Modeling an oil pump's optimal impeller geometry

The research article Numerical simulation for obtaining optimal impeller’s blade parameters of a centrifugal pump for high-viscosity fluid pumping has been published in Elsevier journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments (Volume 34, August 2019, Pages 16-26).


Given the widespread usage of centrifugal pumps for handling viscous fluids in various industries, improving the performance of these oil pumps has been attractive for both academic researchers and companies. In this study, we demonstrated a high drop in the performance of centrifugal pumps for handling viscous oil using a numerical simulation model of a three-dimensional flow of water and oil fluids. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of the geometrical parameters of (i) the impeller’s entrance and exit angles, (ii) the edge shape of the blade on the inlet and outlet sides, on the pump’s performance using numerical solutions for models that derived from the above slow simulation model. The finite volume method has been used for the discretization of the governing equations. Also, the k-ω SST has been adopted as the turbulence model in the simulation. We then examined that by changing some parameters, the pump performance improves when pumping viscous oil was utilized. The effects of these geometrical parameters were investigated both separately and as a group of parameters.

The optimal parameter values in the final model consisted of a 45° inlet blade angle, a 40° outlet blade angle, an elliptical shape in the inlet with a 4-on-1 diameter’s proportion, a circular shape in the blade outlet, and a constant 7.2-millimeters in thickness. Finally, the model has shown a 3.72-meter increase for the head at the ‘Best Efficiency Point’ than the initial starting model.

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