Review and Evaluation of Archimedes Screw Pump Design Guidance

The Archimedes screw (also termed “hydrodynamic screw” or “Archimedean screw”) has been used for a variety of industrial applications since roughly 700 BCE. Its most common historical implementations were for land drainage/reclamation, irrigation, and to convey mixed media (i.e., granular solids, suspended solids, etc.). The screw has also found use as a hydroelectric generator since the earlier 1990s. Due to its robust design, screw pumps are still commonly used for land drainage and wastewater conveyance. Design methods for Archimedes screw pumps (ASPs) are not well documented in the literature. The leading text offering engineering design guidance for ASPs was compiled by Nagel (in 1968) and offers mostly empirical design guidance based on data and experimentation that usually do not appear to be further documented in the literature. Most design techniques are based off a paper presented by Muysken in 1932. The paper uses many simplifications and empirical models based on undocumented experiments, so there is a need to evaluate and update modelling techniques to determine optimized design of ASPs using modern computational techniques. This study investigates the literature of Archimedes screw pumps, and presents and summarizes current modelling techniques. Experimental methods and data are presented and compared to current performance prediction models from the literature. Results are analysed and used to suggest areas for further research and improvement in current engineering design guidance.

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