Benchmarking CFD Analysis Methodology for Centrifugal Pump

(24 votes, average 4.79 out of 5)
Category : Industrial Projects
Project Code : EDU-PRJ-PG-CFD-004
Project Subscribers : 19



Industrial Projects 7.5/10 Turbomachinery / Mechanical

Over the years CFD has gained tremendous usage in the field of rotating machinery flow modeling. This is mainly because of the difficulties involved in carrying out experiments in the turbomachinery itself. Use of CFD is not just restricted for new design development but also for design rectification and performance enhancement. The role of CFD is mainly focused on aerodynamic designs of turbomachinery.

What is a turbomachine?

In general turbomachine is defined as a device that exchanges energy with a fluid using continuously flowing fluid and rotating blades.

What comes under the category of turbomachinery?

Common examples are aircraft engines and wind turbines. But overall many devices come under the category of turbomachinery. Some devices extract energy from fluid. They are called turbine. Some devices add energy to the fluid. Devices like fan, compressor, blower, and pump come under such class. 

Why is this industry so important?

Turbomachinery industry is critical to the operation of this world. Turbines are used in electricity production. This electricity comes to our home and factories.   Pumps are used for transport of any type of fluid starting from water we drink to fuel oil on which our vehicles run. Aircraft fly due to gas turbines. In short you take anything around us there is some of turbomachinery operation behind it. Hence the turbomachinery industry forms a critical part in terms of design and manufacturing work in the mechanical engineering domain. 

The Centrifugal Pump

The centrifugal pump is among the most common pump used in industry, agriculture and domestic application. As this project is based on CFD analysis of Centrifugal pump, let us have an overview of this device. A centrifugal pump converts mechanical energy from a motor to energy of a moving fluid. A portion of the energy goes into kinetic energy of the fluid. Fluid enters axially through eye of the casing, is caught up in the impeller blades, and is whirled tangentially and radially outward until it leaves through all circumferential parts of the impeller into the diffuser part of the casing. The fluid gains both velocity and pressure while passing through the impeller. The doughnut-shaped diffuser or scroll section of the casing decelerates the flow and further increase the pressure.

Role of CFD in Centrifugal pump design and analysis

The flow analysis inside centrifugal pump is highly complex due to presence of complex flow structure involving turbulence, rotation, secondary flow, unsteadiness and sometimes cavitation.  Application of CFD to pump design and analysis has now been accepted into main stream industrial applications. CFD is used as a design tool at various stages of pump design process. 

Core applications of CFD:

  • Performance prediction
  • Parametric design study
  • Cavitation analysis
  • Component design

Learning and Skill Sets Required

The execution of this project demands the following theoretical knowledge: 

  • Fluid Dynamics: CFD is based on Fluid Dynamics equations. It is very important for student to be comfortable with governing equations of fluid dynamics to do CFD simulation and interpretation of CFD results.
  • Introductory knowledge of Turbomachinery (particularly centrifugal pumps): Introductory knowledge of turbomachinery is needed for this project. You should be familiar with different types of turbomachinery devices, working principle and application of these devices. Also an understanding of centrifugal pump working and design is required. You should be familiar with common terminologies used for turbomachinery performance analysis and their meaning. A thorough understanding of various design parameters and their effect on performance of centrifugal pump is a critical requirement, but this is not required at the start of the project. As you continue your project work, this understanding can be gained with the help of additional reading and our assessment tests. 
  • CFD Fundamentals: CFD Fundamentals is studying about the governing physical equations, and how the fluid flow problems are solved on computers using numerical methods, the backbone of any CFD code.  Students who use commercial CFD software to complete their project works, often refer to user’s manual or tutorial guide, to make a choice of numerical technique, or turbulence model, or the type of boundary condition to apply. But most of the tutorial guides let them down, by not providing sufficient explanation of the theoretical background and justification for using a particular numerical scheme for the given problem. So, knowing the fundamentals of CFD becomes very important in the process of using CFD as a tool for design analysis.

