Field: mechanical engineering

In cooperation with the members of SIGMA GROUP a.s., a modern and dynamically expanding engineering company and the leader of the pumping technology market in the Czech Republic, we are aiming at making the optimization of bladed machines, such as centrifugal pumps, faster and cheaper.

In centrifugal pump design, one of the most important parameters is their efficiency, which largely depends on
the shape of the rotor and stator blades, and the geometry of the leading and trailing edges. In order to find the optimal shape of the above-mentioned part so the pumps reach the highest possible efficiency for a wide range of operating conditions, a large number of computationally intensive CFD simulations must be performed. The number of these simulations is closely linked to the number of design variables affecting the complex changes in the pump’s geometry. Using several hundred compute cores, the results of CFD simulation for one selected configuration of design variables, i.e. one fixed pump geometry, can be obtained within 0.5 to 2 days depending on the problem size and number of compute cores used. When a standard workstation is used, the computation time needed for one model may
take as long as several weeks. Therefore, complex pump optimization becomes unfeasible in such a case. The
IT4Innovations infrastructure provides sufficient computational resources allowing independent parallel running of computations of a large number of geometric models, thus reducing the time needed for finding an optimal solution to several days or weeks instead of months or even years in the case of using a standard workstation with limited computing power.

A standard established approach to pump optimization is the use of commercial tools for performing CFD simulations. When deployed on HPC infrastructure, their use becomes economically inviable due to the excessive
financial costs of licence acquisition and the limited potential for adapting to customer needs.

The main objective of the joint activities is to replace the commercial solution with available open source libraries
and their combination with the in-house software solution, which fully meets the requirements of the partner without any additional financial costs incurred by acquiring commercial licences. This solution in combination with the IT4Innovations HPC infrastructure
allows the industrial partner to streamline the process of new machine design and thereby reduce the cost of the design cycle.


Tomáš Krátký

Our cooperation with IT4I has been very productive. The transition to “large” HPC has gradually become indispensable for the needs of pumping technology development. The technological intensity
and our lack of experience with similar solutions, however, proved to be an almost insurmountable barrier. The experts at IT4Innovations have managed to contribute a complex solution comprising cluster configuration, running of computations,
and custom-made solutions. Thanks to the fact that many of these experts have a high level of technical education and experience with joint projects with industrial partners, our communication
was very smooth.