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Theory Bites: Operating ‘Off’ Conditions Secondary Flows

Engineering & Design
Theory Bites SECONDARY FLOWS (1)

Theory Bites: Operating ‘Off’ Conditions Secondary Flows

Theory bites are a collection of basic hydraulic theory and will touch upon pump design and other areas of pump industry knowledge.

In fluid dynamics, a secondary flow is a relatively minor flow superimposed on the primary flow, where the primary flow usually matches very closely the flow pattern predicted using simple analytical techniques that assume the fluid is inviscid.

Many types of secondary flows occur in turbomachinery, including inlet prerotation (intakes vorticity), tip clearance flow (tip leakage), flows at off-design performance (e.g. flow separation), and secondary vorticity flows. Most pumps operate at high Reynolds numbers, and, in this regime of flow, most of the hydraulic losses occur as a result of secondary flows and turbulent mixing.

Off Conditions: Backflow in the impeller eye of this shrouded impeller pump. This backflow may well interact in an important way with the discharge-to-suction leakage flow that is an important feature of the hydraulics of a centrifugal pump at all flow rates.

Source: Hydrodynamics Of Pumps

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