The execution of this project demands the following CFD software skills:

  • ANSYS ICEM CFD: This is pre-processing software that can be used for Mesh generation, which is nothing but a discrete representation of the geometry. Also, ANSYS ICEM CFD has advanced CAD/geometry readers and repair tools to allow the user to do the CAD cleanup work. In this project, ANSYS ICEM CFD will be used to do CAD cleanup and generate structured hexahedral mesh or tetrahedral mesh. So, the knowledge of the software GUI, CAD tools, and meshing in ANSYS ICEM CFD is important to work in this project.
  • ANSYS FLUENT: This is as simulation tool that contains the broad physical modeling capabilities needed to model flow (single/multiphase), turbulence, etc. This simulation software allows one to predict, the impact of fluid flows on the design or vice versa. Also, it has post-processing tools to extract simulation results and understand them. In this project, a turbomachinery flow model will be used to the rotating flow within the centrifugal pump. So, a knowledge on the software GUI, solver set-up, application of turbomachinery flow models, visualization techniques, are compulsory to work on this project.
  • Turbomachinery flow modeling using ANSYS FLUENT: As this project is based on flow modeling within centrifugal pump, knowledge on application of ANSYS FLUENT for modeling flow within turbomachinery is required. This included knowing theory behind turbomachinery flow models in ANSYS FLUENT, application of these models for flow analysis and also to extract meaningful results out of CFD data. 

Necessary LearnCAx Courses

Students opting for this project will have to go through online courses suggested by the LearnCAx mentor. This is to learn the required skillsets before starting the project work. Following are the two LearnCAx courses required to execute this project.

The access to these courses will be provided to the student as a part of the mentoring program and the validity of access exists till the project completion. 

Project and domain specific knowledge is not included in these courses. The courses are designed to teach CFD methods in-general. The application of knowledge acquired through these courses to this specific project has to be done by student. During project execution stage, mentor will guide student to apply the course(s) knowledge for executing the project. Some of the project or domain specific training might not be directly covered in above courses. Mentor will provide necessary guidance to students about from where they can acquire the project specific knowledge.

Who can take the project ?

  • Complexity Level -  8.5/10 (0-Low; 10-High)This project involves, generating hexahedral or tetrahedral mesh, turbomachinery flow modeling, and some complex post-processing work at the end. Based on the efforts involved and the machine run time the complexity of this problem falls on the higher side of the bar.
  • Project Level - M.E./M.Tech./M.S.Generally, any Flow problem that involves additional physical models like Heat transfer models, Multiphase models, Rotating machinery related models, Dynamic mesh models, etc…, we consider it as M.E. level project. In this project we are simulating complex flow structures within centrifugal pump. So, the level of the project is best suited for the post graduate students.
  • Duration - 5 MonthsAssuming the student can spend 2-3 hours of time per day and considering the amount of work involved in both learning (2 months) and working (3 months) on the project, we feel this project can be completed in 5 months. This duration might vary based on the amount of dedicated time; the student spends on the project work.

Benefits for students

Your academic project is one of the most important aspects of your degree. It is so important that it always decides what’s going to be next for you. Let it be higher studies or industrial job, the whole career path is based on the project work. With fierce competition powered by a rapid change in the world economy, every graduate/post-graduate is fighting a tough career battle today in the job market. All students look for an initial breakthrough in their careers and each one of them requires a good educational qualification complemented with a good project work.

Knowing CFD software is one important aspect for being CFD engineer, but using the CFD software for solving complex industrial problem is must when it comes to paving your path for career as CFD engineer. 

This project will particularly help you establish a CFD modeling expertise in the field of turbomachinery flow analysis. Utilizing this early expertise the project will help you gain a head start from career point of view having CFD skills along with application domain expertise. Having experience of modeling turbomachinery flows will open up opportunities in industry and research related to the fields like Turbomachinery, Power, Aerospace, and Process industry. 

