The present work reviews a comparison between calculations of a steady and unsteady three dimensional (3D) flow past the diffuser channels of a centrifugal pump. The commercial software ANSYS Fluent has been used. The considered domain is one of the three stages, since each has exactly the same design.
In the first part, simulations are carried out at the best efficiency point (BEP) both steady and transient state, single phase flow and four different turbulence models. Results are compared with the performance report from the manufacturer. In the second part, only the realizable k-ε turbulence model has been taken into account. The simulations have been repeated for different mass flows and the results were again compared with the data from the manufacturer.
The comparison performed in the first part shows that integral quantities results are not sensibly influenced by the turbulence model. The comparison at different mass flow shows that the steady state simulations demonstrated to be a good approximation of the transient state, always containing the error within an acceptable limit. The minor computational effort needed makes it attractive to be used for further investigations which will involve two-phase flow studies on the same pump.