Compendious Review on 'Internal Flow Physics and Minimization of Flow Instabilities through Design Modifications in a Centrifugal Pump

[+] Author and Article Information
Neeta Mandhare

Assistant Professor, Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Karunamurthy K

Associate Professor, Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

Saleel Ismail

Assistant Professor, National Institute of Technology Calicut, Calicut, Kerala, India

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043383 History: Received October 28, 2018; Revised March 31, 2019


Centrifugal Pump is one of the significant consumers of electricity as it is most commonly encountered rotodynamic machinery in a domestic and Industrial application. Centrifugal Pump operating at off-design conditions subjects to different periodic flow randomness, which in turn hampers functionality and performance of a centrifugal pump. These limitations can be overcome by modification in the conventional design of different components of a centrifugal pump, which can assuage flow randomness and instabilities, reconstitute flow pattern and minimize hydraulic flow losses. In this article, flow vulnerabilities like pressure and flow inconsistency, recirculation, boundary layer separation, adverse rotor-stator interaction, its effects on operation and performance of a centrifugal pump are reviewed. This article also aims to retrospect design modification attempts made by different researchers like impeller trimming, rounding, geometry modification of different components, providing microgrooves on the impeller and many more. Based on the findings of this study, it is concluded that some design modifications in impeller, diffuser and casing results into improvement in functionality, efficiency and reduction in pressure fluctuations, flow recirculation and vibrations. Design modifications should improve the performance without hampering functionality and useful range of pump operation. In view of the present energy crisis, enhancement of performance of a centrifugal pump saves fluid power and in turn, contributes to energy and financial saving. This also reduces emissions of greenhouse gas and carbon credits. Considerable research is still necessary to understand and correlate flow physics and design modifications for impeller, diffuser, and casing.

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