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Development of a One-Dimensional Model for the Prediction of Leakage Flows in Rotating Cavities Under Non-Uniform Tangential Pressure Distribution

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Florence, 50139 Firenze, Italy
Centro Ricerche e Attività Industriali (CReAI), 51100 Pistoia, Italy
Pierburg Pump Technology Italy S.p.A., 57123 Livorno, Italy
Pierburg Pump Technology France S.p.A., 57974 Thionville, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of our paper in Proceedings of the 13th European Turbomachinery Conference on Fluid Dynamics & Thermodynamics ETC13, Lausanne, Switzerland, 8–12 April 2019; Paper No. 388.
Int. J. Turbomach. Propuls. Power 2019, 4(3), 19;
Received: 13 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 July 2019 / Published: 15 July 2019
Regenerative pumps are characterized by a low specific speed that place them between rotary positive displacement pumps and purely radial centrifugal pumps. They are interesting for many industrial applications since, for a given flow rate and a specified head, they allow for a reduced size and can operate at a lower rotational speed with respect to purely radial pumps. The complexity of the flow within regenerative machines makes the theoretical performance estimation a challenging task. The prediction of the leakage flow rate between the rotating and the static disks has the greatest impact on the prediction of global performance. All the classical approaches to the disk clearance problem assume that there is no relevant circumferential pressure gradient. In the present case, the flow develops along the tangential direction and the pressure gradient is intrinsically non-zero. The aim of the present work is to develop a reliable approach for the prediction of leakage flows in regenerative pumps. A preliminary numerical simulation on a virtual model of a regenerative pump where the disk clearance is part of the control volume has been performed for three different clearance aspect ratios. The outcome of that campaign allowed the authors to determine the behavior of the flow in the cavity and choose correctly the baseline hypotheses for a mathematical-physical method for the prediction of leakage flows. The method assumes that the flow inside of the disk clearance is two-dimensional and can be decomposed into several stream-tubes. Energy balance is performed for each tube, thus generating a system that can be solved numerically. The new methodology was tuned using data obtained from the numerical simulation. After that, the methodology was integrated into an existing one-dimensional code called DART (developed at the University of Florence in cooperation with Pierburg Pump Technology Italy S.p.A.) and the new algorithm was verified using available numerical and experimental data. It is here demonstrated that an appropriate calibration of the leakage flow model allows for an improved reliability of the one-dimensional code. View Full-Text
Keywords: leakage flow; disk clearance; regenerative pump; 1D model; CFD leakage flow; disk clearance; regenerative pump; 1D model; CFD
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Cantini, G.; Salvadori, S.; Insinna, M.; Peroni, G.; Simon, G.; Griffini, D.; Squarcini, R. Development of a One-Dimensional Model for the Prediction of Leakage Flows in Rotating Cavities Under Non-Uniform Tangential Pressure Distribution. Int. J. Turbomach. Propuls. Power 2019, 4, 19.

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