CFD-based analysis for finding critical wall roughness on centrifugal pump at design and off-design conditions

  • Dhairyasheel DeshmukhEmail author
  • Abdus Samad
Technical Paper


Three-dimensional numerical analyses were conducted to study fluid flow behavior over the rough surface in an electric submersible pump at the design and off-design conditions. The entire range of smooth, transition and fully rough surfaces was considered for the study of the turbulent boundary layer properties and its effect on the pump performance. The calculated performance using CFD showed a good agreement with the experimental data. For wall-bounded turbulent flow through a pump passage, the kω SST turbulence model was used along with automatic wall function. To study wall roughness effect at the design and off-design conditions, the parameters such as flow rate, impeller speed and roughness factors were varied. Strong interaction between the rough wall and fluid changes the pressure, velocity gradients and turbulence parameters within boundary and affects the overall pump performance. The result showed that performance initially reduced to a critical value as the roughness increased and increased thereafter. A clear observation of turbulent kinetic energy and eddy viscosity showed that near-wall turbulence over the critical wall roughness increases the momentum transfer, and consequently the head developed by pump increases.


Electric submersible pump Surface roughness Off-design condition Wall-bounded turbulent flow 

List of symbols



Best efficiency point


Eddy viscosity (Pa s)


Electric submersible pump


Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes


Shear stress transport


Turbulence kinetic energy (m2/s2)



Width of pump passage (mm)


Additive constant in logarithmic law


Power law multiplicative factor


Skin friction coefficient


Coefficient of pressure


Head developed (m)


Friction factor

i/p P

Input power (kW)


Equivalent sand roughness (mm)


Roughness factor


Hydraulic mean depth of radial flow at impeller outlet (mm)


Impeller speed (RPM)


Power coefficient


Specific speed (RPM)


Pressure (Pa)


Volume flow rate (m3/s)


Radius (m)


Arithmetic average roughness (mm)


Root-mean-square roughness (mm)


Blade thickness (m)


Mean velocity (m/s)


Frictional velocity (m/s)


Free stream velocity (m/s)


Number of blades


Characteristic length

Greek letters


Flow coefficient


Head coefficient


Pump shaft power coefficient


Blade angle Theta (°)


Pump efficiency (%)


Density of fluid (kg/m3)


Wall shear stress (N/m2)


Angular rotational speed of impeller (rad/s)


Kinematic viscosity (m2/s)


1 and 2

Impeller inlet and outlet

3 and 4

Diffuser inlet and outlet


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia

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