Finite element calculations and experimental verification of the unsteady potential flow in a centrifugal volute pump

R. Badie, R. Badie, Jan B. Jonker, R.A. van den Braembussche

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In this paper we present a finite-element-based methode for the calculation of the unsteady potential flow in rotor/stator configurations. A numerical algorithm was developed to calculate the two-dimensional flow through a centrifugal volute pump, taking into account the width variation of the volute in the axial direction and the vortex wakes downstream of the impeller blades by a linearized vortex distribution. The pressure field was obtained from the unsteady Bernoulli equation, with the entire configuration of the pump being included in the calculations. For that purpose the computational domain was split into a region containing the rotor and one containing the stationary parts, each region being treated in a different co-ordinate system. The corresponding finite element grids qare matched by an interface consisting of connect elements which move with time. The method is applied to a laboratory centrifugal pump set up at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, which made an experimental validation possible. The total head of the pump and the velocity and pressure fields were computed and analysed for various mass flows. The agreement with the experimental data was satisfactory. The deviation was largest at low mass flow, the maximum deviation in the velocity around the impeller being 10 per cent. The overall behaviour of the pump could be well predicted.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1083-1102
JournalInternational journal for numerical methods in fluids
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Impeller/volute interaction
  • Linearized vortex model
  • METIS-144505
  • IR-71087
  • Unsteady flow

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