Following are few in-built benefits you will get when working on this project:

  • Opportunity to work on challenging projects of turbomachinery flow analysis
  • Opportunity to present project work and get reviews from industry experts
  • Project certification done by industry
  • Opportunity to learn non-technical aspects of project execution followed in industry
  • Opportunity to sharpen the domain expertise and shape future career path

This project is to be executed using ANSYS ICEM CFD and ANSYS FLUENT software. Working on this project will give you exposure to ANSYS FLUENT turbomachinery flow modeling techniques and will open large number of opportunities in industry.

Photo: Tooltip cfd-bg-pr-004-cfd-modeling-using-star-ccm4 Add a photo

Project Details

Mentor Project Details

This project involves carrying out benchmarking studies for one of the steady turbomachinery flow models. The project involves CFD analysis of a centrifugal pump. But it is not a single CFD simulation. The project will involve carrying out different number of parametric fluid flow simulation for a single rotation speed centrifugal pump for validation, performance prediction and approach benchmarking. A 3D model of centrifugal pump will be considered for simulation. The centrifugal pump to be selected will have experimental result of the performance curve available for comparison. CFD analysis of fluid flow through this centrifugal pump will be carried out for constant rotation but with varying flow rates.   

Objective of the Study

ANSYS FLUENT provides three different models for carrying out turbomachinery flow analysis. The MRF model which is a steady state approximation of unsteady state flow is among the most popular and commercially viable approach. The second approach is mixing plane approach which is also a steady state model. The third approach is of sliding mesh which is among the most complex and computationally expensive approach but without any stead state physics approximation. 

This project will investigate the MRF model or approach for the entire performance prediction of a centrifugal pump. Within the MRF approach also there are two ways to perform CFD calculation. One is to simulate the entire pump model and other way is to use periodicity approximation if geometry and flow is of periodic nature. This project will be focused on flow analysis of constant rotation centrifugal pump using a steady state approach. As this project is a benchmarking study, following are the multi-faceted objectives of this project.

  • To validate the modeling approach of steady state turbomachinery model for centrifugal pump
  • To investigate the performance of steady state modeling approach towards prediction of head as function of flow rate for constant rotational speed
  • To compare the periodicity approach with the complete model approach at selective flow rates. This study will also involve study of effects of various parameters associated with selection of periodic domain

Project inputs to be shared with students

LearnCAx discussed with the CCTech team to extract the inputs required for the execution of this project. These inputs will be shared with the students before they start with the project work. Following is brief information on the project inputs and how to use them. 

Geometry: Students will receive a CAD model of centrifugal pump in .IGES or STEP format. This can be imported in ANSYS ICEM CFD. Students should then extract the CFD domain for the project. 

  • Centrifugal pump  – CAD Model in .IGES or STEP format

Material properties:  Students will be provided with a pool of literature from which they need to extract material properties. This literature is part of various centrifugal pump studies which CCTech uses for reference and benchmarking studies. 

Expected deliverable from student

Once the project is completed, student has to submit the project report to CCTech who offered the project. The findings from the CFD simulation will be used by CCTech for their future work. A panel of LearnCAx and CCTech team does the review of work done by student. So, the following deliverables are expected from the student.

Project Report

A project is closed only after student submits the report and it gets reviewed by review panel. The report should be in word format and expect to provide the project details starting from the problem description, validation case details, & results, CFD domain, meshing details, solution strategy, solver set-up, results, and conclusion at the end. An overview of the expected content is provided below.

  • Introduction: A brief introduction to the project domain along with the need for the study is expected in this section.
  • Project Overview: In this section, explain in detail about the project or the problem and also specify the objective of the problem.
  • Validation Case Details: This will showcase results of validation study. Validation should be preferably carried out with experimental results of centrifugal pump flow analysis. The report should include details about the reference paper, problem definition, geometry, mesh, solver setup, results, and the learnings from the validation study. 
  • CFD Domain: Student can add images of the given CAD model and extracted CFD domain after cleanup. 
  • Meshing: Provide details about the type of mesh used, cell count, mesh quality, images of surface mesh and cut plane showing volume mesh.
  • Boundary Conditions: Details of boundary conditions and various assumption used for deriving boundary conditions should be included 
  • Solver Set-up: Details about the turbulence model, turbomachinery flow model, and numerical discretization schemes used to capture the flow physics should be provided.
  • Results: This section of the report may have details of convergence, machine run time, and most importantly the CFD results. Results include both qualitative and quantitative. The results should be provided for all three studies to be carried out in the project i.e. validation of the modeling approach of steady state turbomachinery model, investigation of the performance of steady state modeling approach towards prediction of head as function of flow rate and finally comparison of the periodicity approach with the complete model approach at selective flow rates. 
  • Conclusion: Finally end the report with a summary or conclusion of the result analysis. 

