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Research Papers

Numerical Investigation of the Unsteady Flow Inside a Centrifugal Compressor Stage With Pipe Diffuser

[+] Author and Article Information
Peter Jeschke

Institute of Jet Propulsion and Turbomachinery,
RWTH Aachen University,
Aachen 52062, Germany

Reinhard Niehuis

Institute of Jet Propulsion,
University of Federal Armed Forces Munich,
Neubiberg 85577, Germany

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received May 8, 2013; final manuscript received June 12, 2013; published online September 26, 2013. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Turbomach 136(3), 031012 (Sep 26, 2013) (14 pages) Paper No: TURBO-13-1071; doi: 10.1115/1.4024873 History: Received May 08, 2013; Revised June 12, 2013

The subject of this paper is the investigation of unsteady flow inside a transonic centrifugal compressor stage with a pipe-diffuser by utilizing unsteady 3D Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes simulations (unsteady 3D URANS). The computational fluid dynamics (CFD) results obtained are compared with detailed experimental data gathered using various steady and unsteady measurement techniques. The basic phenomena and mechanisms of the complex and highly unsteady flow inside the compressor with a pipe-diffuser are presented and analyzed in detail.

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References

Kenny, D., 1969, “A Novel Low-Cost Diffuser for High-Performance Centrifugal Compressors,” ASME J. Eng. Power, 91(1), pp. 37–46. [CrossRef]
Kenny, D., 1970, “Supersonic Radial Diffusers,” Advanced Compressors (AGARD Lecture Series, Vol. 39), VKI, Brussels, Belgium.
Rundstadler, P., and Dean, R., 1963, “Straight Channel Diffuser Performance at High Inlet Mach Numbers,” ASME Paper No. 63-WA/FE-19.
Bennet, I., Tourlidakis, A., and Elder, R. L., 1998, “Detailed Measurements Within a Selection of Pipe Diffusers for Centrifugal Compressors,” ASME Paper No. 98-GT-92.
Zachau, U., 2008, “Experimental Investigation on the Diffuser Flow of a Centrifugal Compressor Stage With Pipe Diffuser,” Ph.D. thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Zachau, U., Buescher, C., Niehuis, R., Hoenen, H., Wisler, D. C., and Moussa, Z. M., 2008, “Experimental Investigation of a Centrifugal Compressor Stage With Focus on the Flow in the Pipe Diffuser Supported by Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) Measurements,” ASME Paper No. GT2008-51538. [CrossRef]
Kunte, R., Schwarz, P., Wilkosz, B., Jeschke, P., and Smythe, C., 2013, “Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Tip Clearance and Bleed Effects in a Centrifugal Compressor Stage With Pipe Diffuser,” ASME J. Turbomach., 135(1), p. 011005. [CrossRef]
Volmar, T., Brouillet, B., Gallus, H. E., and Benetschik, H., 1998, “Time Accurate 3D Navier–Stokes Analysis of a 1-1/2 Stage Axial Flow Turbine,” AIAA Paper No. 98-3247. [CrossRef]
Chien, K. Y., 1982, “Prediction of Channel and Boundary-Layer Flows With a Low-Reynolds-Number-Turbulence Model,” AIAA J., 20(1), pp. 33–38. [CrossRef]
Erdos, J. I., Alzner, E., and McNally, W., 1977, “Numerical Solution of Periodic Transonic Flow Through a Fan Stage,” AIAA J., 1(11), pp. 1559–1568. [CrossRef]
Grates, D. R., 2010, “Numerische Simulation der instationären Strömung in einem Radialverdichter mit Pipe-Diffusor,” Ph.D. thesis, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany (in German).
Inoue, M., and Cumpsty, N. A., 1984, “Experimental Study of Centrifugal Impeller Discharge Flow in Vaneless and Vaned Diffusers,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 106, pp. 455–467. [CrossRef]
Ziegler, K. U., Gallus, H. E., and Niehuis, R., 2003, “A Study on Impeller-Diffuser Interaction—Part I: Influence on the Performance,” ASME J. Turbomach., 125(1), pp. 173–182. [CrossRef]
Ziegler, K. U., Gallus, H. E., and Niehuis, R., 2003, “A Study on Impeller-Diffuser Interaction—Part II; Detailed Flow Analysis,” ASME J. Turbomach., 125(1), pp. 183–192. [CrossRef]
Traupel, W., 1988, Thermische Turbomaschinen, Vol. 1, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Stahlecker, D., Casartelli, E., and Gyarmathy, G., 1998, “Secondary Flow Field Measurements With a LDV in the Vaned Diffuser of a High-Subsonic Centrifugal Compressor,” 9th International Symposium on Application of Laser Techniques to Fluid Mechanics, Lisbon, Portugal, July 13–16.
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Designation of diffuser geometry [6]

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Fig. 2

Vortex generation inside the pipe [6]

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Fig. 3

Picture of the compressor stage

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Fig. 4

Geometry of the diffuser and characteristic positions and planes

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Fig. 5

Grid of the compressor stage

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Fig. 6

Total pressure ratio and efficiency versus mass flow

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Fig. 7

Relative Mach number and absolute velocity angle distribution at the impeller exit

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Fig. 8

Static pressure at the diffuser shroud along the pipe centerline (x/l = 0: diffuser leading edge)

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Fig. 9

Total pressure in front of the diffuser throat: CFD versus experimental data

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Fig. 10

Time-averaged 2D-velocity distribution behind the diffuser throat: CFD versus PIV data

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Fig. 11

Contours of the time-averaged static pressure, absolute Mach number, and total pressure inside the diffuser at midspan for OP B

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Fig. 12

Locations of the cutting planes perpendicular to the pipe axis

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Fig. 13

Time-averaged total pressure contours and velocity vectors on the cutting planes at OP B

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Fig. 14

Unsteady static pressure distribution on the impeller main and splitter blade at midspan for OP B

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Fig. 15

Static pressure and unsteady deviations from the time-average of various quantities inside the impeller at midspan for OP B at a certain point in time

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Fig. 16

Unsteady static pressure at different positions of the impeller and diffuser front wall

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Fig. 17

Unsteady 2D-velocity distribution behind the diffuser throat: CFD versus PIV data (OP B)

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Fig. 18

Unsteady Mach number contours at midspan for one blade passage (OP B)

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Fig. 19

Unsteady static pressure contours at midspan for one blade passage (OP B)

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Fig. 20

Various quantities inside the diffuser at midspan for OP B at t = 1/8TD

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Fig. 21

Unsteady total pressure contours and velocity vectors on cutting planes 1, 3, and 4

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