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Influence of circulating-flow’s geometric characters on energy transition of a vortex pump

Hui Quan (College of Energy and Power Engineering, Provincial Key Laboratory of Fluid Machinery and Systems, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou, China)
Yi Chai (College of Energy and Power Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou, China)
Rennian Li (College of Energy and Power Engineering, Provincial Key Laboratory of Fluid Machinery and Systems, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou, China)
Guo-Yi Peng (College of Engineering, Nihon University, Koriyama, Japan)
Ying Guo (College of Energy and Power Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou, China)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 27 August 2019

Issue publication date: 19 November 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Having read previous literature about vortex pump, we noticed that mechanisms of circulating flow and its relationship with energy transition remain unclear yet. However, this mechanism, which should be clarified, significantly influences the pump’s efficiency. To comply with the aim of investigating it, the 150WX-200-20 type pump is selected as study object in our present work.

Design/methodology/approach

Numerical simulation is conducted to formulate interactions between flow rate and geometric parameters of circulating flow with certain types of blade while experiments on inner flow are served as a witness to provide experimental confirmation of numerical results. Based on these, we coupled some parameters with the pump’s external performance to study their internal connections.

Findings

It is concluded that separatrix between circulating flow and other turbulent forms is not that clear under low flow rate. With flow increases, hydraulic losses coming of it will be dominant within the front chamber. Besides, we analogized circulating flow to vortices so as to make a quantitative analysis on its progressive evolution with changing flow, and vortices speaking for circulating flow can be divided into two groups. One is called main circulating flow vortex (hereinafter referred to as MCFV), which occurs all the time while subsidiary circulating flow vortices (hereinafter referred to as SCFV) appear in certain conditions. This context discusses the primary phase of our work with intent to follow up further with circulating flow characterized by vortices (hereinafter referred to as CFV). We confirmed that MCFV Vortex 1 (Vor1) directly influences the efficiency while SCFVs only play helping. As the flow goes to the given working condition, fluids in this pump tend to be steady with the size of CFVs getting larger and their shape being regular. Meanwhile, for MCFV Vor2 and Vor4, their geometric parameters are the key factors for efficiency. When CFVs become steady, they absorb other vortices nearby, as they have higher viscosity with the efficiency reaching its maximum.

Originality/value

The research results explore a new way to measure the circulating flow and help work out the causation of this flow pattern, which may be used to improve the vortex pump’s efficiency.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 51609113), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (grant number 2018M633651XB), the Natural Science Foundation of Gansu (grant number 2017GS10829) and the Hongliu Outstanding Young Talents Funding Scheme of Lanzhou University of Technology.

Citation

Quan, H., Chai, Y., Li, R., Peng, G.-Y. and Guo, Y. (2019), "Influence of circulating-flow’s geometric characters on energy transition of a vortex pump", Engineering Computations, Vol. 36 No. 9, pp. 3122-3137. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-03-2019-0082

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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