PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS PART C-JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERING SCIENCE, vol.218, no.4, pp.425-435, 2004 (SCI-Expanded)
The main goal of the present work is to analyse the numerical simulation of a centrifugal pump by solving Navier-Stokes equations, coupled with the 'standard k-epsilon' turbulence model. The pump consists of an impeller having five curved blades with nine diffuser vanes. The shaft rotates at 890 r/min. Flow characteristics are assumed to be stalled in the appropriate region of flowrate levels of 1.31-2.86 l/s. Numerical analysis techniques are performed on a commercial FLUENT package program assuming steady, incompressible flow conditions with decreasing flowrate. Under stall conditions the flow in the diffuser passage alternates between outward jetting when the low-pass-filtered pressure is high to a reverse flow when the filtered pressure is low. Being below design conditions, there is a consistent high-speed leakage flow in the gap between the impeller and the diffuser from the exit side of the diffuser to the beginning of the volute. Separation of this leakage flow from the diffuser vane causes the onset of stall. As the flowrate decreases both the magnitude of the leakage within the vaneless part of the pump and reverse flow within a stalled diffuser passage increase. As this occurs, the stall-cell size extends from one to two diffuser passages. Comparisons are made with experimental data and show good agreement.