Characteristics of a Centrifugal Compressor With a Radial Shelf Diffuser PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author Affiliations
G. J. Hanus

Borg-Warner Research Center, Des Plaines, IL

Paper No. 87-GT-192, pp. V001T01A067; 8 pages
  • ASME 1987 International Gas Turbine Conference and Exhibition
  • Volume 1: Turbomachinery
  • Anaheim, California, USA, May 31–June 4, 1987
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-7923-8
  • Copyright © 1987 by ASME


An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the range and efficiency characteristics of a “shelf” vaneless, radial diffuser in a centrifugal compressor. The shelf describes a region immediately downstream of the impeller exit in which a step increase in the radial diffuser width is introduced, followed by a specified meridional convergence back to a reference diffuser width. Various shelf geometries were tested and compared with a reference diffuser to establish choke point change, surge point variation and efficiency changes over a range of impeller speeds. The shelf diffuser concept extended the choke point over the reference configuration by 9% at the lowest impeller speed, between 5% and 8% at the intermediate speeds (depending upon the particular shelf geometry tested) and less than 3% at the highest speed. Surge points at all impeller exit Mach number conditions remained nearly unchanged. Peak efficiency changes for the various shelf geometries were not dramatic, varying ± 2-1/2 points from the reference case, depending on impeller speed. Detailed measurements of pressure within the shelf segment of the diffuser demonstrated nearly equivalent loss characteristics as documented for the reference configuration. Profiles of total pressure and flow angle just downstream of the shelf segment exhibited extremely flat characteristics for both the reference as well as the shelf configurations.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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