Two-Dimensional Flow Analysis of a Laboratory Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author and Article Information
S. M. Miner

U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402

R. D. Flack, P. E. Allaire

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22901

J. Turbomach 114(2), 333-339 (Apr 01, 1992) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2929147 History: Received January 10, 1990; Online June 09, 2008


Two-dimensional potential flow was used to determine the velocity field within a laboratory centrifugal pump. In particular, the finite element technique was used to model the impeller and volute simultaneously. The rotation of the impeller within the volute was simulated by using steady-state solutions with the impeller in ten different angular orientations. This allowed the interaction between the impeller and the volute to develop naturally as a result of the solution. The results for the complete pump model showed that there are circumferential asymmetries in the velocity field, even at the design flow rate. Differences in the relative velocity components were as large as 0.12 m/s for the radial component and 0.38 m/s for the tangential component, at the impeller exit. The magnitude of these variations was roughly 25 percent of the magnitude of the average radial and tangential velocities at the impeller exit. These asymmetries were even more pronounced at off-design flow rates. The velocity field was also used to determine the location of the tongue stagnation point and to calculate the slip within the impeller. The stagnation point moved from the discharge side of the tongue to the impeller side of the tongue, as the flow rate increased from below design flow to above design flow. At design flow, values of slip ranged from 0.96 to 0.71, from impeller inlet to impeller exit. For all three types of data (velocity profiles, stagnation point location, and slip factor) comparison was made to laser velocimeter data, taken for the same pump. At the design flow, the computational and experimental results agreed to within 17 percent for the velocity magnitude, and 2 deg for the flow angle. The stagnation point locations coincided for the computational and experimental results, and the values for slip agreed to within 10 percent.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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