Pumps are pervasive and play an important role across many industries and in our daily lives. They have been around for a long time, when you consider that the Archimedes screw dates back over two thousand years. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles, from heart pumps that measure only millimeters in size to large pump-turbines that measure meters in diameter. Some pumps are custom- engineered and very high-tech, such as those used for liquid rocket propulsion, nuclear submarines or power plant applications. Many others are regarded as a commodity items, although that view is changing, as we shall see. Some estimate that pumps consume as much as 10% of the electricity generated worldwide.
In their video on the energy savings potential of pumps, Schneider Electric observes that pumps use 25% of all motor-driven energy on the planet. Improving energy efficiency is going to be a major factor in the success of pump manufacturers, and many of them are using turbomachinery simulation to design new products that meet the challenges of future trends.
Pumps are used across most industries.
I classify most pumps as “turbomachinery” in that they have one or more rows of blades, identical on a given row, that rotate on a shaft and are usually contained within a housing. But many other styles exist as well, such as piston pumps, screw pumps (including the aforementioned Archimedes screw) and other positive-displacement type devices. Most of the above can be classified as rotating machinery because some element delivers rotary power, but that element is not always in contact with the fluid (have a look at a peristaltic pump, for example).
Now back to the very informative Schneider Electric videos, which provide some insight into macro scale drivers of pump development. In their trends video they mention water scarcity in many geographies, and the need to move or desalinate water.
In many regions infrastructure is aging, while at the same time global trends are towards urbanization and increased total energy usage. Clearly pump usage will grow, as will the amount of energy needed to drive them. This has not escaped notice of governments around the world; some jurisdictions (in the EU, for instance) have already set standards for pump performance, and for countries like the United States, similar standards are apparently imminent.
Clearly energy usage is an important consideration. Many end users are now focused on total lifecycle costs. Some representative numbers from Schneider indicate that while the capital cost is about 10-15%, energy usage represents 40% of total costs over the life of the pump. End users therefore have sufficient reason to encourage manufacturers to develop more efficient pumps. But, as with other products, other factors are also important. These include durability, manufacturing cost, time to market, operating range and others. Grundfos, one of the larger pump manufacturers, made this clear in both their ANSYS Advantage article and their webinar. They explain their investment in high-fidelity simulation tools, integrated into a state-of-the art design system, which enables them to design better, more competitive products and get them to market faster. Simultaneously delivering on these competing requirements is the challenge, and with that simulation tools can provide assistance.
ANSYS has been fortunate to work with many leading pump manufacturers who have communicated their needs to us. And in our software, most recently ANSYS 17.0, we have responded. We provide a large number of tools that address all physics and enable a designer to start with a clean sheet and work through to a fully optimized product. We have made enhancements to all aspects of the software, including physical models, features and usability. For a start, here are ten:
- ANSYS SpaceClaim has some nice new tools for reverse engineering (creating CAD from scanned surface data) and for additive manufacturing.
- ANSYS TurboGrid provides improved tip mesh quality and boundary layer control.
- The turbulence transition model has been formulated into one equation, providing the same reliable results but faster.
- Hydraulic engineers interested in very high fidelity unsteady simulations have started to look at our scale-resolving turbulence models. These are extended and improved in ANSYS 17.0.
- The range of available advanced CFD blade row models has been expanded. The Fourier method now speeds up unsteady simulation for asymmetric cases, such as an impeller in a volute, or situations with multiple disturbing frequencies present, such as an impeller-vaned diffuser-volute configuration.
- Improved workflow connecting ANSYS CFX to ANSYS Mechanical speeds flutter and forced response setup and simulation.
- Rotordynamics capabilities in ANSYS Workbench have continued to develop in terms of ease of use. For large machine applications, we now provide a hydrodynamic bearing model.
- High Performance Computing is improved for the CFD and mechanical solvers, and in many cases provides dramatic computational speedup and faster job turnaround.
- ANSYS DesignXplorerhttp://www.ansys.com/Products/Platform/ANSYS-DesignXplorer offers better techniques for creating response surfaces.
- ANSYS now offers the power of OptiSlang for advanced optimization.
The above list captures just a few of the improvements available at ANSYS 17.0. Please join our webinar (9:00am or 4:00pm EST) on March 11th and learn how to increase the fidelity of your simulations and at the same time increase design and simulation throughput, ultimately contributing to developing better pumps, faster.