The flow through turbopumps is characterized by highly unsteady phenomena at part load conditions, involving large separation and generation of vortical structures. This behavior is strongly dependent on the interaction between rotating and steady parts, which is significantly modified, compared to the one at the design flow rate. Therefore, at off-design conditions, eddy-resolving computations are more suitable to analyze the complex physics occurring inside turbomachinery channels. In this work the large eddy simulation (LES), coupled with an immersed-boundary (IB) method, is utilized to study a mixed-flow pump at a reduced flow rate, equivalent to 40% of the nominal one. The present approach has been already validated in a previous study, where a satisfactory agreement with two-dimensional (2D) particle image velocimetry (PIV) experiments has been shown at design conditions. In this paper a comparison with the LES results at the optimal flow rate is also proposed, in order to understand the important modifications of the flow occurring at part loads.

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