Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
This project is the first iteration of a testing rig to determine the critical submergence of a vortex off a main suction header. The rig was designed with supplies purchased and provided by PG&E, including 4-6” schedule 40 PVC pipe and fittings, a large water tank, a pump, and a flowmeter. PG&E at Diablo Canyon Power Plant presented their problem to the Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering Senior Project class, and three mechanical engineers took up the project. The following report details the ideation, design, build, and test processes used during the 2016-17 academic year to create the vortex testing rig. We determined through testing that the location of hydraulic jump can be influenced by how open or closed the branch line valve was, which in turn influenced when gas ingestion to the pump occurred.