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A numerical study on the steady flow in molten salt pump under various conditions for improved hydraulic performance

Wenjie Cheng (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, China)
Boqin Gu (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, China)
Chunlei Shao (College of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Nanjing Tech University, Nanjing, China)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to figure out the steady flow status in the molten salt pump under various temperatures and blade number conditions, and give good insight on the structure and temperature-dependent efficiencies of all pump cases. Finally, the main objective of present work is to get best working condition and blade numbers for optimized hydraulic performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The steady flow in the molten salt pump was studied numerically based on the three-dimensional Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes equations and the standard k-ε turbulence model. Under different temperature conditions, the internal flow fields in the pumps with different blade number were systematically simulated. Besides, a quantitative backflow analysis method was proposed for further investigation.

Findings

With the molten salt fluid temperature, sharply increasing from 160°C to 480°C, the static pressure decreases gently in all pump cases, and seven-blades pump has the least backflow under low flow rate condition. The efficiencies of all pump cases increase slowly at low temperature (about 160 to 320°C), but there is almost no variation at high temperature, and obviously seven-blades pump has the best efficiency and head in all pump cases over the wide range of temperatures. The seven-blades pump has the best performance in all selected pump cases.

Originality/value

The steady flow in molten salt pumps was systematically studied under various temperature and blade number conditions for the first time. A quantitative backflow analysis method was proposed first for further investigation on the local flow status in the molten salt pump. A definition about the low velocity region in molten salt pumps was built up to account for whether the studied pump gains most energy. This method can help us to know how to improve the efficiencies of molten salt pumps.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51306087), the Natural Science Fund of Jiangsu Province of China (Grant No. BK2012430) and Talents Cultivation Project of NJTECH (Grant No. 44202120).

Citation

Cheng, W., Gu, B. and Shao, C. (2017), "A numerical study on the steady flow in molten salt pump under various conditions for improved hydraulic performance", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 27 No. 8, pp. 1870-1886. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-06-2016-0238

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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