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Turbodesign-1: Next generation

design software for pumps
Using the inverse design approach in the design of pumps allows the shape of components
such as impeller blades to be computed for a given pressure distribution or blade loading.
The latest 3D inverse design codes are a significant advance on earlier methods as they are
able to take account of 3D flow effects, which dominate centrifugal and mixed flow
pumps. Here, M. Zangeneh and A. Goto outline the basic input data for one such inverse
design code, TURBOdesign-1. Two examples are then used to illustrate how a designer can
use his fluid dynamics insight to improve the design of pump components. Finally they
discuss issues related to data export and manufacturing.

In practice, however, there are

difficulties in determining the degree


WORLD PUMPS February 2003

A more systematic approach to the

design of pumps is the inverse design
approach in which the blade shape is
computed for a given distribution of
pressure distribution or blade loading.
Because the flow field is directly related
to the pressure or loading distribution
this approach enables the designer to
use his insights into the flow hydrodynamics, gained through the use of
CFD codes, directly for the choice of
his design inputs. Inverse design
methods for turbomachinery design
have been available since the 1940s
(see Lighthill2, and Hart and Whitehead3). But they have had limited
application in pump design due to the







The main difficulty currently facing

pump designers is how to utilize the
important insights into the pump flow
field provided by CFD in the hydrodynamic design of pump components.
This is mainly due to the fact that
current design practice is based on
making trial and error changes to
existing geometries, which are normally defined in terms of blade angle
distributions. The designer starts from
an initial blade shape and then
evaluates the flow field in the impeller
or diffuser by the application of CFD.
Ideally, it should then be possible to
modify the blade shape if the flow
conditions are not those required.

Inverse design

and direction of any modifications.

These difficulties are compounded by
the fact that the change of blade
shape at one location can affect the
flow at other parts of the blade.
Therefore, the conventional design
approach has to rely on empiricism
and previous design experience.
Furthermore, since there is no direct
logical relationship between the input
to the design process (the blade
shape) and the output (the flow field),
it is difficult to create an easy-to-use
database of design know-how.
Therefore, minor changes to the
design specification (such as flow rate
or head) will require another long
process of iterative modification of
the blade geometry.

Derivative of RVT

n many mixed flow and centrifugal

pumps, the flow field is dominated
by complicated three-dimensional
viscous effects, such as secondary
flows and corner separations. It is only
recently and as a result of developments in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) coupled with validation by experiments that we have
been able to obtain a better understanding of the detailed threedimensional flow field in these types
of pumps. CFD methods (e.g. Walker
and Dawes1) can predict the flow in
the pump impeller or diffuser and
show the occurrence of unfavourable
flow features such as flow separation
or secondary flows. However, CFD
does not show directly what modification should be made to improve
the flow field.













Meridional distance m ND




Figure 1. The method of specification of blade loading.

0262 1762/03 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved



fact that early inverse methods were

mainly two-dimensional and therefore
failed to take account of 3D flow
effects, which dominate centrifugal
and mixed flow pumps. In addition,
many of the early inverse design
methods in which the pressure distribution was specified on the blade upper
and lower surfaces did not enable the
designer to control the blade thickness
and therefore in many cases the designs
could not be manufactured.
Hawthorne et al.4, proposed a 3D
inverse design method in which the
blade shape is computed for a specified
distribution of blade circulation (or
loading) together with blade thickness.
This approach was later developed into
a design method for all types of turbomachinery by Zangeneh5. This method
has been applied extensively to the
design of centrifugal and mixed flow
pumps. It has been applied to the
design of pump impellers and diffusers
leading to important design breakthroughs such as suppression of secondary flows in impellers (see Zangeneh et
al.6,7) and corner separation in vaned
diffusers (Goto and Zangeneh8).
Furthermore, these breakthroughs in
hydrodynamic design have resulted in
substantial (56 percentage points)
improvements in pump performance,
over the best state-of-the-art efficiency
levels. In addition the method has


Figure 2. Velocity
vectors on blade
suction surface:
(a) conventional;
(b) TURBOdesign-1.


been applied to the design of pump

stages with improved suction
performance (Ashihara and Goto9,10)
as well as the design of very compact
pump stages, see Goto et al.11
In 1999, the inverse design method of
Zangeneh5 was developed into a
commercial design code, TURBOdesign-1, by Advanced Design
Technology Ltd in the UK. The code
has been licensed widely to pump
manufacturers and is currently being
used for actual product design by a
number of major pump manufacturers.

