# CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS: IMPELLER REVERSE DESIGN

http://webhome.idirect.com/~benzimra/Pump_Gen.htm

CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS: IMPELLER REVERSE DESIGN
by M. L. Tartavel, P.Eng & S. Benzimra, P.Eng

OVERVIEW
Contents: Introduction Input Data Preliminary Evaluation Shroud modeling Point to Point calculations Other Controls

Introduction There is a growing interest in the fabrication of large size impellers at minimum cost. In the past few years, users came to realize that pump manufacturers offer replacement spare parts at exorbitant prices. We responded to this increased demand by developing our own software to provide users with efficient impellers at a fraction of the cost. Although most applications revolve around large water pumping facilities, our services extend practically to all centrifugal pumps, regardless of size. The following is a brief description of the detailed engineering work to be carried out on a case by case basis.

Input Data The user provides the pump's performance curve showing flow, head, efficiency and NPSH (Net Positive Suction Head), as received from the pump manufacturer. In some instances the pump's test curve will be required to confirm the actual position of the BEP (Best Efficiency Point) and the design Ns (Specific Speed, dimensionless) as precisely as possible.

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10/31/2011 10:28 AM

CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS: IMPELLER REVERSE DESIGN

http://webhome.idirect.com/~benzimra/Pump_Gen.htm

In order to appreciate some of the most critical impeller characteristics, a series of non-destructive measurements shall be performed on the impeller, at the Client's expense. We could provide any assistance, as required. For a detailed list of data required, click here.

Preliminary Evaluation Based on Bernouilli's and Euler's equation, a comprehensive computer program was developed to simulate the design parameters used in the construction of the original impeller, at the pump's rated conditions. This reverse engineering procedure closely follows the theoretical and practical findings of a number of leading authors in the field, most particularly Alexey J. Stepanoff, whose seminal work constitutes the basis of pump design to this day.

Since all pumps are actually designed for one single operating point (BEP), it is of paramount importance to identify this point with the greatest accuracy. It is generally difficult to pinpoint these specific conditions, by looking graphically at the performance curve, especially when the curve is significantly steep. A small error in the selection of this critical point would lead to a substantial deviation in the angular profile of the blade. A regression analysis, based on about a dozen points from the curve leads to a polynomial expression of high order on which several mathematical operations can be performed with the desired accuracy. The accurate positioning of the tangent to the BEP enables the drawing of the discharge vane triangle (Euler's triangle), thus setting the outlet angle of the blade in relation to the impeller rim. Similarly, the inlet vane angle is first approximated on the basis of the appropriate range of impelling
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10/31/2011 10:28 AM

CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS: IMPELLER REVERSE DESIGN

http://webhome.idirect.com/~benzimra/Pump_Gen.htm

ratios, compatible with the type of pump considered. This value is later adjusted separately for both the front and back shroud vanes.

Shroud modeling Whereas the inlet and discharge angles are physical characteristics of the impeller in its three dimensional reality, the pattern maker, at fabrication time, can only use the corresponding projected values on a horizontal plane, normal to the pump shaft. For strictly radial pumps with very low Ns, where both shrouds are essentially normal to the shaft, the actual angular values are obviously equal to the projected values. However, in practically all cases involving large pumps, the shape of the impeller shrouds depart significantly from straight vertical lines, especially around the inlet area. Therefore, a considerable difference exists between the actual angular values and their projected counterparts. These differences vary point to point along the length of the vanes, as a function of the geometric curvature of the shrouds. It is then necessary to mathematically simulate the curvature of both shrouds, from the eye of the impeller to the point of discharge. We found that an exponential type equation provides the best fit for the shrouds' geometry. In fact, two different equations are used for each shroud (lower and upper sides), because at some point towards the discharge, there is generally a sharp departure from the original curve into an almost linear pattern. This is particularly so for radial pumps with a Ns lower than 3000. But even in the case of essentially linear shrouds, an exponential fit is in order, to properly appreciate the inlet area. The coefficients of these equations are determined by calculus, to ensure a common tangent at the transition point.

Point to Point Calculations The impeller is then divided into 360° and, for each shroud, the actual and projected position of the vane are determined trigonometrically, on
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10/31/2011 10:28 AM

CENTRIFUGAL PUMPS: IMPELLER REVERSE DESIGN

http://webhome.idirect.com/~benzimra/Pump_Gen.htm

polar angle increments of one degree. A logarithmic equation correlates the radius to the polar angle, at each point, as a function of the hydraulic blade angle, thus ensuring a smooth variation of the blade angle throughout. Past experience suggests that hydraulic angle increments are generally proportional to radius increments. However, we may test different configurations, if need arises. These results are then plotted in polar coordinates, for the use of the pattern maker, as shown above. It is interesting to note that, on very curved front shrouds, where the inlet portion is almost tangent to the pump's axis for a significant length, the projected vane angle becomes almost zero (tangent to the hub), regardless of the actual physical angle of the blade. This effect is not observed on the back shroud because the inlet angle of the blade is significantly higher, and the slope of the inlet portion of the back shroud is considerably steeper.

Other Controls The results obtained are cross-checked against a number of evaluations to ensure the replication of the original pump characteristics, as developed by the pump designer. In that regard, we calculate and plot at least one so called mid-streamline, an imaginary vane located between the front and back shroud vanes, which represents the hydraulic locus separating the channel into equal flows. The determination of this line, carried out as accurately as the front and back vanes, permits to adjust the inlet vane angle, to ensure the smoothest flow pattern possible.

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