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International Journal of Fluid Mechanics Research
ESCI SJR: 0.22 SNIP: 0.446 CiteScore™: 0.5

ISSN Print: 1064-2277
ISSN Online: 2152-5102

International Journal of Fluid Mechanics Research

DOI: 10.1615/InterJFluidMechRes.v37.i2.40
pages 149-161

Flow Measurements and Simulation in a Model Centrifugal Pump Impeller

V. A. Grapsas
Laboratory of Hydraulic Turbomachines, School of Mechanical Engineering / Fluids Section, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
John S. Anagnostopoulos
Laboratory of Hydraulic Turbomachines, School of Mechanical Engineering / Fluids Section, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
D. E. Papantonis
Laboratory of Hydraulic Turbomachines, School of Mechanical Engineering / Fluids Section, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

ABSTRACT

This paper presents an experimental and a numerical investigation of a model centrifugal pump impeller operated across the entire flow rate range and for various rotation speeds. The experiments were carried out in a test rig specially designed and constructed in the Lab, along with the model impeller. The test section allows optical observation of the flow field and can accommodate impellers in a wide size range using an adaptive radial diffuser that preserves axisymmetric outflow conditions. The obtained data were validated against available measurements in a similar volute casing pump. The flow field through the impeller was also simulated by a fast, 2-dimensional numerical model. The algorithm solves the incompressible Reynolds-averaged Navier−Stokes equations using the control volume method and the k-ε turbulence model. The flow domain is discretized with a polar, unstructured Cartesian mesh that covers a periodically symmetric section of the impeller. Advanced numerical techniques for adaptive grid refinement and for handling the partly filled grid cells formed at the curved boundaries of the blades are also implemented. The numerical results reproduce the characteristic operation curves of the impeller for the net head, shaft power and hydraulic efficiency. Their agreement with the corresponding experimental data is satisfactory, encouraging the extension of the developed computation methodology for performance predictions and for design optimization in such impeller geometries.