, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 323-330
Date: 29 May 2010

Design and optimization of an LPG roller vane pump for suppressing cavitation

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Abstract

A roller vane type liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pump was developed for a liquid phase LPG injection (LPLi) engine. Most of the LPG pumps used in the current LPLi engines are installed inside of the LPG tank, but this pump is intended to be installed outside of the LPG tank to overcome the difficulty of fixing an in-tank pump. Because LPG has a low boiling point and high vapor pressure, it usually causes cavitation in the pump and consequently deteriorates the flow rate of the pump. The purpose of this work is to optimize the design of the roller vane pump in order to suppress cavitation and increase the fuel flow rate by using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. In order to achieve these goals, the intake port configuration and the rotor of the roller vane pump were redesigned and simulated using STAR-CD code. Computation was performed for six different models to obtain the optimized design of the roller vane pump at a constant speed of 2600 rpm and a constant pressure difference between the inlet and outlet of 5 bar. The computation results show that an increased intake port cross-section area can suppress cavitation, and the pump can achieve a higher flow rate when the rotor configuration is changed to increase its chamber volume. When the inlet pressure difference is 0.1 bar higher than the fluid saturation pressure, the pump reaches its maximum flow rate.