Interaction of zones of flow separation in a centrifugal impeller-stationary vane system
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In a radial flow pump operating in off-design conditions, regions of stall can exist on the rotating impeller blade and on the downstream diffuser blade, vane or tongue. Interaction of these stall zones can generate complex patterns of vorticity concentrations. In turn, these vorticity concentrations are related to sources of unsteady stagnation enthalpy. The form of these patterns is strongly dependent on the instantaneous location of the impeller trailing-edge relative to the leading-edge of the vane.
Comparison of instantaneous with ensemble-averaged images shows that the flow structure in the gap region between the impeller and the vane is highly repetitive. Away from this region, in particular in the separated shear layer from the vane, the nonrepetitive nature of the vorticity field is manifested in substantial reduction of peak levels of vorticity in the ensemble-averaged image, relative to the instantaneous image.
The three-dimensional flow structure resulting from these separation zone interactions was characterized via end views of the flow patterns. Particularly pronounced concentrations of vorticity can occur in this plane. They tend to be located in the shear layer at the outer edge of the large-scale separation zone. These vorticity concentrations are, however, highly non-stationary for successive passages of the impeller blade. Ensemble-averaging reveals that they persist primarily on the endwalls of the diffuser.
KeywordsVorticity Shear Layer Separation Zone Vorticity Field Separate Shear Layer
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