This paper introduces a novel application of a multiphase flow model called the Multi-Size-Group model (MUSIG) to solve 3D complex flow equations in a side channel pump, in order to analyze the flow dynamics of the gas phase distribution and migration under different inlet gas volume fractions (IGVFs). Under different IGVF, the suction side is more likely to concentrate bubbles, especially near the inner radius of the impeller, while there is very little or no gas at the outer radius of the impeller. The diameter of bubbles in the impeller are similar and small for most regions even at IGVF = 6% due to the strong shear turbulence flow which eliminates large bubbles. Additionally, this method also can capture the coalescence and breakage evolution of bubbles. Once a mixture of fluid goes into the impeller from the inlet pipe, the large bubbles immediately break, which accounts for the reason why nearly all side channel pumps have the capacity to deliver gas–liquid two-phase flow. The results in this study provide a foundation and theoretical value for the optimal design of side channel pumps under gas–liquid two-phase conditions to increase their application.
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