Main input data to

The inputs of this design method are
as follows:
meridional shape
loading distribution (distribution
of bound circulation 2rV)
rotational speed , which is zero
for a stationary blade
blade thickness distribution
blade number
stacking condition.
In the present design system, the
blade loading is specified by giving
the distribution of (rV)/m, which
is the derivative of angular momentum (rV) along the meridional
distance, m. The design parameter is

directly related to the pressure loading (p+ p-: the pressure difference
across the blade) through the following equation for incompressible
potential flows:

p+ p =


where B is the blade number, is

density, and Wmbl is the blade-toblade average of the meridional
component of the relative velocity on
the blade. By controlling (rV)/m it
is possible to control the pressure
loading and therefore the overall 3D
pressure field.
In TURBOdesign-1 the loading distribution is specified simply by using a
three-segment method in which a
combination of two parabolic curves
and an intermediate linear line are
used, as shown in Figure 1. Four
design parameters (connection point
locations NC and ND, slope of the
linear line, and the derivative of
rV [DRVT]) are used to define the
distribution curve. The (rV)/m
distribution is specified for each of
the shroud and hub surfaces, then
the rV distribution is derived by
the integration of (rV)/m along
the meridional distance m on the
hub and shroud surfaces. The rV distributions in the intermediate part of
the blade are obtained by a linear


February 2003 33




was fore-loaded while the hub was aftloaded to reduce the spanwise pressure
gradient between the shroud and the
hub in the aft part of the impeller
suction surface. Figures 2(b) and 3(b)
present the flow field in the inverse
design impeller, where it can be seen
that secondary flows are well suppressed and as a result a more uniform exit
flow pattern is obtained.


As can be seen in Figure 4, the blade

angle distribution between these two
designs is very different, and it can be
confirmed that the conventional design practice of using smooth blade
angle distributions does not necessarily
guarantee good flow fields. This fact
clearly demonstrates the importance of
carrying out the blade design based on
the hydrodynamic design parameter
(TURBOdesign-1) and not the geometric design parameter (conventional

Figure 3. Predicted
velocity contours at
impeller trailing edge:
(a) conventional;
(b) TURBOdesign-1.

interpolation for rV between the

hub and the shroud.

Blade design
Impeller design with
suppressed secondary
It is well known that the secondary flow
phenomena in an impeller have important effects on the efficiency and stability of the impeller. In addition to this,
the secondary flow has a dominating
influence on the generation of the exit
flow non-uniformity (so-called jetwake flow pattern) and affects the
performance and stability of the downstream diffuser. The secondary flows on
blade suction surfaces are important,
since the boundary layers are thicker
on the suction surfaces than on the
pressure surfaces. However, the design
procedure to control secondary flows
has not been established until very recently due to the complex three-dimensionality of the pressure fields. Zangeneh et al.6 presented a logical method
based on 3D inverse design to suppress
meridional secondary flows within
centrifugal and mixed-flow impellers,
which is briefly described here.
Figure 2(a) shows the flow pattern in a
conventional impeller having a typical
blade angle distribution which connects the inlet and exit blade angles by


WORLD PUMPS February 2003

smooth monotonous curves. Strong

spanwise secondary flows were clearly
observed, which were generated by the
reduced static pressure gradient between the hub and the shroud. These
secondary flows move all the low momentum fluids on the suction surface of
the blade to the suction/shroud corner
resulting in the formation of the
jet/wake flow shown in Figure 3(a).
The secondary flow control by the 3D
inverse design code TURBOdesign-1
is rather straightforward as the pressure fields can easily be controlled by
controlling the blade loading parameter (rV)/m. Namely, the shroud

Diffuser design with

suppressed corner stall
The hub surface of a vaned bowl diffuser can be highly loaded when the
outer diameter of the diffuser is made
compact. In such situations, the optimization of blade shape is extremely important to avoid a large-scale flow separation along the corner region between
the diffuser blade suction surface and
the hub surface. In 1998, Goto and
Zangeneh8 presented a design procedure for diffuser blades using the 3D
inverse design code TURBOdesign-1.

Figure 4. Comparison of blade angle of conventional and TURBOdesign-1 impellers.




Figure 6. Flow field

in the conventional
vaned bowl
diffuser: (a) CFD
predictions; and
(b) oil flow




Figure 5. Flow field in the TURBOdesign-1 vaned bowl diffuser: (a)

CFD predictions; and (b) oil flow visualization.

Figure 5 presents the results of CFD

prediction of stage flows for a conventional diffuser pump stage with low specific speed (280[m, rpm, m3/min]) and
the multicolour oil-film flow pattern
within the vaned bowl diffuser part.
Due to the spanwise pressure gradient
on the diffuser blade suction surface at
the inlet, the spanwise secondary flows
were generated towards the hub surface. At the same time, on the hub surface, the secondary flows towards the

blade suction surface were generated

due to the blade-to-blade pressure
gradient. Because of these two types of
secondary flows, the low momentum
fluids were accumulated in the hub/
suction surface corner region. The adverse pressure gradient is also high in
this region and as a result a large-scale
corner flow separation occurred around
the middle part of the hub surface.
In order to suppress the formation of
the corner separation by using

TURBOdesign-1, a fore-loaded distribution was used at the hub. This type of

loading reduces the adverse pressure
gradient in the middle part of the hub
surface. At the same time by using aftloading at the shroud wall, spanwise
secondary flows were enhanced at the
inlet part of the diffuser blade suction
surface, and the accumulation of low
momentum fluids in the corner region
was prevented. This combination of
loading resulted in successful suppression of the corner separation (Figure 6).


