of hydrodynamic efficiency, together with the required mechanical and vibrational constraints.


Waterjet Pump Blog 2

Fig. 2. a) Numerical and b) experimental visualization of cavitation development on the final design at M/Mdes=0.86 and P1 /P1des=0.8


The final design was experimentally tested, and the good agreement between numerical predictions and experimental results validated the design process. This paper highlights the contrasting requirements in the pump design in order to achieve high hydrodynamic efficiency or good cavitation performance. The parametric study allowed us to determine design guidelines in order to find the optimal compromise in the pump design, in cases where both a high level of efficiency and suction performance must simultaneously be achieved.

The design know-how developed in this study is based on flow field analyses and on hydrodynamic design parameters. It has therefore a general validity and can be used for similar design applications.


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Mehrdad Zangeneh

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

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