Infoscience

Journal article

Computational Fluid Dynamics-Based Pump Redesign to Improve Efficiency and Decrease Unsteady Radial Forces

In this study, a double volute centrifugal pump with relative low efficiency and high vibration is redesigned to improve the efficiency and reduce the unsteady radial forces with the aid of unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis. The concept of entropy generation rate is applied to evaluate the magnitude and distribution of the loss generation in pumps and it is proved to be a useful technique for loss identification and subsequent redesign process. The local Euler head distribution (LEHD) can represent the energy growth from the blade leading edge (LE) to its trailing edge (TE) on constant span stream surface in a viscous flow field, and the LEHD is proposed to evaluate the flow field on constant span stream surfaces from hub to shroud. To investigate the unsteady internal flow of the centrifugal pump, the unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (URANS) are solved with realizable k-epsilon turbulence model using the CFD code FLUENT. The impeller is redesigned with the same outlet diameter as the baseline pump. A two-step-form LEHD is recommended to suppress flow separation and secondary flow encountered in the baseline impeller in order to improve the efficiency. The splitter blades are added to improve the hydraulic performance and to reduce unsteady radial forces. The original double volute is substituted by a newly designed single volute one. The hydraulic efficiency of the centrifugal pump based on redesigned impeller with splitter blades and newly designed single volute is about 89.2%, a 3.2% higher than the baseline pump. The pressure fluctuation in the volute is significantly reduced, and the mean and maximum values of unsteady radial force are only 30% and 26.5% of the values for the baseline pump.

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