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Simulations of Flow Transients During Pump Switchover

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Our customer specializes in detailing & designing of equipment packages used in energy related industries. They were engaged with design of lube oil circuit for a heavy duty compressor. The circuit comprises of reservoir tank, two pumps (main & backup generating 9 bar rise), valves, cooler, filter & compressor. There was concern if pressure regulator is needed in the circuit to control excessive pressure reaching the compressor during failure / switchover operation of pump. Customer sought CFD analysis to simulate the pressure transients during the event.

Zeus Numerix employed 1D fluid dynamics formulation for this problem. First, steady state solution was obtained for normal operating condition. This was matched with the design calculations to confirm correct modeling of hydraulic losses. Next, a series of events were simulated corresponding to failure, controlled stopping & switch-over of pumps.

(a) Schematic of Lube Oil Circuit (b) Pressure Transient during Pump Switchover

Customer was delivered with analysis report that contained the pressure transient data at various points on the circuit including at inlet of compressor. The analysis of data confirmed that the extreme event related to pump does not generate critical conditions for which pressure regulator would be needed. Thus, our customer obtained approval on lube oil circuit after confirming safety of compressor during extreme failure events.

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