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Combined Impeller-Diffuser Design and the Influence of Slotted Guide Vanes on the Performance of Radial Diffusers

[+] Author Affiliations
Philipp Epple, Mihai Miclea, Caslav Ilic, Antonio Delgado

Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany

Paper No. IMECE2009-11260, pp. 1109-1117; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Heat Transfer, Fluid Flows, and Thermal Systems, Parts A, B and C
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4382-6 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Radial diffusers are devices to increase the static pressure of a radial impeller-diffuser-unit (IDU) and in many cases also its efficiency. A new design method for the coupled Impeller-Diffuser-Layout is proposed. This new design method is presented and the resulting theoretical differences of the vaned and vaneless diffusers are shown. It is known, also, that at high flow rates, the vaned diffusers will choke, i.e. the maximum flow rate of an IDU will be much less as the one of the impeller alone or an IDU with vaneless diffuser. In order to avoid the flow rate decrease in the vaned diffuser due to this blockage or choking, a new kind of diffuser is proposed: the slotted diffuser. The theoretical principles of chocking and the solution with the slotted diffusers are explained. In order to have an in depth understanding of its working principle, three IDU are numerically examinated: with vaneless diffuser, regular vaned diffuser and the new slotted diffuser. In general the slotted diffuser delivers approximately the same pressure and efficiency but a substantial higher flow rate than the vaned diffuser. The vaneless diffuser has the highest flow rate, but the lowest pressure. An in detail analysis of the gap losses between the exit of the impeller and the entry of the vaned regular and slotted diffusers is presented, unrevealing an major loss source in vaned IDU. Flow patterns of the different diffuser types are shown illustrating in a clear manner the working principle of these diffusers and their respective advantages and disadvantages. Finally, in order to validate the theoretical and numerical results, prototypes were built and measurements performed at a norm test rig according to DIN 24 163. Pictures of the prototypes as well as of the test rig are shown. The experimental results are in good agreement with the predictions of the numerical simulations confirming the theoretical and numerical investigations.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Impellers , Diffusers , Design



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