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Experimental and numerical study of transient flow in a centrifugal pump during startup

Zhifeng Li, Peng Wu, Dazhuan Wu*, Leqin Wang
The Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology, vol. 25, no. 3, pp.749-757, 2011

Abstract : Transient characteristics and flows in a centrifugal pump during its starting period were experimentally and numerically investigated. The two-dimensional particle image velocimetry technique was used to capture transient flow evolutions in the pump’s diffuser. A new dynamic slip region method that combines the dynamic mesh method with the non-conformal grid boundaries is proposed to resolve the transient flows caused by the started impeller. Numerical self-coupling was realized by establishing a circulation pipe system along with the pump model equivalent to the experimental pump system. Numerical and experimental results agree well in both explicit characteristics and internal transient flow structures, confirming the validity of the proposed method. Analysis of the instantaneous flow in the impellers indicates that for the early stage of the startup, the transient vortex evolution between blades is the main reason for the transient head coefficient being lower than the steady state value. The reversed flow at the blade inlet is a less important reason for this effect. In later stages, the weakening of the intensity of the spatial vortex visible on S2m and the main flow stream are the main reasons for the explicit performance slowly rebounding to the steady value.

Keyword : Numerical simulation; Experimental test; Transient flow; Centrifugal pump; Starting period

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