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Using simulation to determine NPSHR?

Question asked by Mark Vergot on Oct 27, 2011

Has anyone been able to use flow simulation to determine NPSHR of a pump or have any ideas on how it could be done?

I'm able to set up a simulation and determine a performance curve of a centrifugal pump, which I do by setting the inlet and outlet boundarys as total pressures, and letting the inlet and outlet flows converge to give the head vs flow operating points. Normally for real world testing of the pump we restrict the flow at the pump inlet with a valve until we get the 3% drop from the performance curve. Though it seems you can't do the same in simulation.

What I've tried to do is decrease the inlet pressure hoping to cause a flow restriction at the inlet, though all it seems to do in terms of the simulation is increase the total head. Hence only just simulates another point along the curve.

I'm looking for suggestions on how to simulate to get the 3% drop from the curve to determine the NPSHR of the pump, if it is possible to do in simulation.