Transient Behavior of a Cavitating Centrifugal Pump at Rapid Change in Operating Conditions—Part 3: Classifications of Transient Phenomena

[+] Author and Article Information
T. Tanaka

Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Yatsushiro National College of Technology, Yatsushiro, 866-8501, Japan

H. Tsukamoto

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Tobata, Kitakyushu, 804-8550, Japan

J. Fluids Eng 121(4), 857-865 (Dec 01, 1999) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2823547 History: Received March 12, 1998; Revised June 22, 1999; Online December 04, 2007


Analytical studies were developed on the transient behavior of a cavitating centrifugal pump during the transient operations, including the sudden opening/closure of the discharge valve and the pump startup/shutdown. In order to investigate the mechanism of the low cycle oscillations of both the pressure and the flowrate at a rapid change of the pump system conditions, an unsteady flow analysis was made for the cavitating pump-system by assuming the transient pump performance to be quasi-steady. The calculated unsteady pressure and flowrate during the transient period agree with the corresponding measured time histories. It is shown that the fluctuations of delivery pressure and discharge flowrate at pump rapid startup or sudden valve opening are caused by peculiar oscillating cavitation dynamics inside the pump at rapid increase in flowrate, while the fluctuations at pump rapid shutdown or sudden valve closure are related to the collapse of cavitation bubbles or water column separation in the suction pipe at rapid decrease in flowrate. Moreover, the occurrence of transient fluctuations in pressure and flowrate was predicted by examining the critical condition which creates the occurrence of two different flow mechanisms i.e., (A) oscillating cavitation and (B) water column separation including also the collapse of the cavitation bubbles. These flow mechanisms were represented with two flow models i.e., (A) unsteady cavitating flow incorporating effects of cavitation compliance and mass flow gain factor and expressed by a set of ordinary differential equations solved with the Cardano Method and (B) water-hammer type model including Discrete Free Gas Model and solved with method of characteristics. The calculated critical conditions for the occurrence of the oscillating cavitation and water column separation agree qualitatively with measured ones.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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