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Computational fluid dynamics analysis of a mixed flow pump impeller

Author(s): A. Manivannan

Journal: International Journal of Engineering, Science and Technology
ISSN 2141-2820

Volume: 2;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 200;
Date: 2010;

Keywords: Mixed flow pump | computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis | impeller design.

To improve the efficiency of mixed flow pump, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis is one of the advanced tools used in the pump industry. A detailed CFD analysis was done to predict the flow pattern inside the impeller which is an active pump component. From the results of CFD analysis, the velocity and pressure in the outlet of the impeller is predicted. CFD analyses are done using Star CCM+ software. These outlet flow conditions are used to calculate the efficiency of the impeller. The calculated value of efficiency from the empirical relations is 55%. The optimum inlet and outlet vane angles are calculated for the existing impeller by using the empirical relations. The CAD models of the mixed flow impeller with optimum inlet and outlet angles are modeled using CAD modelling software ProE WF3. To find the relationship between the vane angles and the impeller performance the optimum vane angle is achieved step by step. Three CAD models are modeled with the vane angles between existing and optimum values. These models are analyzed individually to find the performance of the impeller. In the first case, outlet angle is increased by 5°. From the outlet flow conditions, obtained from the CFD analysis, it is evident that the reduced outlet recirculation and flow separation cause the improved efficiency. By changing the outlet angle the efficiency of the impeller is improved to 59%. In the second case inlet angle is decreased by 10%. The efficiency of the impeller in this case is 61%. From this analysis it is understood that the changes in the inlet vane angle did not change the efficiency of the impeller as much as the changes in outlet angle. In the third case, impeller with optimum vane angles is analyzed and the outlet flow conditions are predicted. From the CFD analysis the efficiency of the impeller with optimum vane angles is calculated as 65%. Thus, efficiency of the mixed flow impeller is improved by 18.18% by changing the inlet and outlet vane angles.
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