Vortex flow in a pump intake could affect a pump operation significantly if not treated appropriately. Many researches have been conducted to determine the best control method for vortex flow in pump sumps so that the pump lifespan can be maximized. In this study, a vortex control principle designed to minimize the impact of submerged vortex flow in pump sump on major pump components is presented. This principle employs a device called the plate type floor splitter which serves the function of eliminating vortices formed on the sump floor and reduces the intensity of swirling motion in the intake flow. A pump sump model was built to carry out the study by installing a floor splitter plate sample under the pump suction inlet and the corresponding parameters used to quantify the swirl intensity known as the swirl angle was measured. Procedures for the measurement were conducted based on ANSI/HI 9.8-2018 standard. A numerical simulation was performed to study the flow in a full-scale pump sump. The results showed that the installation of floor splitter plate can eliminate vortices efficiently and reduce swirl angle significantly. However, optimization of floor splitter design is needed to achieve a reduction effect that can reduce swirl angles to an acceptable value of lower than 5° according to ANSI/HI 9.8-2018 standard.
Part of the book: Vortex Dynamics Theories and Applications