The objectives of the present study were to investigate influences of fins, set in a suction part, on the positive slope and hysteresis loop in head/discharge characteristic curves of centrifugal pumps in the experiment as well as in the numerical prediction. The fins were located in upstream side of a pump impeller to suppress swirl flow occurring before the impeller inlet at partial load operation. We had two kinds of centrifugal pump with/without the fins, the number of which is 16. These two centrifugal pumps had a shrouded impeller with 7 blades and a diffuser with 20 guide vanes with the same configuration. In the experiment, the pump with them had a large hysteresis loop at partial load operation in the head/discharge characteristic curve, although the pump without them had no hysteresis loop. In the numerical simulation based on periodic flow, the incompressible turbulent flow field was calculated for partial blade-passages with periodic boundary conditions. As a result, the simulated characteristics had the same tendencies as the experimental results. Furthermore, the causes of the discontinuous head/discharge characteristics depending on the direction of partial load operation were clarified through calculating and comparing the internal flow fields in the cases with/without the fins. The pumps had the large backflow and recirculation areas in two places, one of which was near the shroud at the impeller inlet including the fins area and another near the central part of the diffuser. The difference in the hysteresis loop between with and without the fins was caused by the existence of the fins, which suppressed or promoted the backflow at the impeller.

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