Files to be submitted

All the necessary files related to this project are to be submitted to the company for their future reference. This includes both ANSYS ICEM CFD and ANSYS FLUENT associated files, as listed below.

  • Geometry : .tin file
  • Blocking : .blk file
  • Mesh : .uns file
  • Simulation : .cas and .dat for all simulation in all the three studies
  • Journal files used for saving images : .jou (if any)


Mentor Project Mentor

LearnCAx mentor program connects Students, Mentors, and Industrial/University Projects together. Through this unique program, we give an opportunity for students to work on challenging projects offered by industry or assigned by your university. Main aim of LearnCAx mentor program is to give all necessary knowledge and guidance to students, so that they can work on challenging projects. For success of this program, it is very critical for students to understand how this program works, what is role of LearnCAx mentor, and what is role of student.

To get an overall idea about LearnCAx mentor program, visit Overview and How it Works? articles.

Every project has different challenges and requires specific domain expertise. LearnCAx has team of mentors. Every mentor has expertise in CFD and large work experience in executing industrial projects. They have developed domain experts in specific domain by executing industrial project in the domain for more than 5 years. When you enroll for LearnCAx mentor program, you get a dedicated mentor. Mentor is decided based on the project definition and required expertise. 

The complete LearnCAx mentor program is based on the theme of “Learn – Try – Execute”. This is student centric approach, where it is expected that student would learn and acquire all required knowledge, try the knowledge on simple problems and then execute the project. LearnCAx mentor is a guide/mentor who will be with student during every phase, let it be learning or executing the project. Mentor will provide all required guidance to student enrolled for this program. 

Following are the few responsibilities of LearnCAx mentor:

  • To check if project is feasible using CFD or not
  • To design the learning path for students which will include required courses and domain knowledge
  • Guide student to break the project into intermediate stages
  • Guide student to make required assumptions and simplify the problem
  • Guide student during their learning phase
  • Guide student during the project execution phase
  • Review the project work at regular intervals
  • Review project work and provide feedback

Our main focus is to give student a working experience on challenging project. Student will execute all the stages of project by acquiring required skill sets. Mentor will provide necessary guidance. Following are few things LearnCAx mentor will not do:

  • Provide customized training specific for the assigned project
  • Work on any of the project execution stage including meshing and simulation
  • Prepare the project report/presentation


Mentor Project Certification

About Company Offering this Project

This is an industrial project offered by Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (CCTech). CCTech is a venture started by a group of IITians and industry professionals with extensive experience in CAD/CFD application, development, and testing. The average experience of a CAD/CFD professional at CCTech is more than 6 years. Members of the advisory board and principal consultants are specialists in various applications of CAD/CFD, empowering CCTech to handle complex CAD/CFD problems.

CCTech has always taken new challenges in terms of problem complexity and project time lines. It has successfully carried out various projects in high speed aerodynamics, HVAC of automobile, data center cooling, analysis of automobile defrost and ventilation ducts, volute design for pump, fluidized bed simulation, soot formation in IC engines etc.

This project is offered by CCTech’s CFD consultancy division. CFD consultancy division offers design, analysis and optimization services for various industries and successfully completed more than 100 projects. With its quality of work and capability of handling challenging project, CFD consultancy division is one of the preferred choices for many industries including automobile, heat exchanger, and control valve manufacturers, oil & gas design and consultancy firms. Working on this project will give you an opportunity to work with expert engineers in the CFD consultancy division and it would be unique learning experience. To know more about the company, visit

Assessment Process

This project will go through two levels of assessment. The first level of assessment will be done by project mentor. Second level of assessment will be done by review panel from Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (Company offering this project). The assessment process is designed to make sure that a student has gone through all the necessary learning and project execution stages. The assessment process is also designed to grade the project work for quality of work done by student.