February 2003 35



Figure 7. The
TURBOdesign-1 stage.

The stage designed by TURBOdesign-1

was manufactured (Figure 7) and its
performance was compared to that
of the conventional stage in the same
test stand. The conventional stage
was designed by application of CFD
and had an efficiency level that
was at the top end of state-of-theart efficiencies for this specific speed.
As can be seen, the TURBOdesign-1
stage shows a 5% improvement in
performance over the conventional
stage (Figure 8).

Program interface
and data transfer
The program features a user-friendly
graphical user interface. The interface
enables the transfer of the geometry to
typical CFD software such as Turbogrid for CFX-TASCflow, PLOT3D
G/Turbo for FLUENT. In addition the
code enables the direct generation of
IGES files for CAD software and STL
file format for rapid prototyping.

Concluding remarks
TURBOdesign-1 enables the designer
to control the flow field in the impeller
and diffuser by careful control of 3D
pressure fields, through the specified
blade loading distribution. Thus, it is
possible to achieve an innovative

Figure 8.
Comparison of
performance of
and conventional
pump stages.


Head ratio H*
Efficiency ratio *


Case G
(inverse design)








Case C
(conventional design)



Flow rate ratio Q*



WORLD PUMPS February 2003



Shaft power ratio L*


design for pump blades having, for

example, high efficiency, high suction performance and very compact
machine size. Once optimum input
data based on solid physical background are found for the TURBOdeisgn-1, it is possible to apply these
results to similar designs or at least give
a good baseline design to start an
optimization process. This feature is
especially useful for systematic series
development of pumps covering a wide
flow coefficient (or specific speed)
range. The design guidelines or design
expertise thus obtained are expected
to be more universal and operatorindependent, and are easily transferred
to the next generation.
Another important feature of this design method is that it will enable the
optimization of one of the design parameters while keeping other parameters
the same. The effects of adopting a
different meridional geometry, for
example, can be evaluated independently while keeping the blade loading
distribution and other design parameters the same. All these features
contribute to achieve a breakthrough
design and shorten the whole design/
optimization cycle.
Currently work is in progress at ADT
to develop a full 3D viscous inverse
design package and hybrid design
system with automatic optimization
algorithm. A splitter design version of
TURBOdesign-1 is already available
on commercial release.

(1) Walker, P.J. and Dawes, W.N.,
The Extension and Application
of Three-Dimensional TimeMarching Analysis to Incompressible Turbomachinery Flows,
ASME Journal of Turbomachinery,
(1990), Vol. 112, pp. 385-390.
(2) Lighthill, J.M., A new method
of two-dimensional aerodynamic
design, ARC R&M, (1945), 2104.
(3) Hart, M. and Whitehead, D.S.,
A design method for 2D cascades
of turbomachinery blades, Int. J.
Numerical Methods in Fluids,
(1987), Vol. 7, pp. 1363-1381.
(4) Hawthorne, W.R., Tan, C.S.,
Wang, C. and McCune, J.E.,

Theory of blade design for large

deflections: Part II - Annular
cascades, Trans of ASME, J. Eng.
Gas Tur. Power, (1984), Vol. 106,
pp. 354-365.
(5) Zangeneh, M,. A compressible
three-dimensional design method
for radial and mixed flow turbomachinery blades, Int. J. Numerical Methods in Fluids, (1991),
Vol. 13, pp.599-624.
(6) Zangeneh, M., Goto, A. and Harada, H., On the design criteria
for suppression of secondary flows
in centrifugal and mixed flow
im-pellers, Trans ASME, J. of
Turbomachinery, (1998), Vol. 120,
pp. 723-35.
(7) Zangeneh, M., Goto, A. and Harada, H., On the role of three-dimensional inverse design methods
in turbomachinery shape optimization, Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs,
(1999), Vol. 213 Part C, pp. 27-42.
(8) Goto, A. and Zangeneh, M.,
Hydrodynamic design of pump
diffuser using inverse design
method and CFD, (1998), ASME
paper No. FEDSM98-4854. Also
Trans ASME, J. Fluids Eng.,
(2002), Vol. 124, pp. 319-328.
(9) Ashihara, K. and Goto, A., Improvements of Pump Suction Performance using 3D Inverse Design
Method, 3rd ASME/ JSME Joint
Fluids Engineering Conference,
(1999), ASME paper No. FEDSM99-6846.
(10) Ashihara, K. and Goto, A., Study
on pump impeller with splitter
blades designed by 3D inverse
design method, (1999), ASME
paper No. FEDSM2000-1103.
(11) Goto, A., Ashihara, K., Sakurai, T.
and Saito, S., Compact design of
diffuser pumps using three-dimensional inverse design method,
3rd ASME/JSME Joint Fluids
Engineering Conference, (1999),
ASME paper No. FEDSM99-6847.
M. Zangeneh and A. Goto
Advanced Design Technology Ltd,
Monticello House,
45 Russell Square,
Tel: +44-20-7907-4710
Fax: +44-20-7907-4711