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In this paper, the design of an existing sump of a hydraulic pumping system has been analyzed in order to evaluate its performance. Computational fluid dynamics based analysis of the flow pattern inside the sump has been carried out using ANSYS software. Maximum value of the swirl angle has been evaluated for water flow inside the sump. It is observed that the maximum value overshoots the permissible limit as per hydraulic standards. The study highlights the importance of evaluating the maximum swirl angle in sump design.

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doi: 10.14355/sas.2016.05.002

www.seipub.org/sas/

of Sump of a Hydraulic Pumping System

CFD Based Design of Sump

Prithvi Shukla, Samay Bhatnagar, Shankar Sehgal*, Harmesh Kumar

Mechanical Engineering Department, University Institute of Engineering and Technology, Panjab University,

Chandigarh, India

*

sehgals@pu.ac.in

Abstract

In this paper, the design of an existing sump of a hydraulic pumping system has been analyzed in order to evaluate its

performance. Computational fluid dynamics based analysis of the flow pattern inside the sump has been carried out using

ANSYS software. Maximum value of the swirl angle has been evaluated for water flow inside the sump. It is observed that the

maximum value overshoots the permissible limit as per hydraulic standards. The study highlights the importance of evaluating

the maximum swirl angle in sump design.

Keywords

Computational Fluid Dynamics; Sump Design; Hydraulic Pumping System; Swirl Angle

Introduction

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) expertise helps in improving the product design and its working behaviour

(Anderson, 1995; Dupont & Cugal, 2006). CFD can be used in numerical simulation of three dimensional turbulent

flows in the multi-intakes sump of any pump station (Chen & Guo, 2007; Chuang & Hsiao, 2011). Sump is an

important part of a hydraulic pumping system. It is a reservoir or a large storage area in which liquid is stored for

its quick and easy access. Sump is an intermediary between the source and the sink of pumping system.

Fig. 1 shows the two inlet domains of the sump from which the water enters into the basin. Water then flows

towards the four separate areas, wherein suction pipes are installed for enabling quick movement of water towards

the inlet of the pump. The pumping system under consideration consists of three main pumps and one auxiliary

pump. This system has been modeled using Solidworks software. The solid model is then imported into ANSYS

workbench for further CFD based analysis (ANSYS , 2003). In this work, simulation studies have been carried out

to investigate the nature of fluid flow from inlet to outlet of the sump. Outlet domain of the sump has been drawn

in Fig. 2. From here on, water goes into the pump.

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Problem Formulation

This paper discusses about the CFD based design of sump of a particular hydraulic pumping system. The sump in

the proposed system has two sluice gates as shown in Fig. 1 . The sump contains four pump inlets, out of which,

three are the main inlets while the fourth is an auxiliary inlet, which is used only during emergency.

According to the sump geometry, water is entering from cooling towers through two sluice gates. These two water

streams meet in the fore bay and create non-uniformity. Due to this, the whole width of the fore bay is not fully

utilized and a lot of recirculation zone and dead zone can be seen clearly during analysis. This non-uniformity of

flow continues in the pump chamber, which results in high swirl angles in the pump. Since the back wall clearance

behind the pump is slightly more, the water gets this extra space for recirculation.

The quantitative results are given in the form of swirl angles. The maximum swirl angle is found 17.6 which is

much above the acceptable limit of 5 as per Hydraulic Institute Standards. In order to have uniform flow

distribution in the fore bay and to minimize the swirl angles, the sump geometry needs modification.

Modeling and Meshing

A 3D model similar to the original sump is created followed by surface meshing, in order to perform further

analysis. Both these steps are paramount during the process as a flaw in the design would lead to a variation to the

expected results. A step by step process flow is followed to attain a final meshed surface.

Design of Sump Geometry

The geometry of the sump of Fig. 1 shows the water domain which is the active domain in our study. A wireframe

model shown in Fig. 3 shows that the suction pipes are tapered from the bottom, this is done to assure smooth

entry of water. The diameter of the three main inlets is 700mm and that of the auxiliary pipe is 300mm.

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For creating the fluid simulation, firstly the boundary conditions need to be defined which show the areas from

where the fluid will enter and leave the domain. The faces on which boundary conditions are applied, are named

in the meshing phase of the analysis, and also predefine the locations, makes the meshing more accurate as the

software adapts to the changes made in by the user. The mesh controls are kept unchanged to reduce complexity.

Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 show the two set of faces named as OUTLET and INLET respectively as the depicted the face from

where the water will exit and enter.

