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Research Papers: Fundamental Issues and Canonical Flows

Increasing Inducer Stability and Suction Performance With a Stability Control Device

[+] Author and Article Information
R. Lundgreen

Mem. ASME
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Brigham Young University,
Provo, UT 84062
e-mail: ryanlundgreen@gmail.com

D. Maynes, S. Gorrell

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Brigham Young University,
Provo, UT 84062

K. Oliphant

Mem. ASME
Concepts NREC,
217 Billings Farm Road,
White River Junction, VT 05001

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received November 3, 2016; final manuscript received April 7, 2018; published online June 29, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Wayne Strasser.

J. Fluids Eng 141(1), 011204 (Jun 29, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: FE-16-1724; doi: 10.1115/1.4040098 History: Received November 03, 2016; Revised April 07, 2018

An inducer is used as the first stage of high suction performance pump. It pressurizes the fluid to delay the onset of cavitation, which can adversely affect performance in a centrifugal pump. In this paper, the performance of a water pump inducer has been explored with and without the implementation of a stability control device (SCD). This device is an inlet cover bleed system that removes high-energy fluid near the blade leading edge and reinjects it back upstream. The research was conducted by running multiphase, time-accurate computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations at the design flow coefficient and at low, off-design flow coefficients. The suction performance and stability for the same inducer with and without the implementation of the SCD has been explored. An improvement in stability and suction performance was observed when the SCD was implemented. Without the SCD, the inducer developed backflow at the blade tip, which led to rotating cavitation and larger rotordynamic forces. With the SCD, no significant cavitation instabilities developed, and the rotordynamic forces remained small. The lack of cavitation instabilities also allowed the inducer to operate at lower inlet pressures, increasing the suction performance of the inducer.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic illustration of an inducer with a stability control device

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Fig. 2

A cross section of the mesh is shown for both the non-SCD (a, b) and SCD (c) scenarios

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Fig. 3

Cavitation breakdown curves comparing the experimental data and CFD results for the 7 deg inducer at ϕ=0.07 and ϕ=0.042 (a), and the 7 deg inducer with an SCD at ϕ=0.07 and ϕ=0.042 (b)

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Fig. 4

Cavitation breakdown curves for the non-SCD inducer at ϕ=0.07 and ϕ=0.042, and the SCD inducer at ϕ=0.07, ϕ=0.042, ϕ=0.028, and ϕ=0.014

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Fig. 5

The Brumfield criterion and the maximum corrected Nss as a function of ϕ for the inducer without an SCD at ϕ=0.07 and ϕ=0.042, and the inducer with an SCD at ϕ=0.07, ϕ=0.042, ϕ=0.028, and ϕ=0.014

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Fig. 6

Root-mean-square (RMS) of the rotordynamic forces on the inducer for the non-SCD case at ϕ=0.07 and ϕ=0.042, and the SCD case at ϕ=0.07, ϕ=0.042, ϕ=0.028, and ϕ=0.014

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Fig. 7

Single-phase axial velocity contour plots, with constrained streamlines for the inducer without the SCD, illustrate the tip vortex and backflow at the blade tip for ϕ=0.07 (top) and ϕ=0.042 (bottom)

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Fig. 8

A series of images, with an iso-surface of vapor fraction equal to 0.1, that shows the cavitation growth along with the tip vortex core location for the non-SCD scenario at ϕ=0.07 at three different cavitation numbers: σ=0.480 (top), σ=0.132 (middle), and σ=0.041 (bottom)

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Fig. 9

Contour plots of vapor fraction at 98% span of the blade for the inducer without an SCD at ϕ=0.07 and at three cavitation numbers: σ=0.13 (top), σ=0.041 (middle), and σ=0.024 (bottom)

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Fig. 10

An overlay of the cavity shape on each blade at 98% span of the blade for the non-SCD scenario at ϕ=0.07 and at two cavitation numbers: σ=0.13 (a) and σ=0.041 (b)

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Fig. 11

Contour plots of vapor fraction at 98% span of the blade for the inducer without the SCD at ϕ=0.042 and four cavitation numbers: σ=0.14, σ=0.056, σ=0.049, and σ=0.016

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Fig. 12

Cavitation develops upstream of the inducer at low off-design flow coefficients

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Fig. 13

Single-phase axial velocity contour plots with constrained streamlines for the inducer with an SCD at ϕ=0.07 (top left), ϕ=0.042 (top right), ϕ=0.028 (bottom left), and ϕ=0.014 (bottom right)

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Fig. 14

The SCD mass flow gain versus cavitation number for the inducer with an SCD at four inlet flow coefficients (ϕ=0.07, ϕ=0.042, ϕ=0.028, and ϕ=0.014)

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Fig. 15

Contour plots of vapor fraction at 98% span of the blade for the inducer with the SCD at ϕ=0.07

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Fig. 16

Contour plots of vapor fraction at 98% span of the blade for the inducer with the SCD when the bleed-off vortex cavitation is first observed to fully block the blade passage at three flow coefficients: ϕ=0.042 (top), ϕ=0.028 (middle), and ϕ=0.014 (bottom)

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