The flow structure during onset and developed states of rotating stall within a vaned diffuser of a centrifugal pump

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Sinha M., Pinarbaşi A., Katz J.

JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING-TRANSACTIONS OF THE ASME, vol.123, no.3, pp.490-499, 2001 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Particle Image Velocimetry, (PIV) and pressure fluctuation measurements are used for investigating the onset and development of rotating stall within a centrifugal pump having a vaned diffuser. The experiments are performed in a facility that enables measurements between the diffuser vanes, within part of the impeller, in the gap between them and in the between the diffuser volute. The diffuser is also instrumented with pressure transducers that track the circumferential motion of rotating stall ill the stator. The timing of low-pass-filtered pressure signals are also used for triggering the acquisition of PIV images. The data include detailed velocity distributions, instantaneous and phase-averaged, at different blade orientations and stall phases, as well as auto- and cross-spectra of pressure fluctuations measured simultaneously in neighboring vane passages. The cross-spectra show that the stall propagation rate is 0.93 Hz, 6.2 percent of the impeller speed, and that the stall travels from the passages located oil the exit side of the volute toward the beginning side, crossing the tongue region in the same direction as the impeller, where it diminishes. Under stall conditions the flow ill the diffuser passage alternates between outward jetting, when the low-pass-filtered pressure is high, to a reverse flow, when the filtered pressure is low. Being below design conditions, there is a consistent high-speed leakage flow in the gap between the impeller and the diffuser from the exit side to the beginning of the volute. Separation of this leakage flow from the diffuser vane causes the onset of the stall. The magnitude of the leakage and the velocity distribution in the gap depend on the orientation of the impeller blade. Conversely, the flow in a stalled diffuser passage and the occurrence of stall do not vary significantly, with blade orientation. With decreasing flow-rate the magnitudes of leakage and reverse flow within a stalled diffuser passage increase, and the stall-cell size extends from one to two diffuser passages.