• International Journal of Technology (IJTech)
  • Vol 12, No 3 (2021)

Development of Virtual Laboratory for the Study of Centrifugal Pump Cavitation and Performance in a Pipeline Network

Development of Virtual Laboratory for the Study of Centrifugal Pump Cavitation and Performance in a Pipeline Network

Title: Development of Virtual Laboratory for the Study of Centrifugal Pump Cavitation and Performance in a Pipeline Network
Olanrewaju M Oyewola, Samson I Oloketuyi, Ismail Badmus, Olusegun O Ajide, Femi J Adedotun, Oluwatoyin O Odebode

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Cite this article as:
Oyewola, O.M., Oloketuyi, S.I., Badmus, I., Ajide, O.O., Adedotun, F.J., Odebode, O.O., 2021. Development of Virtual Laboratory for the Study of Centrifugal Pump Cavitation and Performance in a Pipeline Network. International Journal of Technology. Volume 12(3), pp. 518-526

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Olanrewaju M Oyewola 1. School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Science and Technology, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji 2. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University Of
Samson I Oloketuyi Department of Industrial Maintenance Engineering, School of Engineering, Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, P.M.B. 2011, Nigeria
Ismail Badmus Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, P.M.B. 2011, Nigeria
Olusegun O Ajide Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University Of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Femi J Adedotun Department of Industrial Maintenance Engineering, School of Engineering, Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, P.M.B. 2011, Nigeria
Oluwatoyin O Odebode Centre for Entrepreneurship Development, School of Liberal Studies, Yaba College of Technology, Yaba, Lagos, P.M.B. 2011, Nigeria
Email to Corresponding Author

Abstract
Development of Virtual Laboratory for the Study of Centrifugal Pump Cavitation and Performance in a Pipeline Network

The conventional method of conducting laboratory experiments in engineering becomes a serious challenge asa result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the development of a virtual laboratory is considered a suitable substitute to real laboratory. In this work, a virtual laboratory for a family of centrifugal pumps has been developed. Cavitation development within the centrifugal pumps and the pumps performances in pipeline networks were studied.  Negative potential head and high fluid temperature increased early cavitation incidence, while low fluid temperature, as well as positive potential head reduced it. The choice of pipe diameter and its roughness factor played significant roles in the pumps’ performance. The study shows that virtual laboratory represents a good training environment that enables precise pipeline and pump flow matching.

Cavitation; Covid-19 pandemic; Pipeline network efficiency; Pump; Virtualexperiments

Introduction

The current COVID-19 pandemic, declared as an outbreak of Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization in January 2020 (Harapana et al., 2020) and identified as a pandemic in March 2020 (Gennaro et al., 2020) is posing an enormous threat to the conduct of reallife laboratory experiments.

In combatting the global lockdown attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to explore new alternatives to academic delivery, and the virtual class mode is a promising way forward (Evans et al., 2020; Arora and Srinivasan, 2020). In a recent publication,Salmerón-Manzano and Manzano-Agugliaro (2018) observed that “bibliographic analysis confirms that research in virtual laboratories is a very active field, where scientific productivity has exponentially increased over recent years in tandem with universities growth”.  In studies conducted by Ari-Gur et al. (2015) and Boonbrahm et al. (2019), their findings showed that virtual laboratories have the potential to enhance learning practical-oriented courses and minimize the procurement cost of laboratory equipment.

In many developing countries, the practical experience required by students of science and engineering to fully understand theoretical aspects of their courses are inadequate. A pragmatic approach to solving this problem is to develop a computer-simulated virtual laboratory to complement existing laboratories to improve the identified problems.  While it is capital-intensive to set up real laboratories that investigate varieties of flow parameter dependences, a virtual laboratory for flow pipe networks is simple and cost-effective, particularly in developing countries experiencing economic challenges. The virtual laboratory makes sure that its resources are available to each student, unlike in a real laboratory where students form groups to perform an experiment. Therefore, the objective of this work was to leverage on he benefits of a virtual laboratory to develop a fluid mechanics virtual laboratory that investigates centrifugal pump cavitation and performance in a pipe network.

        This area of development was chosen because of the cavitation phenomenon menace: on pump casing and impeller. Cavitation always affects flow assurance in the manufacturing, food processing, and oil industries. The menace is characterized by leakages and loss of pressure in pumps and other related hydraulic components (Binama et al., 2016; Luo et al., 2016). However, the cavitation phenomenon still has some benefits elsewhere, including the treatment of stabilized leachate in municipal landfills (Moersidik et al., 2021) and the disinfection of Escherichia coli bacteria using hydrodynamic cavitation (Eva and Indika, 2013). It should be noted that one of the benefits of a virtual laboratory is that it requires a relatively small power supply to operate computer systems. Hence, experiments can be conducted regularly in virtual laboratories. In addition, most of the laboratory equipment required to teach some fundamental science and engineering principles are not readily available in the appropriate quantities and qualities due to poor economies and other social factors in developing countries. The economic benefit of this study is that different experimental rigs can be virtually formulated without incurring significant costs, in contrast to real laboratories, where such exercises are impossible without extra costs. This work on virtual laboratories will provide engineering students with the requisite practical knowledge that will allow them to be integrated into industries where pumps and piping systems are used.


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