An Engineered Battle Against Cavitation

Mean streamline techniques and computational fluid dynamics identify the culprit causing constant repairs and failure of cooling water pumps.

by Gary Dyson & Michael Cooper
December 7, 2018
Pumps & Systems

Image 1. With inlet backflow recirculation present, the impellers were experiencing horrific vane breakage and cavitation

A power station’s cooling water pumps were constantly being repaired, costing the plant millions of dollars in costs and service time due to the severe operational disruption and logistics required to remove and transport such large equipment. Previous attempts made by the station to improve the reliability of the impellers through upgraded material selections had little impact on reliability.

It was clear that something had to change as the station’s pump reliability was now a major financial focus. The many vane cracks, cavitation and broken vane sections that were weld-repaired during inspections throughout the pumps’ life cycles prompted the station to investigate a more permanent solution to the issue.

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