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Simulations of Inducers at Low-Flow Off-Design Flow Conditions

[+] Author Affiliations
A. Hosangadi, V. Ahuja, R. J. Ungewitter

Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc., Pipersville, PA

Paper No. FEDSM2005-77395, pp. 1503-1512; 10 pages
  • ASME 2005 Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting
  • Volume 1: Symposia, Parts A and B
  • Houston, Texas, USA, June 19–23, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4198-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-3760-2
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


The ability to accurately model details of inlet back flow for inducers operating at low-flow, off-design conditions is evaluated. A sub-scale version of a three-bladed liquid hydrogen inducer tested in water with detailed velocity and pressure measurements is used as a numerical test bed. Under low-flow, off-design conditions the length of the separation zone as well as the swirl velocity magnitude was under predicted with a standard k-ε model. When the turbulent viscosity coefficient was reduced good comparison was obtained at all the flow conditions examined with both the magnitude and shape of the profile matching well with the experimental data taken half a diameter upstream of the leading edge. The velocity profiles and incidence angles at the leading edge itself were less sensitive to the back flow length predictions indicating that single-phase performance predictions may be well predicted even if the details of flow separation modeled are incorrect. However, for cavitating flow situations the prediction of the correct swirl in the back flow and the pressure depression in the core becomes critical since it leads to vapor formation. The simulations have been performed using the CRUNCH CFD® code that has a generalized multi-element unstructured framework and an advanced multi-phase formulation for cryogenic fluids. The framework has been validated rigorously for predictions of temperature and pressure depression in cryogenic fluid cavities and has also been shown to predict the cavitation breakdown point for inducers at design conditions.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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