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Research Papers

Stall Inception in a High-Speed Centrifugal Compressor During Speed Transients

[+] Author and Article Information
Fangyuan Lou

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Allison Road,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: louf@purdue.edu

John C. Fabian

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Allison Road,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: fabian@purdue.edu

Nicole L. Key

Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Purdue University,
500 Allison Road,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: nkey@purdue.edu

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received August 15, 2017; final manuscript received August 17, 2017; published online September 26, 2017. Editor: Kenneth Hall.

J. Turbomach 139(12), 121004 (Sep 26, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: TURBO-17-1116; doi: 10.1115/1.4037759 History: Received August 15, 2017; Revised August 17, 2017

The inception and evolution of rotating stall in a high-speed centrifugal compressor are characterized during speed transients. Experiments were performed in the single stage centrifugal compressor (SSCC) facility at Purdue University and include speed transients from subidle to full speed at different throttle settings while collecting transient performance data. Results show a substantial difference in the compressor transient performance for accelerations versus decelerations. This difference is associated with the heat transfer between the flow and the hardware. The heat transfer from the hardware to the flow during the decelerations locates the compressor operating condition closer to the surge line and results in a significant reduction in surge margin during decelerations. Additionally, data were acquired from fast-response pressure transducers along the impeller shroud, in the vaneless space, and along the diffuser passages. Two different patterns of flow instabilities, including mild surge and short-length-scale rotating stall, are observed during the decelerations. The instability starts with a small pressure perturbation at the impeller leading edge (LE) and quickly develops into a single-lobe rotating stall burst. The stall cell propagates in the direction opposite of impeller rotation at approximately one-third of the rotor speed. The rotating stall bursts are observed in both the impeller and diffuser, with the largest magnitudes near the diffuser throat. Furthermore, the flow instability develops into a continuous high frequency stall and remains in the fully developed stall condition.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Cross section of compressor and performance instrumentation

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Fig. 2

Instrumentation of fast-response pressure transducers along the flow path

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Fig. 3

Compressor transient performance during accelerations (a) and decelerations (b)

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Fig. 4

Compressor transient performance in TPR (a) and TTR (b) during the third sweep

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Fig. 5

Compressor transient performance in TPR (a) and TTR (b) during the fourth sweep

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Fig. 6

Sketch of compression process during sweep

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Fig. 7

Impeller back face bleed flow temperature during the third and fourth sweeps

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Fig. 8

Impeller back face bleed flow rate during the first and fourth sweeps

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Fig. 9

Impeller axial clearance during the first and fourth sweeps

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Fig. 10

Compressor unsteady pressure traces during the fourth acceleration

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Fig. 11

Compressor unsteady pressure traces along the path into instability during the fourth deceleration

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Fig. 12

Compressor instantaneous pressure traces (a) and accumulated unsteadiness (b) along the path into the first rotating stall burst during the fourth deceleration

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Fig. 13

Impeller shroud pressure contour along the path into the first rotating stall during the fourth deceleration

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Fig. 14

Unsteady pressure traces along the path into the first rotating stall burst during the fourth deceleration in the vaneless space (a) and near diffuser throat (b)

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