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Backward Traveling Rotating Stall Waves in Centrifugal Compressors

[+] Author Affiliations
Z. S. Spakovsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. GT2002-30379, pp. 529-543; 15 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2002: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 5: Turbo Expo 2002, Parts A and B
  • Amsterdam, The Netherlands, June 3–6, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3610-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3601-0
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


Rotating stall waves that travel against the direction of rotor rotation are reported for the first time and a new, low-order analytical approach to model centrifugal compressor stability is introduced. The model is capable of dealing with unsteady radially swirling flows and the dynamic effects of impeller-diffuser component interaction as it occurs in centrifugal compression systems. A simple coupling criterion is developed from first principles to explain the interaction mechanism important for system stability. The model findings together with experimental data explain the mechanism for first-ever observed backward traveling rotating stall in centrifugal compressors with vaned diffusers. Based on the low-order model predictions, an air injection scheme between the impeller and the vaned diffuser is designed for the NASA Glenn CC3 high-speed centrifugal compressor. The steady air injection experiments show an increase of 25% in surge-margin with an injection mass flow of 0.5% of the compressor mass flow. In addition, it is experimentally demonstrated that this injection scheme is robust to impeller tip-clearance effects and that a reduced number of injectors can be applied for similar gains in surge-margin. The results presented in this paper firmly establish the connection between the experimentally observed dynamic phenomena in the NASA CC3 centrifugal compressor and a first principles based coupling criterion. In addition, guidelines are given for the design of centrifugal compressors with enhanced stability.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Compressors , Waves



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