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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Unsteady Flow and Pressure Pulsation Characteristics Analysis of Rotating Stall in Centrifugal Pumps Under Off-Design Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Xiaoran Zhao

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and
Engineering and Department of
Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: zhaoxr14@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn

Yexiang Xiao

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and
Engineering and Department of
Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: xiaoyex@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn

Zhengwei Wang

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and
Engineering and Department of
Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: wzw@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn

Yongyao Luo

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and
Engineering and Department of
Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: luoyy@tsinghua.edu.cn

Lei Cao

State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and
Engineering and Department of
Thermal Engineering,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: caolei613@126.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 20, 2016; final manuscript received May 16, 2017; published online October 24, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Olivier Coutier-Delgosha.

J. Fluids Eng 140(2), 021105 (Oct 24, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: FE-16-1466; doi: 10.1115/1.4037973 History: Received July 20, 2016; Revised May 16, 2017

Unsteady flow phenomena like rotating stall frequently occur in centrifugal pumps under off-design conditions. Rotating stall could lead to flow instabilities and pressure pulsation, which affect the normal operation of pumps. The mechanism of rotating stall has not been sufficiently understood in previous researches. In this study, the impact of rotating stall in the impeller on centrifugal pump stability and pressure pulsation is numerically investigated. This paper aims to detect the unsteady flow characteristics inside the centrifugal pump by computational fluid dynamics technology, to analyze pressure pulsations caused by rotating stall and to explore the propagation mechanism of rotating stall. Unsteady numerical simulations are performed by ANSYS 16.0 to model the unsteady flow within the entire flow passage of a centrifugal pump under 0.4QBEP and 0.6QBEP working conditions. Through flow characteristics research, the generation and propagation of rotating stall are discovered. Flow separation appears near the leading edge of the pressure side and transforms into vortices, which move along the passage. Meanwhile, the stall cells rotate circumferentially in the impeller. Additionally, frequencies and amplitudes of pressure pulsations related to rotating stall are investigated by spectrum analysis. The results detect a possible characteristic frequency of rotating stall and show that the interaction between stall cells and the volute tongue could have an influence on rotor–stator interaction (RSI).

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Computational domains of the centrifugal pump

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Fig. 2

Mesh independent check under designed operating condition

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Fig. 3

Structure meshes of the impeller

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Fig. 4

Monitor points arrangement in the impeller

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Fig. 5

Streamline in 0.5 span-wise plane of the 14th rotating period under 0.6QBEP working condition: (a) t = 0.5379s (0 deg), (b) t = 0.5421 s (36 deg), (c) t = 0.5462 s (72 deg), (d) t = 0.5504 s (108 deg), (e) t = 0.5545 s (144 deg), (f) t = 0.5586 s (180 deg), (g) t = 0.5628 s (216 deg), (h) t = 0.5669 s (252 deg), (i) t = 0.5710 s (288 deg), (j) t = 0.5752 s (324 deg), and (k) t = 0.5793 s (360 deg)

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Fig. 6

Vector in span-wise = 0.5 plane of the 14th rotating period under 0.6QBEP working condition: (a) t = 0.5379 s (0 deg), (b) t = 0.5462 s (72 deg), (c) t = 0.5545 s (144 deg), (d) t = 0.5628 s (216 deg), (e) t = 0.5710 s (288 deg), and (f) t = 0.5793 s (360 deg)

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Fig. 7

Flow vortex structures under 0.4QBEP and 0.6QBEP working conditions (λ2=−300,000 m−2): (a) 0.4QBEP and (b) 0.6QBEP

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Fig. 8

Change rules of pressure signals with time of monitor point P14 and S14: (a) P14 and (b) S14

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Fig. 9

Pressure spectra in the impeller under 0.6QBEP working condition: (a) P11, M11, and S11, (b) P12, M12, and S12, (c) P13, M13, and S13, (d) P14, M14, and S14, (e) P15, M15, and S15, and (f) P16, M16, and S16

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Fig. 10

Pressure spectra of monitor points P15 and S15 under 0.4QBEP and 0.6QBEP working conditions: (a) P15 and (b) S15

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