Three-dimensional (3-D) unsteady incompressible and non-cavitating flow in a radial flow pump during the rapid stopping period was numerically studied by CFD. The dynamic mesh (DM) method combined with non-conformal grid boundaries was applied to simulate the transient stopping process. In order to exclude the uncertainty of the unsteady inlet and outlet boundaries, a loop pumping system was established, which was composed of pipes, a reservoir with an air part on the top, and a driving pump. Simulations were performed based on the standard k-ɛ turbulence model and volume of fluid (VOF) model. Results showed that the air part in the reservoir approximated real conditions when using the VOF model. Pressure fluctuations were reduced and a sharp increase of pressure at the inlet of the pump was observed at the beginning of the stopping period. Specific transient characteristics, such as the flow-rate, head and efficiency, were analyzed during the deceleration period and compared with corresponding quasi-steady results. The deviation of the quasi-steady hypothesis in predicting the transient stopping process of radial flow pumps is thought to be caused by differences in the predicted vortex in the impeller. The transient curve showing the relationship between the instantaneous flow coefficient and total pressure rise coefficient was analyzed and compared with the quasi-steady curve. The two curves had a crossover point when the stall just occurs in the impeller during the transient process. Simulation results were also compared and validated using published data.

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