Progressive cavity pumps (PCPs) have been widely used as an artificial lifting device in various oilfield productions due to their numerous advantages. However, some problems still exist during practical applications. In order to improve the performance and promote the application, it is of great significance to optimize the design of PCPs.
In this study, we established a finite element model of PCP, which consists of the stator, the rotor, the lifted fluid and the fluid-solid interaction. The controlling equations of solid deformation and fluid dynamics are solved using different solvers for solid domain and fluid domain respectively, and their results are exchanged through the fluid-solid interface. Partitioned solution algorithm is employed to tackle the problem of this two-way fluid-solid interaction.
For specified design parameters, our computed laden torque and volumetric efficiency of PCP agree well with experimental results of laboratory test, which can verify our model and simulation method. Furthermore, the developed model is used to optimize the design parameters of PCPs, which primarily include interference, stator thickness, elastic modulus and Poisson's ratio of stator. The goal is to choose the appropriate parameters to make the best performance of PCPs. We studied the influence of these parameters on the main performance of PCPs such as laden torque, volumetric efficiency. According to the simulation results, the interference and stator thickness are found to be the two main factors influencing the performance. The influencing rules are summarized, and a comprehensive optimization system of the design parameters is established. Based on these results, we can choose the appropriate parameters and optimize the design of PCPs. Our work can be of great significance for guiding the design and optimization of new PCPs.