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Research Papers

Effects of Volute Curvature on Performance of a Low Specific-Speed Centrifugal Pump at Design and Off-Design Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Hamed Alemi

Hydraulic Machinery Research Institute,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
University of Tehran,
Tehran 1439955961, Iran
e-mail: halemi@ut.ac.ir

Seyyed Ahmad Nourbakhsh

Hydraulic Machinery Research Institute,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
University of Tehran,
Tehran 1439955961, Iran
e-mail: anour@ut.ac.ir

Mehrdad Raisee

Hydraulic Machinery Research Institute,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
University of Tehran,
Tehran 1439955961, Iran
e-mail: mraisee@ut.ac.ir

Amir Farhad Najafi

Hydraulic Machinery Research Institute,
School of Mechanical Engineering,
College of Engineering,
University of Tehran,
Tehran 1439955961, Iran
e-mail: afnajafi@ut.ac.ir

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received November 29, 2013; final manuscript received September 30, 2014; published online November 26, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Stephen W. T. Spence.

J. Turbomach 137(4), 041009 (Apr 01, 2015) (10 pages) Paper No: TURBO-13-1266; doi: 10.1115/1.4028766 History: Received November 29, 2013; Revised September 30, 2014; Online November 26, 2014

The effects of the volute geometry on the head, efficiency, and radial force of a low specific-speed centrifugal pump were investigated focusing on off-design conditions. This paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, the three-dimensional flow inside the pump with rectangular volute was simulated using three well-known turbulence models. Simulation results were compared with the available experimental data, and an acceptable agreement was obtained. In the second part, two volute design methods, namely, the constant velocity and the constant angular momentum were investigated. Obtained results showed that in general the constant velocity method gives more satisfactory performance. In the third part, three volutes with different cross section and diffuser shape were designed. In general, it was found that circular cross section volute with radial diffuser provides higher head and efficiency. Moreover, the minimum radial force occurs at higher flowrate in circular volute geometry comparing to rectangular cross section volute.

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References

Gulich, J. E., and Favre, J. N., 1997, “An Assessment of Pump Impeller Performance Predictions by 3D Navier–Stokes Calculations,” 3rd ASME Pumping Machinery Symposium, Vancouver, BC, Canada, June 22–26.
Kelder, J. D. H., Dijkers, R. J. H., Van Esch, B. P. M., and Kruyt, N. P., 2001, “Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Flow in the Volute of a Low Specific-Speed Pump,” J. Fluid Dyn. Res., 28(4), pp. 267–280. [CrossRef]
Feng, J., Benra, F. K., and Dohmen, H. J., 2010, “Application of Different Turbulence Models in Unsteady Flow Simulations of Radial Diffuser Pump,” Forsch. Ingenieurwes., 74(3), pp. 123–133. [CrossRef]
Cheah, K. W., Lee, T. S., Winoto, S. H., and Zhao, Z. H., 2008, “Numerical Analysis of Impeller–Volute Tongue Interaction and Unsteady Fluid Flow in a Centrifugal Pump,” 4th International Symposium of Fluids Machinery and Fluid Engineering, Beijing, China, Nov. 24–27, pp. 24–27.
Gonzalez, J. J., Fernandez, J., Blanco, E., and Santolaria, C., 2002, “Numerical Simulation of the Dynamic Effects Due to Impeller Volute Interaction in a Centrifugal Pump,” ASME J. Fluid Eng., 124(2), pp. 348–355. [CrossRef]
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Figures

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Fig. 1

(a) Kelder volute geometry and locations of velocity and static pressure measurement. (b) Volute cross section dimensions in millimeters.

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Fig. 2

(a) 3D models of total domain including (i) inlet duct, (ii) impeller, (iii) volute, and (iv) outlet duct; (b) computational mesh for the investigated pump

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Fig. 3

Head coefficient versus mesh size

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Fig. 4

The pressure distributions of impeller periphery

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Fig. 5

Comparison of predicted and measured nondimensional radial and circumferential velocities in the volute along different traverses in φ/φn = 0.825,1,and 1.12

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Fig. 6

Comparison of predicted head using various turbulence models with the experimental data

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Fig. 7

Pump performance versus blade location with respect to tongue

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Fig. 8

2D models of volutes using (a) Pfleiderer design and (b) Stepanoff design

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Fig. 9

Numerical results of volute pump using Pfleiderer, and Stepanoff methods for volute design

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Fig. 10

Pressure contours for Pfleiderer and Stepanoff design

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Fig. 11

3D models and cross section dimensional parameters (in millimeters) of (a) rectangular cross section, (b) circular cross section, and (c) trapezoidal cross section

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Fig. 12

Pump characteristics with different cross section shape

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Fig. 13

Pressure contours in circular cross section volute

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Fig. 14

2D views of (a) radial diffuser and (b) tangential diffuser

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Fig. 15

Numerical simulation result for volutes with radial diffuser and tangential diffuser

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