Numerical investigation of solutions to suppress the inlet vortex of an existing booster pump

Decaix, Jean (School of Engineering, HES-SO Valais-Wallis, HEI, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Gaspoz, Anthony (School of Engineering, HES-SO Valais-Wallis, HEI, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland) ; Fischer, D. (HYDRO Exploitation SA, Unité mécanique, Sion, Switzerland) ; Münch-Alligné, Cécile (School of Engineering, HES-SO Valais-Wallis, HEI, HES-SO // University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland)

The study focuses on a booster pump used to feed the main pump of one unit of the FMHL hydropower plant (Veytaux I). From the beginning of the operation of the power plant, vibrations have been observed on this booster pump with sometimes the presence of cavitation erosion. The visualisations carried out show that a cavitating vortex develops at the suction side of the booster pump runner and causes the measured vibrations. The booster pump is running without any modification since the beginning of the operation of the power plant, however future mechanical failures cannot be excluded, since in these harsh conditions, the permissible mechanical strain shall be exceeded. Flow numerical investigations have been carried out using OpenFOAM and shown the presence of vortices below the bell of the booster pump. The main vortex observed is assumed to be responsible for the vibrations due to its interaction with the runner blades and to promote the inception of cavitation, which could explain the cavitation erosion observed. Several modifications of the chamber have been considered by simulation. Two of them provide a solution to suppress or at least to damp the vibrations due to the presence of vortices in the bell inlet.


Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Ingénierie et Architecture
School:
HEI-VS
Institute:
Institut Systèmes industriels
Date:
2019-06
Pagination:
6 p.
Published in:
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Numeration (vol. no.):
2019, vol. 405, article no. 012036
DOI:
ISSN:
1755-1315
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2020-02-04, last modified 2020-02-04

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