Experimental and numerical studies on flow characteristics of centrifugal pump under air-water inflow
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A two-phase liquid pumping test ring is built to study the flow induced characteristics of centrifugal pump under the air-water flow working condition. Pump performances are measured under different flow rates and different inlet air void fraction (a). Pressure pulsation signal spectrums and their probability density maps are also recorded. The calculations, using URANS k-epsilon turbulence model combined with the Euler-Euler inhomogeneous two-phase model, are also performed to obtain inner flow structure inside the impeller and volute channels under different air-water conditions in order to understand the pump characteristic evolutions. The results show that the performance of centrifugal pump is more sensitive to air inlet injection at low flow rates. The maximum air void fraction of model pump could reach 10% when the pump operates at the highest efficiency point, and the performance drops sharply when the air void fraction is more than 8%. The dominant frequency of pump outlet pressure pulsation is still at the blade passing frequency even under two-phase condition. Frequency amplitude increases with the increase of a. The greater the a, the more low frequency appears in broadband characteristics. With the increase of a, the probability density amplitude of pressure pulsation decreases gradually, and its span becomes gradually wider as well. Comparisons between numerical local results, experimental unsteady pressure can explain part of the phenomena that are found in the present paper.
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