Numerical Analysis of Cavitation Phenomena with Variable Speed Centrifugal Pump

MD RAKIBUZZAMAN, Kyungwuk Kim, Sang-Ho Suh


Cavitation is an abnormal physical phenomenon which can be generated in relatively low pressure regions in centrifugal
pumps. In predicting and understanding cavitation in the pumps, it is important to secure their efficiency and reliability. The
purpose of this study is to analyze the cavitation flows in centrifugal pumps with variable speeds through numerical methods.
The Rayleigh–Plesset cavitation model was adapted as the source term for inter-phase mass transfer in order to predict and
understand the cavitation performances. The Reynolds-average Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations were discretized by the
finite volume method. The two-equation SST turbulence model was accounted for turbulent flows. The numerical analysis
results were validated with experimental data and it was found that both results were in good accordance. The cavitation
performances were obtained for variable speeds with different temperatures and the effects on cavitation were described
according to different cavitation numbers. Cavitation performances were also observed for different centrifugal pump stages
(1st and 2nd). The performances of cavitation decreased with the increase of rotational speed. In addition, the development of
cavitation is elucidated according to the different temperatures, and the effects of water vapor volume fraction are discussed.


Cavitation performance, Variable speed, Rayleigh-Plesset cavitation model, RANS equation, SST Turbulence Model

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