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Instability Analysis of a Centrifugal Compressor Stage Near Peak Pressure Rise

[+] Author Affiliations
Werner Jahnen

Sulzer Markets and Technology Ltd., Winterthur, Switzerland

Wim-Paul Breugem

Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands

Beat Ribi

Sulzer Turbo Ltd., Zürich, Switzerland

Paper No. 2001-GT-0318, pp. V001T03A021; 12 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2001: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 1: Aircraft Engine; Marine; Turbomachinery; Microturbines and Small Turbomachinery
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, June 4–7, 2001
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7850-7
  • Copyright © 2001 by ASME


It is often observed that radial compressor stages exhibit different types of instabilities dependent on the rotor-diffuser matching. The onset of instability may be before, at, or after the slope of the pressure rise characteristic becomes zero during throttling. In this study the flow conditions in the individual stage components at instability onset have been investigated experimentally and theoretically to allow an improvement of present prediction methods.

Within the scope of the experimental study separate characteristics of the rotor and the diffuser have been recorded in detail while unsteady measurements have been performed simultaneously. The measurement results show that rotor and/or diffuser instability affects overall stage stability. The nature of stage component stability suggests that rotor and diffuser can be excited as subsystems.

For an improved understanding, numerical investigations based on the Moore-Greitzer (1986) model have been performed. In order to account for the observed subsystem properties of rotor and diffuser, the model had to be extended, and was adapted to the geometry of the investigated radial compressor stage. By implementing inner stage mass storage and flow redistribution capability into the model, a decoupled treatment of stage components was accomplished. The numerical results are in qualitative agreement with the measurements, and prove that a decoupled treatment of rotor and diffuser in radial compressor stages is able to describe stall inception more accurately.

Copyright © 2001 by ASME
Topics: Pressure , Compressors



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