Pressure fluctuation is the primary reason for unstable operations of double-suction centrifugal pumps. By using flush mounted pressure transducers in the semispiral suction chamber and the volute casing of a double-suction pump, the pressure fluctuation signals were obtained and recorded at various operating conditions. Spectral analyses were performed on the pressure fluctuation signals in both frequency domain and time-frequency domain based on fast Fourier transform (FFT) and an adaptive optimal-kernel time-frequency representation (AOK TFR). The results show that pressure fluctuations at the impeller rotating frequency and some lower frequencies dominated in the semispiral suction chamber. Pressure fluctuations at the blade passing frequency, the impeller rotating frequency, and their harmonic frequencies were identified in the volute casing. The amplitude of pressure fluctuation at the blade passing frequency significantly increased when the flow rate deviated from the design flow rate. At 107% of the design flow rate, the amplitude increased more than 254% than that at the design flow rate. The time-frequency characteristics of these pressure fluctuations were affected greatly by both operating conditions and measurement locations. At partial flow rates the pulsation had a great irregularity and the amplitudes at the investigated frequencies were much larger than ones at the design flow rate. An asymmetrical pressure fluctuation structure in the volute casing was observed at all flow rates. The pulsation behavior at the blade passing frequency was the most prominent near the volute tongue zone, and the pressure waves propagated in both the radial and circumferential directions.

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