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TECHNICAL PAPERS

Unsteady Flow Structure and Global Variables in a Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author and Article Information
José González

Área de Mecánica de Fluidos, Universidad de Oviedo, Campus de Viesques, 33271 Gijón (Asturias), Spainaviados@uniovi.es

Carlos Santolaria

Área de Mecánica de Fluidos, Universidad de Oviedo, Campus de Viesques, 33271 Gijón (Asturias), Spain

J. Fluids Eng 128(5), 937-946 (Feb 24, 2006) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2234782 History: Received May 11, 2004; Revised February 24, 2006

A relationship between the global variables and the dynamic flow structure numerically obtained for a low specific speed centrifugal pump is presented in this paper. A previously developed unsteady flow model is used to correlate the dynamic field with the flow characteristics inside the impeller and volute of a single-stage commercial pump. Actually, the viscous incompressible Navier-Stokes equations are solved within a 3D unsteady flow model. A sliding mesh technique is applied to take into account the impeller-volute interaction. After the numerical model has been successfully compared with the experimental data for the unsteady pressure fluctuations pattern in the volute shroud, a new step is proposed in order to correlate the observed effects with the flow structure inside the pump. In particular, the torque as a function of the relative position of the impeller blades is related to the blades loading, and the secondary flow in the volute is related to the different pressure patterns numerically obtained. Local flow analysis and qualitative study of the helicity in different volute sections is performed. The main goal of the study presented is the successful correlation of local and global parameters for the flow in a centrifugal pump. The pressure forces seem to be the main driven mechanism to establish the flow features both in the impeller and volute, for a wide range of operating conditions.

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

General view of the pump. The transducers were placed on the shroud side.

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Figure 2

Sketch of the pump unstructured mesh and its main features

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Figure 3

Comparison of the pressure fluctuations at the fBP for Q=QN. Tongue at φ=0deg.

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Figure 4

Comparison of the pressure fluctuations at the fBP for Q=1.5QN. Tongue at φ=0deg

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Figure 5

Instantaneous torque in the impeller (numerical values). A representation of the three time instants (A, B, and C) considered along the present study is shown.

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Figure 6

Different axial planes considered in the numerical study

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Figure 7

Nondimensional pressure fluctuation at the fBP for three axial positions at the volute. The tongue is at φ=0deg and Q=0.5QN.

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Figure 8

Nondimensional pressure fluctuation at the fBP for three axial positions at the volute. The tongue is at φ=0deg and Q=QN.

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Figure 9

Nondimensional pressure fluctuation at the fBP for three axial positions at the volute. The tongue is at φ=0deg and Q=1.5QN.

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Figure 10

Absolute velocities in an intermediate pseudostream surface, plotted in a 0–14.5m∕s scale. Low (upper left figure), nominal (upper right figure) and high flow rate (lower figure).

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Figure 11

Static pressure in the middle pseudostream surface inside the impeller for three flow rates and three time instants (A, B, C in respective rows)

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Figure 12

Location of the reference planes to study the helicity inside the volute

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Figure 13

Helicity in m∕s2 for Q=QN at four different volute planes (placed at 80, 170, 260, and 350deg from the tongue) and three time instants (left to right)

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Figure 14

Helicity in m∕s2 for Q=0.5QN at four different volute planes (placed at 80, 170, 260, and 350deg from the volute tongue) and three time instants (left to right)

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Figure 15

Helicity in m∕s2 for Q=1.5QN at four different volute planes (placed at 80, 170, 260, and 350deg from the volute tongue) and three time instants (left to right)

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