Numerical simulation of pump-intake vortices
Brno University of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, V. Kaplan Department of Fluid Engineering, Technicka 2896/2, Brno, Czech Republic
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Published online: 6 May 2015
Pump pre-swirl or uneven flow distribution in front of the pump can induce pump-intake vortices. These phenomena result in blockage of the impeller suction space, deterioration of efficiency, drop of head curve and earlier onset of cavitation. Real problematic case, where head curve drop was documented, is simulated using commercial CFD software. Computational simulation was carried out for three flow rates, which correspond to three operating regimes of the vertical pump. The domain consists of the pump sump, pump itself excluding the impeller and the delivery pipe. One-phase approach is applied, because the vortex cores were not filled with air during observation of the real pump operation. Numerical simulation identified two surface vortices and one bottom vortex. Their position and strength depend on the pump flow rate. Paper presents detail analysis of the flow field on the pump intake, discusses influence of the vortices on pump operation and suggests possible actions that should be taken to suppress the intake vortices.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2015
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