Meshing of the Model

Meshing is a crucial part of the analysis in which the whole geometry is divided or broken down into manageable

shapes or elements, whose study is far simpler than the original body. These small units are studied individually

and the compilation of these results gives the changes introduced in the domain. Elements of any shape can be

used, for example square triangle or tetrahedral. Here, 333677 tetrahedral elements are used, and polyhedral,

hexahedral or pyramidal elements are avoided for simplicity of the analysis. The meshes have a total of 64938

nodes. Nodes are the points on a meshed surface/body where the different elements meet.

There are few terms such as maximum face angle, which defines and sets the maximum allowable angle between

input surface normals at neighboring mesh vertices. If the angle between surface normals is greater than this

setting, the mesh is further refined (more vertices are inserted) and the mesh is made denser. Two vertices are

neighbors if they are at the opposite ends of a single facet edge. The value here is 174.786. Solid meshing of the

fluid volume has been drawn in Fig. 4, while corresponding wireframe meshing has been shown in Fig. 5.

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The solver requires some initial values for initializing the finite element analysis procedure. These initial values are

approximation of the required conditions. At the inlet, the velocity of water is kept around 2.5m/s, using a high

intensity turbulence model, this model is so chosen to keep the frictional, turbulence errors in consideration. At the

outlet face named (OUTLET), a relative pressure of 200kPa is assumed, averaging over the entire face. There is no

slip in the wall and the surfaces of the sump are kept smooth to reduce friction losses as much as possible. It can be

seen in Fig. 6 that arrows are used to show the direction of water at the inlet and outlet face.

To calculate value of the swirl angle just below the entry of the suction pipes, a user defined plane seen in Fig. 7 is

created. The green surface shown is the desired surface.

Before Swirl angle is calculated, its cause and effects need to be known. Swirl angle is the angle between the axial

and the radial component of the velocity of water in any plane. Swirls is formed in any flow where turbulence is

high and it is necessary to keep this value at minimum, for the calculation of this angle, a plane is defined where

this angle needs to be calculated.

This is done in CFD-post Insert>Locations>user surface>name of surface>offset this surface from (OUTLET) by 5000mm. The green circled surface represents the plane, where the swirl angle needs to be calculated, which has

been discussed in the next section.

10

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After the solver runs its cycle of 100 iterations, the profile of the flow followed by water is generated in the given

case for specified boundary conditions. As seen from Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 , there is no regularity in the flow, and also

there is liquid recirculation and non uniform flow. All these factors arise due to the sudden changes in the flow of

the liquid at high speed. A key seen on the left side of the Fig 10. shows the velocity of the liquid using colour

coding, for example the colour blue signifies low speed and red shows high speed, this is how the study of the flow

of liquid can be studied using ANSYS. The figure also shows us that at the entry to the suction pipes, there is

sudden change in the velocity of water.

The swirl angle has been calculated in two steps, the first one is the input formulae, and the second is running

those formulae, where the software picks up the input velocities and compiles it to give the required result. There

are three directions u, v and w which correspond to the velocities in the x, y and z direction. The first step is to

calculate the velocity u in the user defined plane named Swirl1. These velocities have been evaluated to be 3.41,

1.04 and -0.18 m/s respectively. The Swirl angle obtained using ANSYS software is 17.2 degrees. This angle is much

higher than the prescribed limit of 5. Thus, the study shows that sump design needs to be modified in order to

have a better fluid flow pattern.

Conclusions

The design of an existing sump system has been analyzed using CFD feature of ANSYS. Results show that the

value of the swirl angle is way beyond the permissible limit , which can be attributed to the fact that there was

recirculation and irregular flow during the entry to the suction pipes and high turbulence. Hence, it is concluded

that the design of the sump system needs to be modified in order to have more efficient pumping system.

11

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REFERENCES

[1]

Anderson, J. David. Computational fluid dynamics: the basics with applications. USA: McGraw-Hill, Inc, 1995.

[2]

ANSYS . Users Manual of ANSYS, Revision 8.0. USA: Swanson Analysis System, 2003.

[3]

Chen, Hong-xun and Guo, Jia-hong. Numerical simulation of 3-D turbulent flow in the multi-intakes sump of the pump

station. Journal of Hydrodynamics, 19(1), (2007): 4247.

[4]

Chuang, Wei Liang and Hsiao, Shih Chun. Three-dimensional numerical simulation of intake model with cross flow.

Journal of Hydrodynamics, 23(3), (2011): 314324.

[5]

Dupont, Philippe and Cugal, Mike. CFD expertise improves product design and operational behaviour. World Pumps,

(2006), 2225.

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