Project mentor’s assessment is a continuous monitoring process. The assessment process is designed to make sure that student executes each and every stage of project successfully with desired output and learning. Project mentor will do assessment at following stages:

  • Learning done by student to make sure that student has acquired skills to execute the project
  • Literature survey and problem understanding by student to make sure that student has understood the complexity of project and knows the execution path
  • Geometry and meshing techniques used to make sure its quality
  • Simulation and methods used to make sure that it will satisfy the objective of simulation
  • Project report review and presentation to make sure that the project objectives are satisfied

After completion of project, the final assessment and review will be done by team from Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The review will be done based on the project report submitted by student. The project work will be graded based on following criteria

  • Aim and objective of the simulation work done by student
  • Geometry and physics simplifications done by students and its validity
  • Meshing method used, cell count and its quality
  • CFD models, boundary conditions used and its validity
  • Agreement of CFD results with data available with CCTech
  • Simulation results and student’s interpretation about the results


After successful completion of the project, student will get a certificate issued by Centre for Computational Technologies Pvt. Ltd. This industrial project certificate will add a great value in student’s profile and will lay a foundation for their career in CFD domain.

Student’s project work will go through a rigorous review process set by CCTech. A review team will grade students work and assign grading out of 10. CCTech will give a project completion certificate with acquired grade to the student.


Mentor Project FAQ

1. My project submission date is nearing and I have less time than the duration mentioned on the web page. I want guidance from mentor to complete this project first and then I will learn the courses. Is it possible?

The time duration mentioned is for a student with average learning capabilities, spending 2-3 hours a day. If you can spend more time on a day, the total duration of the project might get reduced. But you cannot get guidance for doing the project without completing the learning process through our courses.

2. Will I get project completion certificate from LearnCAx or the company?

You will get the certificate from the company. You can appear for a test and get course completion certificate separately from us. This is independent of the project completion.

3. Why there is cost associated with this project?

Students get the projects directly from the industry or company. LearnCAx will provide the necessary knowledge and guidance to the student, through the Mentor Program, to complete the project. Student is charged for this Mentor Program. Other than mentoring, the student will be access to our CFD courses, for learning the required software skills.

4. I do not have fundamental knowledge of turbomachinery. Can I still take this project? 

For doing this project it is preferred that you know some fundamentals of turbomachinery operation. If you do not have those fundamentals, we will recommend you additional reading which you will have to complete before starting this project. 

5. I have taken one course on turbomachinery during my studies. Is that sufficient for taking up whit project?

Yes. A course on turbomachinery will be an ideal prerequisite for this project. 

6. Will you provide literature for validation during the project?

The mentor will guide you on various important aspects required for literature collection and also provide sample literature pool. But it is expected that you carry out extensive literature survey during your project. 

7. You have mentioned that the project is for ME or MTech or MS students. I am a BE or undergraduate student, can I do this project?

Ideally this project is for ME/MTech level students. If you are a BE student you will need more time than the mentioned project duration. If you are interested in the project and have 8 months to an year to work on the project then you can consider this project.  

8. We are a group of 3 to 4 students. Can we as a group work on this project?

No. This project is for a single individual only. A group of student cannot take this project.

9. As a undergraduate or BE student can I do this project individually?

Yes. If you are an undergraduate or BE student having interest and appropriate time and background required for this project you can take this project. But you will need to do this project individually and not in group. Also as this is a ME level project, you should expect that it will be challenging at BE level. A BE level student must have at-least an year to work on the project.


Last Reviews

There are yet no reviews for this product.
Now please write a (short) review....(min. 100, max. 2000 characters)
First: Rate the product. Please select a rating between 0 (poorest) and 5 stars (best). Rating:
Characters written:

Browse Knowledge Base

Recommended By

Get Instant Updates

Subscribe to get instant updates about CFD courses, projects, blogs, webinars, software tutorials & CFD jobs