Summary: The primary purpose of the project was to demonstrate the benefit that high performance computing and emerging design optimization techniques could deliver for the Weir Group businesses. The Weir Speciality Pumps, Rotojet Pump pickup tube was chosen as a case study, with the objective to improve its efficiency. Roughly half of the total pressure head of a Roto Jet pump is created in the pick-up tube. The design of the tube influences the compression which might not take place at a suitable efficiency. Optimizing the design means to get to a higher efficiency of the device (low power needed or higher pressure head) by llowing continuous modification of the internal geometry subject to the external geometry constraint. In order to perform the automated optimization process three open source toolboxes have been integrated: CAMILO 2.2 (a manipulator of 3D object shapes used to parameterize the deformation of the geometry); OpenFOAM 2.1.x (a CFD toolbox used for the simulation of the internal flow) and Dakota 6.0 (an Optimization toolbox used for the automatic decision making process). The resulting optimal design had a 44 mH2O pressure head improvement with respect to the baseline geometry, this corresponds to ∼ 13% improvement with respect to theoretical and ∼ 20% improvement with respect to initial design.
Timeframe: Dec 2014 – May 2015
People: Edmondo Minisci, Annalisa Riccardi
Partner: Weir Advanced Research Centre