The unsteady flow inside a large centrifugal pump with stay vanes was analyzed in this study. The static performance and pressure fluctuations in the pump were numerically predicted and were compared with experimental data. Considering the relative positions of the impeller to the volute tongue and stay vanes, the static performance which was obtained using a full unsteady calculation was compared with traditional steady calculation results. A comparison of the results with the experimental data showed that the operation condition farther from the design condition resulted in larger differences between the steady simulation and experimental results, with errors beyond reasonable limits, while the performance curves obtained by the unsteady calculations were closer to the experimental data. A comparison of the pressure fluctuations at four monitoring points with the experimental data showed that the amplitudes at HVS1 and HVS2 are much larger than at HD1 and HD2. The main frequency for these four monitoring points, which agreed well with the experimental data, was the blade passing frequency. The relative obvious errors in pressure fluctuations for HD1and HD2 were due to the inlet flow rate variation of the simulation. Thus, unsteady numerical simulations can be used to predict the pressure fluctuations when designing a pump.

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