Increasing Inducer Stability and Suction Performance with a Stability Control Device

[+] Author and Article Information
Ryan Lundgreen

Department of Mechanical Engineering Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84062

Daniel Maynes

Department of Mechanical Engineering Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84062

Steven E. Gorrell

Department of Mechanical Engineering Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84062

Kerry Oliphant

Concepts NREC 217 Billings Farm Rd. White River Junction, VT 05001

1Corresponding author.

ASME 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 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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