Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Structures and Dynamics

Integral Pumping Devices for Dual Mechanical Seals: Experiments and Numerical Simulations

[+] Author and Article Information
H. A. Warda

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Alexandria University,
Alexandria 21544, Egypt
e-mail: hassan.warda@usa.net

E. M. Wahba

Mechanical Engineering Department,
American University of Sharjah,
Sharjah 26666, United Arab Emirates
Mechanical Engineering Department,
Alexandria University,
Alexandria 21544, Egypt
e-mail: ewahba@aus.edu

E. A. Selim

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Alexandria University,
Alexandria 21544, Egypt
e-mail: ehabattia@yahoo.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Structures and Dynamics Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received July 11, 2014; final manuscript received July 18, 2014; published online September 16, 2014. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 137(2), 022504 (Sep 16, 2014) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-14-1378; doi: 10.1115/1.4028384 History: Received July 11, 2014; Revised July 18, 2014

An experimental and numerical investigation is carried out to evaluate the performance of alternative pumping ring designs for dual mechanical seals. Both radial-flow and axial-flow pumping rings are considered in the present study. An experimental setup is constructed, and appropriate instrumentation are employed to measure the pressure, temperature, and flow rate of the barrier fluid. A parametric study is carried out to investigate the effect of pump rotational speed, barrier fluid accumulator pressure, and barrier fluid inlet temperature on the performance of the pumping rings. Experiments are also used to evaluate the effect of different geometric parameters such as the radial clearance between the pumping ring and the surrounding gland, and the outlet port orientation. Moreover, a numerical study is conducted to simulate the flow field for the radial pumping ring designs under different operating parameters. The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model implements a multiple reference frame (MRF) technique, while turbulence is modeled using the standard k-epsilon model. Numerical simulations are also used to visualize the flow of the barrier fluid within the dual seal cavity. Present results indicate that the pump rotational speed and the orientation of the outlet port have a significant effect on the performance of the pumping ring. On the other hand, the effects of barrier fluid accumulator pressure and inlet temperature are minimal on the performance. The study also shows that reducing the radial clearance between the rotating ring and the stationary outer gland would significantly improve the performance of axial pumping rings. Moreover, comparisons between the computational and experimental results show good agreement for pumping ring configurations with tangential outlet (TO) ports and at moderate rotational speeds.

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the process fluid loop and the barrier fluid loop. (a) Process fluid loop and (b) barrier fluid loop.

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Fig. 2

Radial-flow and axial-flow pumping ring designs. (a) Standard paddle wheel, (b) modified paddle wheel, and (c) single pumping scroll.

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Fig. 3

Tangential and RO port orientations for the MPW. (a) Tangential outlet and (b) radial outlet.

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Fig. 4

Overall and close-up views of the medium grid for the MPW with a TO port. (a) Overall mesh, (b) modified paddle wheel mesh, (c) seal inlet port mesh, and (d) seal outlet port mesh.

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Fig. 5

Performance curves for the different pumping ring designs

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Fig. 6

Effect of rotational speed on the performance of the integral pumping device. (a) SPW, RI TO, (b) MPW, RI TO, (c) PS, TI TO, and (d) PS, API, TI TO.

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Fig. 7

Comparison between the present experimental results and the affinity laws for SPW with a TO port

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Fig. 8

Effect of outlet port orientation on the performance of the integral pumping device. (a) SPW, (b) MPW, (c) PS, and (d) PS, API.

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Fig. 9

Effect of barrier fluid accumulator pressure on the performance of the integral pumping device. (a) MPW, RI TO and (b) PS, TI TO.

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Fig. 10

Effect of barrier fluid inlet temperature on the performance of the integral pumping device. (a) SPW, RI RO, (b) MPW, RI RO, (c) PS, TI RO, and (d) PS, API, TI RO.

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Fig. 11

Grid independence study for MPW simulations

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Fig. 12

Numerical simulations versus experimental results for the MPW. (a) MPW, RI RO, (b) MPW, RI TO, (c) MPW, RI RO, and (d) MPW, RI TO.

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Fig. 13

Swirling strength isosurface (value = 50 s−1) through the outlet pipe for the MPW. (a) MPW, RO and (b) MPW, TO.

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Fig. 14

Swirling strength isosurface (value = 250 s−1) on the downstream side of the standard and MPWs. (a) SPW, RI TO (3600 rpm) and (b) MPW, RI TO (3600 rpm).




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