Two-dimensional Particle Image Velocimetry measurements and three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analyses have been performed of the flow field inside the impeller of a low specific-speed centrifugal pump operating with a vaneless diffuser. Flow rates ranging from 80% to 120% of the design flow rate are considered in detail. It is observed from the velocity measurements that secondary flows occur. These flows result in the formation of regions of low velocity near the intersection of blade suction side and shroud. The extent of this jet-wake structure decreases with increasing flow rate. Velocity profiles have also been computed from Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations with the Spalart-Allmaras turbulence model, using a commercial CFD-code. For the considered flow rates the qualitative agreement between measured and computed velocity profiles is very good. Overall, the average relative difference between these velocity profiles is around 7%. Additional CFD computations have been performed to assess the influence of Reynolds number and shape of the inlet velocity profile on the computed velocity profiles. It is found that the influence of Reynolds number is mild. The shape of the inlet profile only has a weak effect at the shroud.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.