Experimental Investigations on the Inner Flow Behavior of Centrifugal Pumps under Inlet Air-Water Two-Phase Conditions
TypeArticles dans des revues avec comité de lecture
Centrifugal pumps are widely used and are known to be sensitive to inlet air-water two-phase flow conditions. The pump performance degradation mainly depends on the changes in the two-phase flow behavior inside the pump. In the present paper, experimental overall pump performance tests were performed for two different rotational speeds and several inlet air void fractions (αi) up to pump shut-off condition. Visualizations were also performed on the flow patterns of a whole impeller passage and the volute tongue area to physically understand pump performance degradation. The results showed that liquid flow modification does not follow head modification as described by affinity laws, which are only valid for homogeneous bubbly flow regimes. Three-dimensional effects were more pronounced when inlet void fraction increased up to 3%. Bubbly flow with low mean velocities were observed close to the volute tongue for all αi, and returned back to the impeller blade passages. The starting point of pump break down was related to a strong inward reverse flow that occurred in the vicinity of the shroud gap between the impeller and volute tongue area.
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