A Simulation of the Unsteady Interaction of a Centrifugal Impeller With Its Vaned Diffuser: Flow Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
W. N. Dawes

Whittle Laboratory, Cambridge, United Kingdom

J. Turbomach 117(2), 213-222 (Apr 01, 1995) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2835649 History: Received February 04, 1994; Online January 29, 2008


The aim of this paper is to help advance our understanding of the complex, three-dimensional, unsteady flow associated with the interaction of a splittered centrifugal impeller and its vaned diffuser. A time-resolved simulation is presented of the Krain stage performed using a time-accurate, three-dimensional, unstructured mesh, solution-adaptive Navier–Stokes solver. The predicted flowfield, compared with experiment where available, displays a complex, unsteady interaction, especially in the neighborhood of the diffuser entry zone, which experiences large periodic flow unsteadiness. Downstream of the throat, although the magnitude of this unsteadiness diminishes rapidly, the flow has a highly distorted three-dimensional character. The loss levels in the diffuser are then investigated to try and determine how time-mean loss levels compare with the levels expected from “equivalent” steady flow analysis performed by using the circumferentially averaged exit flow from the impeller as inlet to the diffuser. It is concluded that little loss could be attributed directly to unsteady effects but rather that the principal cause of the rather high loss levels observed in the diffuser is the strong spanwise distortion in swirl angle at inlet, which initiates a strong hub/corner stall.

Copyright © 1995 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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