The volute very frequently has profound effect on impeller performance. It can cause the impeller to work very inefficiently and cause large vibrations if it is designed improperly. Although advanced computational fluid dynamic methods have been used extensively in impeller design, the volute has been neglected or considered independently. In the present study, a finite volume computational method is used to solve the three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged flow field of an impeller with a volute. The study is aimed at the understanding of the effect of volute on the performance of impeller and its associated unsteady effect. As its configuration and solution procedure of the physical problem is more complicated than a traditional single blade passage analysis, the grid generation and solution procedure will be described in more detail. A traditional single blade passage without volute and at steady state condition is calculated first. Later a volute is added and the calculated results are compared with single-passage calculation. It is found that the predicted mean performance of the impeller and volute agrees better with the test data, while the fluctuation of the flow is significant, especially while the trailing edges of impeller is passing the volute tongue.

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