Vortex Pump as Turbine-a Type Turbine for Energy Generation or Recovery Based on CFD Prediction

[+] Author and Article Information
Wen-Guang LI

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, 730050 Lanzhou, Gansu, China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4042754 History: Received July 01, 2018; Revised January 29, 2019


An experimental vortex pump with a specific speed of 76 is investigated to get its performance and flow structure under non-cavitation and cavitation conditions when the pump operates as turbine in the reverse direction by using CFD method. A method is proposed to extract hydraulic, volumetric and mechanical efficiencies for the first time. It is shown that a vortex pump can operate as turbine but it is subject to poor cavitation performance. The performance conversion factors of flow rate and head are 2.33 and 2.74 which are much larger than existing centrifugal pumps as turbine with the same specific speed. The conversion factor of efficiency is 0.98, which agrees with the conversion factor of efficiency for a centrifugal pump as turbine. There are a rope cavity and a vortex flow in the same rotation direction of the impeller. It is identified that flow structure is complex in the impeller in both modes, particularly in the blade-to-blade plane, while static pressure profile in the volute and impeller and the space the casing and the impeller is simple. The flow in the space between the impeller and the casing cannot be regarded as a forced vortex in both modes. The cavitation performance improvement and rope cavity control may be key issues in the future.

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