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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 2007, Article ID 83641, 8 pages
Research Article

Numerical Flow Simulation in a Centrifugal Pump at Design and Off-Design Conditions

Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore, 9 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117576

Received 8 June 2006; Revised 15 January 2007; Accepted 10 April 2007

Academic Editor: Jiun-Jih Miau

Copyright © 2007 K. W. Cheah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The current investigation is aimed to simulate the complex internal flow in a centrifugal pump impeller with six twisted blades by using a three-dimensional Navier-Stokes code with a standard k-ε two-equation turbulence model. Different flow rates were specified at inlet boundary to predict the characteristics of the pump. A detailed analysis of the results at design load, Qdesign, and off-design conditions, Q = 0.43 Qdesign and Q = 1.45 Qdesign, is presented. From the numerical simulation, it shows that the impeller passage flow at design point is quite smooth and follows the curvature of the blade. However, flow separation is observed at the leading edge due to nontangential inflow condition. The flow pattern changed significantly inside the volute as well, with double vortical flow structures formed at cutwater and slowly evolved into a single vortical structure at the volute diffuser. For the pressure distribution, the pressure increases gradually along streamwise direction in the impeller passages. When the centrifugal pump is operating under off-design flow rate condition, unsteady flow developed in the impeller passage and the volute casing.