Abstract

Turbomachinery plays a key role in process and manufacturing industries. The interplay between power, flow rates and pressure output remain an interesting research area. To support specific processes in the industry, each pump or compressor must be fine-tuned for peak performance. As trend shifts from large organizations to entrepreneurial startups, spending significant costs on licensing of commercially available CFD softwares becomes unfeasible. This paper investigates the use of OpenFOAM – open source CFD package towards the analysis of gear pumps. The solution employs dynamic meshing and snappyHexMesh library in a single study. To validate the numerical model developed under OpenFoam’s environment, experimental studies were carried out. The pressure output of the pump was measured at four different RPMs — 200, 250, 300 and 400. An excellent agreement between experimental and numerical studies was seen at relatively higher RPMs. The numerical studies further explored the pulsating flow, recorded the variation between a constant maximum and minimum pressure value for each RPM. The variation in pressure was observed to increase at higher RPMs. The agreement between experimental and numerical findings established the utility of OpenFoam in investigating pump action.

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