Abstract

Sand production is one of the most serious problems of electrical submersible pumps (ESPs). It is important to predict erosion rate and pump life under sand flow condition. However, erosion experiments on centrifugal pumps are difficult, expensive and time-consuming. Besides, the erosion on pump blades and shrouds are hard to be quantified. It is difficult to measure or scan the thickness of an inside flow channel. Therefore, computational fluid dynamic (CFD) method is a convenient way to forecast erosion failures of the pump. Although various erosion simulations were carried out for simple geometries, including pipelines, elbows, tees, and etc., erosion simulation methodology in a turbomachinery geometry should be carefully evaluated. Therefore, the effect of different turbulence models and rebound models are investigated in a 3-stage mixed type ESP by ANSYS Fluent Discrete Phase Model (DPM) simulations. The erosion rate is calculated and particle impact parameters are extracted by a User Define Function (UDF). Preliminary erosion simulation methodology recommendations were given in this study.

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