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Large-Eddy-Simulation-based analysis of complex flow structures within the volute of a vaneless centrifugal pump


Centrifugal pumps are very common in many fluid handling industrial applications, such as petrochemicals, oil and gas, etc. Although the design practices for centrifugal pumps are well established, efforts are directed towards optimising such systems for better operational efficiencies. In order to optimally design centrifugal pumps, it is beneficial to first understand the complex flow phenomena within different sections of the pump for a variety of operating conditions. This is normally achieved through the use of modern techniques, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), where the flow within centrifugal pumps can be numerically modelled and important flow features can be analysed for better understanding of interactions amongst different process variables. CFD offers different turbulence modelling techniques with an aim to predict realistic flow approximations. Large Eddy Simulation (LES) offers a more accurate solution to this, in which the larger eddies are resolved while smaller eddies are modelled; hence predictions using LES are more realistic. Further, in turbulence modelling within centrifugal pumps, it is also important to model the complete interaction amongst different variables rather than a simplistic single blade passage flow analysis. In the present work, the complex blade–tongue interactions and their consequent effects on the pressure fluctuations within the volute have been evaluated. It is seen that the secondary flow features in the near-tongue regions due to blade interactions with the tongue affect the flow characteristics within the volute considerably.

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Correspondence to Taimoor Asim.

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Asim, T., Mishra, R. Large-Eddy-Simulation-based analysis of complex flow structures within the volute of a vaneless centrifugal pump. Sādhanā 42, 505–516 (2017).

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