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Open AccessArticle

Numerical and Experimental Study of a Vortex Structure and Energy Loss in a Novel Self-Priming Pump

by Hao Chang 1,2, Ramesh K. Agarwal 2,*, Wei Li 1,2, Ling Zhou 1,2 and Weidong Shi 1,3,*
Research Center of Fluid Machinery Engineering and Technology, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang 212013, China
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
School of Mechanical Engineering, Nantong University, Nantong 226019, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Processes 2019, 7(10), 701;
Received: 28 August 2019 / Revised: 17 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 4 October 2019
The self-priming pump as an essential energy conversion equipment is widely used in hydropower and thermal power plants. The energy losses in the internal flow passage of the pump directly affect its work efficiency. Therefore, it is important to improve the internal flow characteristic of the pump. In the present work, a novel self-priming pump which starts without water is proposed; this pump can reduce the energy consumption as well as the time needed to start its operation. The spatial structure of the vortices in the pump is investigated by employing the Q criterion with the numerical solution of the vorticity transport equation. Based on the morphology, the vortices can be separated into three categories: Trailing Edge Vortex (TEV), Leading Edge Vortex (LEV) and Gap Leakage Vortex (GLV). Generally, the morphology of the TEV is more disorderly than that of LEV and GLV, and the intensity of TEV is significantly higher than that of the other two vortices. To determine the magnitude and distribution of energy loss in the pump, entropy production analysis is employed to study the influence of blade thickness on energy characteristics of the pump. It is found that with an increase in the flow rate, the location of energy loss transfers from the trailing edge to the leading edge of the blade, and viscous entropy production (VEP) and turbulence entropy production (TEP) are the dominant factors which influence the energy conversion in the pump. More importantly, employing the blade with a thin leading edge and a thick trailing edge can not only significantly reduce the impact of incoming flow under over-load condition (flow rate higher than the design condition) but can also increase the efficiency of the pump. Thus, an increase in thickness of the blade from the leading edge to the trailing edge is beneficial for improving the pump performance. The results of this paper can be helpful in providing guidelines for reducing the energy loss and in improving the performance of a self-priming pump. View Full-Text
Keywords: vortex structure; energy loss; entropy production; self-priming pump vortex structure; energy loss; entropy production; self-priming pump
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Chang, H.; Agarwal, R.K.; Li, W.; Zhou, L.; Shi, W. Numerical and Experimental Study of a Vortex Structure and Energy Loss in a Novel Self-Priming Pump. Processes 2019, 7, 701.

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