Technical Brief

Mechanism for Onset of Sudden-Rising Head Effect in Centrifugal Pump When Handling Viscous Oils

[+] Author and Article Information
Wen-Guang Li

Department of Fluid Machinery,
Lanzhou University of Technology,
287 Langongping Road,
Lanzhou 730050, Gansu, China
e-mail: Liwg40@sina.com

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 3, 2013; final manuscript received February 15, 2014; published online May 6, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Satoshi Watanabe.

J. Fluids Eng 136(7), 074501 (May 06, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: FE-13-1409; doi: 10.1115/1.4026882 History: Received July 03, 2013; Revised February 15, 2014

The “sudden-rising head effect” may be prevalent in the head curve when a centrifugal pump transports highly viscous liquids, but it is not well understood presently. To clarify this effect the hydraulic performance of centrifugal pump when handling water and viscous oils was evaluated numerically by using a CFD code. The “sudden-rising head effect” is confirmed to exist at a higher viscosity and a certain large surface roughness. The viscosity and roughness, which make a transition of boundary layer flow pattern in both the impeller and volute to the hydraulically smooth regime from the fully rough one, are responsible for the effect.

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Fig. 1

Fluid domain of centrifugal pump and definition of relative position between blade and volute tongue (a) fluid domain and (b) definition of relative position

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Fig. 2

Centrifugal pump performance curves at various angles of θ between blade 1 and tongue, (a) impeller theoretical head, (b) impeller hydraulic efficiency, (c) pump head, and (d) pump hydraulic efficiency, line, mean value of hydraulic parameter, symbols, and computed parameter

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Fig. 3

Pump head and efficiency curves at various viscosities, (a) head and (b) efficiency, line, CFD results, symbols, and experimental data in [11]

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Fig. 4

Pump hydraulic efficiency and hydraulic loss coefficients of impeller and volute against flow rate at various viscosities, (a) hydraulic efficiency, (b) loss coefficient of impeller, and (c) loss coefficient of volute

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Fig. 5

Pump head curves for two surface roughness at various viscosities, (a) Ra = 0 μm and (b) 100 μm

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Fig. 6

Pump head curves at various viscosities for two turbulence models, (a) tetrahedral mesh with core hexahedral cells in blade mid-span plane, (b) head-flow rate curve for standard k-ɛ model, (c) head-flow rate curves for standard k-ω SST model, and (d) head-Reynolds number curves for standard k-ɛ model, symbols, and experimental data in [11]

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Fig. 7

Averaged skin friction factors versus flow rate at various viscosities, (a) in impeller and (b) in volute

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Fig. 8

Pump head and hydraulic efficiency against roughness at Q = 6.0 L/s and various viscosities, (a) head and (b) hydraulic efficiency

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Fig. 9

Predicted hydraulic, volumetric, and mechanical efficiencies, as well as velocity profile in the side chambers at the BEP based on the experimental head-flow rate curve in [11], (a) various efficiencies predicted and (b) kf profile along the radius, ○, experimental pump efficiency, Δ, pump hydraulic efficiency predicted by CFD, lines, and variables predicted by the flow model in two side chambers

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Fig. 10

Comparison of head based on impeller torque in CFD, Euler head without slip factor correction, Euler head with slip factor correction, and pump head given by CFD at various impeller Reynolds number at BEP

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Fig. 11

Comparison of head curves between CFD and experiment at 1 and 48 cSt

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Fig. 12

Comparison of blade profiles on shroud and hub surfaces that are designed and measured, lines, designed profiles, symbols, and measured profiles




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