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A Study on Impeller-Diffuser Interaction: Part I — Influence on the Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
Kai U. Ziegler, Heinz E. Gallus, Reinhard Niehuis

RWTH – Aachen University of Technology, Aachen, Germany

Paper No. GT2002-30381, pp. 545-556; 12 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


The interaction between impeller and diffuser is considered to have strong influence on the flow in highly loaded centrifugal compressors. However, the knowledge about this influence is still not satisfying. This two-part paper presents an experimental investigation of the effect of impeller-diffuser interaction on the unsteady and the time averaged flow configuration in impeller and diffuser and the performance of these components. The flat wedge vaned diffuser of the investigated stage allows an independent adjustment of diffuser vane angle and radial gap between impeller exit and diffuser vane inlet. Attention is mainly directed to the radial gap, as it determines the intensity of the impeller-diffuser interaction. Part I deals with the integral flow losses and the diffusion in impeller, diffuser and the entire compressor. An extensive test series with steady probe measurements at impeller exit and diffuser exit was performed at 10 different diffuser geometries and different operating points. The results show that in most cases smaller radial gaps are leading to a more homogeneous flow field at diffuser vane exit and to a higher diffuser pressure recovery resulting in a higher compressor efficiency. On the other hand, impeller efficiency is hardly affected by the radial gap. In part II measurements with a laser-2-focus velocimeter are presented illuminating the reasons for the effects found. The experimental results are intended to be published as an open CFD testcase under the name “Radiver”.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Impellers , Diffusers



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