Flow recirculation at the impeller inlet and outlet is an important feature that affects impeller performance, especially the power consumption at a very low flow rate. Although the mechanisms for this flow phenomenon have been studied, a practical model is needed for meanline modeling of impeller off-design performance. In this paper, a meanline recirculation model is proposed. At the inlet, the recirculation zone acts as area blockage to relieve the large incidence of the active flow at a low flow rate. The size of the blockage is estimated through a critical area ratio of an artificial “inlet diffuser” from the inlet to throat. The intensity of the reverse flow can then be calculated by assuming a linear velocity profile of meridional velocity in the recirculation zone. At the impeller outlet, a recirculation zone near the suction surface is established to balance the velocity difference on the pressure and suction sides of the blade. The size and the intensity of the outlet recirculation zone is assumed related to blade loading, which can be evaluated based on flow turning and Coriolis force. A few validation cases are presented showing a good comparison between test data and prediction by the model.

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