, Volume 43, Issue 2-3, pp 371-384
Date: 24 Feb 2007

Application of particle image velocimetry to a transonic centrifugal compressor

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As part of an ongoing research project the performance and internal flow field of a high-pressure ratio centrifugal compressor is being investigated. Based on previous, primarily, point-wise laser-optical measurements the compressor was redesigned and resulted in an improved impeller and diffuser with a single-stage pressure ratio of 6:1 at 50,000 rpm. Current research activities involve the use of particle image velocimetry (PIV) to analyze and further improve the understanding of the complex flow phenomena inside the vaned diffuser given the capability of PIV of capturing spatial structures. The study includes phase-resolved measurements of the flow inside a diffuser vane passage with respect to the impeller blade position. Both, instantaneous and phase-averaged velocity fields are presented. The flow field results obtained by PIV are to be used for future validation of the related CFD calculations, which in turn are expected to lead to further improvements in compressor performance. In addition, the potential of stereo PIV for this type of turbomachinery application could be successfully demonstrated.