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Effects of Inlet Flow Field Conditions on the Stall Onset of Centrifugal Compressor Vaned Diffusers

[+] Author Affiliations
Sabri Deniz

Praxair, Inc., Tonawanda, NY

Paper No. IMECE2003-55221, pp. 61-74; 14 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Process Industries
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Process Industries Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3725-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


This paper considers the performance and operating range of vaned diffusers for use in high performance centrifugal compressors. An experimental and numerical investigation is performed to determine the effects of inlet flow field conditions on pressure recovery and stall onset of different type vaned diffusers, such as discrete-passage and straight-channel diffusers. Diffuser inlet flow conditions examined include Mach number, flow angle, blockage, and axial flow non-uniformity. The investigation was carried out in a specially built test facility, designed to provide a controlled inlet flow field to the test diffusers. Unsteady pressure measurements showed the operating range of a compressor stage was limited by the onset of rotating stall, triggered by the loss of stability in the vaned diffuser, independent of the impeller operating point. For both diffusers investigated, loss of flow stability in the diffuser occurred at a critical value of the momentum-averaged flow angle into the diffuser. To provide additional information on diffuser flow development and to complement previous experimental work performed on straight-channel type diffuser, a computational investigation has been undertaken and important results are presented.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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