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Research Papers

An Investigation of the Stability Enhancement of a Centrifugal Compressor Stage Using a Porous Throat Diffuser

[+] Author and Article Information
Lee Galloway

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Queen's University Belfast,
Belfast BT9 5AH, UK
e-mail: lgalloway04@qub.ac.uk

Stephen Spence, Sung In Kim

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Queen's University Belfast,
Belfast BT9 5AH, UK

Daniel Rusch, Klemens Vogel, René Hunziker

ABB Turbo Systems Ltd.,
Baden 5401, Switzerland

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 12, 2017; final manuscript received October 3, 2017; published online October 31, 2017. Editor: Kenneth Hall.

J. Turbomach 140(1), 011008 (Oct 31, 2017) (12 pages) Paper No: TURBO-17-1157; doi: 10.1115/1.4038181 History: Received September 12, 2017; Revised October 03, 2017

The stable operating range of a centrifugal compressor stage of an engine turbocharger is limited at low mass flow rates by aerodynamic instabilities which can lead to the onset of rotating stall or surge. There have been many techniques employed to increase the stable operating range of centrifugal compressor stages. The literature demonstrates that there are various possibilities for adding special treatments to the nominal diffuser vane geometry, or including injection or bleed flows to modify the diffuser flow field in order to influence diffuser stability. One such treatment is the porous throat diffuser (PTD). Although the benefits of this technique have been proven in the existing literature, a comprehensive understanding of how this technique operates is not yet available. This paper uses experimental measurements from a high pressure ratio (PR) compressor stage to acquire a sound understanding of the flow features within the vaned diffuser which affect the stability of the overall compression system and investigate the stabilizing mechanism of the porous throat diffuser. The nonuniform circumferential pressure imposed by the asymmetric volute is experimentally and numerically examined to understand if this provides a preferential location for stall inception in the diffuser. The following hypothesis is confirmed: linking of the diffuser throats via the side cavity equalizes the diffuser throat pressure, thus creating a more homogeneous circumferential pressure distribution, which delays stall inception to lower flow rates. The results of the porous throat diffuser configuration are compared to a standard vaned diffuser compressor stage in terms of overall compressor performance parameters, circumferential pressure nonuniformity at various locations through the compressor stage and diffuser subcomponent analysis. The diffuser inlet region was found to be the element most influenced by the porous throat diffuser, and the stability limit is mainly governed by this element.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Sketch of porous throat diffuser cross section

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Fig. 2

Passage and vane labeling system

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Fig. 3

Location of steady pressure taps through diffuser passage

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Fig. 4

Effect of porous throat diffuser on compressor performance and stability

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Fig. 5

Unsteady measurements during surge at 100% speed: (a) shaft speed, (b) inlet pressure, and (c) outlet pressure

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Fig. 6

Streamwise activity through the vaned diffuser during the surge cycle at 100% speed

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Fig. 7

Unsteady pressure traces in the vaneless space at 100% speed: baseline (left) and PTD (right)

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Fig. 8

Streamwise unsteady pressure traces at 100% speed: baseline (left) and PTD (right)

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Fig. 9

Unsteady pressure traces in the vaneless space at 95% speed: baseline (left) and PTD (right)

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Fig. 10

Streamwise unsteady pressure traces at 95% speed: baseline (left) and PTD (right)

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Fig. 11

Circumferential static pressure variations at 100% speed: midmap (left), near surge (right)

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Fig. 12

Circumferential static pressure variations at 80% speed: midmap (left), near surge (right)

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Fig. 13

Baseline diffuser circumferential static pressure variations at diffuser exit for near surge condition

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Fig. 14

Baseline and PTD subcomponent analysis for passage 3 instrumented diffuser passage at 100% speed

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Fig. 15

Baseline and PTD subcomponent analysis for passage 7 (left) and passage 10 (right) instrumented diffuser passages at 100% speed

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Fig. 16

Total-to-static PR and efficiency at 100% speed

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Fig. 17

Circumferential pressure variation at diffuser inlet for baseline diffuser

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Fig. 18

Diffuser leading-edge pressure taps used to calculate loading parameter

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Fig. 19

Baseline diffuser inlet loading parameter (experimental) and incidence angle (CFD simulation) at the shroud endwall

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Fig. 20

Circumferential variation of mass flow through individual throat openings into the PTD side cavity for the 100% speed line

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Fig. 21

Comparison of mass flow through individual throat openings into the PTD side cavity and the circumferential pressure variation at diffuser inlet for the OP5 condition at 100% speed

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Fig. 22

Diffuser LE incidence angle at 98% span for the 100% speed

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Fig. 23

Spanwise variation of diffuser LE incidence at the midmap operating condition at 100% speed

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Fig. 24

Comparison of mass flow entering each diffuser passage of both configurations at OP5

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