Abstract

High speed rotating pump is the current trend in pump’s development and application, which has the advantages of compact size and energy-saving features. The electrical submersible pump, typically called an ESP, is an efficient and reliable artificial-lift method for lifting moderate to high volumes of fluids from wellbores, which have been wildly used for oil or groundwater extraction. To verify the similarity of pump performance under different rotating speeds, a typical ESP is selected as the model pump. By employing the numerical simulation and performance testing methods, the external performance characteristics and internal flow fields under different rotating speeds of the pump are studied. The entire computational domain is established by two stages ESP, and then meshed with the high-quality structured grid based on the Q-type and Y-type block topology. Grid sensitivity analysis is carried out to determine the appropriate mesh density for mesh independent solution. SST k-ω turbulence model with standard wall function in conjunction with Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations is used to solve the steady flow field. The results show that the increase in the rotating speed could increase the ESP’s head significantly. ESP’s external characteristics under different speeds meet the similar conversion rule quite well. In addition, the flow field distributions in the main flow components of the pump have great similarity at different rotating speeds. The experimental test results for a prototype show good agreement with the simulation results, including the pump’s head, efficiency and axial force. This paper provides a data set for further understanding of the effects of rotating speeds on ESP’s performance and inner flow fields.

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