Numerical study of turbulent flow past a rotating axial-flow pump based on a level-set immersed boundary method

Kan Kan, Zixuan Yang, Pin Lyu, Yuan Zheng, Lian Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Large-eddy simulation is performed to study the turbulence statistics and flow structures of the water past a rotating axial-flow pump under different flow-rate working conditions. A novel sharp-interface level-set based immersed boundary method is applied to capture the complex geometry of the pump. An unstructured triangular mesh is used to discretize the complex surface geometry of the pump, and a ray-tracing method is employed to classify the computational domain into fluid and solid regions. Turbulence statistics, including the mean velocity, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), turbulence production, and turbulence dissipation, are analyzed under five different flow-rate working conditions around the designed condition. The results show that unsteady wake, tip leakage flow, and flow separation are accompanied by a high TKE magnitude. For the high turbulence intensity under off-designed working conditions, the tip leakage flow plays a leading role at low flow-rates, and flow separation dominates at high flow-rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)960-971
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable Energy
StatePublished - May 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 52009033 ), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province ( BK20200509 ) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities ( B210202066 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Axial-flow pump
  • Flow separation
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Large-eddy simulation
  • Level set function
  • Turbulent kinetic energy


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