Journal of Theoretical
and Applied Mechanics

51, 3, pp. 649-660, Warsaw 2013

Numerical investigation of the inner flow in a centrifugal pump at the shut-off condition

Houlin Liu, Xianfang Wu, Minggao Tan
The unsteady flow fields in a centrifugal pump at the shut-off condition (SOC) are simulated by the Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) approach. To improve simulation accuracy and assign the boundary condition, special 3D models are made. Three- -dimensional URANS equations are solved on high-quality unstructured grids with the shear stress transport turbulence model by using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code CFX-11.0. Furthermore, the numerical simulation results are validated by particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. The main goal of the study is, on one hand, the validation of the numerical procedure proposed, and on the other hand, the detailed analysis of the unsteady inner flow field distribution and pressure fluctuation in the centrifugal pump at SOC. In addition, the head of the pump at SOC is predicted based on CFD results. The flow analysis indicates that there exists two eddies in each impeller flow passage, and the velocity at the volute diffusion part is very low. The amplitudes of pressure fluctuation at $ f_r$ (impeller rotation frequency) and $ 3f_r$ dominate in the impeller, while the pressure fluctuation at $ f_b$ (blade passing frequency) is dominant in the volute.
Keywords: centrifugal pump; numerical simulation; shut-off condition; PIV