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Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572


Experimental and numerical investigation of the performance

of a 240 kW centrifugal compressor with dierent diusers
Abraham Engeda *

Turbomachinery Lab, Mechanical Engineering Department, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Received 5 November 2002; received in revised form 30 May 2003; accepted 3 June 2003


Eight low solidity vaned diusers (LSVD1LSVD8) were designed for a 240 kW centrifugal compressor. All eight LSVDs and
for comprison purposes along with two standard and high performing vaneless diusers and one conventional vaned diuser were
tested downstream of the same impeller. The objective was to understand the pressure recovery phenomena in each of the three
types of diusers, and the eect of design parameters on performance. Also, the results were compared with the results from
numerical simulation. The design parameters include the solidity, turning angle, vane setting angle, and the number of vanes. The
experimental investigation was performed at three dierent rotational speeds (Mu 0:69, 0.88, 1.02). The experimental results
proved the superior merits of the LSVDs relative to the vaneless and vaned diuser. The LSVDs fullled the high expectations,
since they seemed to combine the advantages of the conventional diusers by providing a good pressure recovery over a wide ow
 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction The role of the vane in a vaned diuser is to shorten

the ow path by deswirling the ow, allowing a smaller
Over the years the demands on the centrifugal com- outlet diameter to be used. A vaneless space precedes the
pressors has increased for higher pressure ratios and vaned diuser to help reduce ow unsteadiness and
eciency. To satisfy this, dierent types of radial dif- Mach number at the leading edge of the vanes so as to
fusers have been developed. These dierent types of avoid shock waves. Boundary layer develops and gen-
radial diusers can be classied as vaneless diusers, erates appreciable blockage at the vane leading edge. In
vaned diusers, and low solidity vaned diusers order to reduce this blockage, the vaneless space should
(LSVDs). be minimized until it does not give any unfavorable ef-
Vaneless diusers consist of two radial walls that may fects such as increase in noise level or pressure uctua-
be parallel, diverging, or converging. The vaneless dif- tions due to interaction of the impeller and diuser.
fuser is widely used in automotive turbochargers, re- Although the vaned diuser typically exhibits higher
frigeration and process industrial compressors because pressure recovery, the ow range is limited at low ow
of the broad operating range it oers. It is also cheaper rate due to vane stall. At high ow rates, ow choking at
to manufacture and more tolerant to erosion and foul- the throat may also limit ow range.
ing than the vaned diusers. However, the vaneless The major feature of the LSVDs is the absence of
diuser needs a large diameter ratio because of its low a geometric throat which limits ow range of the
diusion ratio. Generally the vaneless diuser demon- centrifugal compressor with the vaned diusers. The
strates lower pressure recovery by as much as 20% and LSVDs exhibit high eciency comparable to conven-
lower stage eciency by 10% compared to a conven- tional vaned diusers, while holding ow range levels
tional vaned diuser. approaching that of vaneless diusers.
The main objective of this work is to contribute to the
Tel.: +1-517-353-1750; fax: +1-353-432-1834. design methodology and performance assessment of
E-mail address: engeda@me.msu.edu (A. Engeda). LSVDs.
0894-1777/$ - see front matter  2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
56 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572


C absolute velocity r solidity

cp specic heat at constant pressure w head coecient w Dh0s =1=2U22 cp T01 
Cp pressure recovery p0;stage c1=c  1=1=2U22
CVND conventional vaned diuser
i incidence angle
0 total condition
LSVD low solidity vaned diuser
1 stage inlet
M Mach number
2 impeller exit
N normalized
2a impeller exitmeasurement station
Op operating point
3 vane leading edge station based on LSVD
P probe location
4 vane trailing edge station based on LSVD
RN ow range
5 diuser exit
Mu impeller tip Mach number
6 stage exit
VNL vaneless diuser
c compressor stage
a ow angle with respect to tangent
h hub
b vane angle with respect to tangent
pd 2
imp impeller
/ inlet ow coecient / m_ =q1 U2 42 ind inducer
g eciency gs hh06s h01
 1= s0;16 r radial component
06 h01
1 s isentropic
h blade turning angle s shroud
q density u circumferential component

2. Experimental setup dure and accuracy are given in Amineni [1]. The speed of
the motor was accurately controlled by a frequency
The LSVDs deigned and tested in this work had controller. The impeller used had 19 blades with 19.3
simple at plate vanes. Since there is no clear method backsweep, it is a typical high performance industrial
available for LSVD design, a simple approach for the compressor impeller. The blade camberlines had ellip-
design was concluded from earlier numerical and ex- soidal shapes in cylindrical sections. The inlet hub and
perimental results of comparable LSVDs. This choice shroud diameters were r1h =r2 0:193 and r1s =r2 0:605
was made because of the LSVDs reported success and respectively. The exit blade width at the tip was
low manufacturing costs. b2 =r2 0:0546. Three dierent diuser types were tested
The vanes of all the LSVDs were machined out of an in the present study. All diusers were tested down-
aluminum plate and had constant width from inlet to stream of the same impeller. All the diusers had same
exit, and the width of the LSVDs was equal to that of diuser exit radius to impeller tip radius ratio r5 =r2 of
the conventional vaned diuser. 1.532. The major geometric parameters of all the dif-
The test rig used for this work consisted of a cen- fusers is given in Table 1 and the design procedure used
trifugal compressor driven by a variable speed motor for the LSVD is reported in Engeda [3]. Fig. 1(a) and (b)
with a power input of 240 kW. Full description of the shows the typical geometry of the CVND and LSVD
test rig, data acquisition system, measurement proce- used in this work.

Table 1
Diuser geometric parameters
b2a =b2 r3 =r2 r4 =r2 r5 =r2 Z h i r
VNL1 0.70 1.53
VNL2 0.83 1.53
CVND 1.0 1.09 1.53 15 0 1.15
LSVD1 1.0 1.09 1.23 1.53 14 14.6 )2 0.7
LSVD2 1.0 1.09 1.21 1.53 16 12.9 )2 0.6
LSVD3 1.0 1.09 1.20 1.53 14 12.6 )2 0.7
LSVD4 1.0 1.09 1.19 1.53 16 11.1 )2 0.6
LSVD5 1.0 1.09 1.23 1.53 18 14.6 )2 0.9
LSVD6 1.0 1.09 1.21 1.53 18 13.1 )2 0.8
LSVD7 1.0 1.09 1.19 1.53 18 11.5 )2 0.7
LSVD8 1.0 1.09 1.17 1.53 18 9.9 )2 0.6
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 57

Fig. 1. (a) Vane shape of the CVND, (b) vane shape of the LSVD, (c) performance characteristics of the stage at Mu 1:02.

For the steady overall and component performance, Cross correlation between two captures.
the data reduction and processing was done by an in Coherence between two captures.
house developed program, which plots and analyzes the Phase shift between two captures.
result on-line. The unsteady data acquisition was based Display of data in time and frequency domain.
on four dynamic PCB (112A02) transducers, located:
one at the inducer (Transducer A), two half way me- The steady static and total pressures were mea-
ridionally on the impeller shroud (Transducers B & C, sured with three dierent types of pressure measuring
same radial position but 42 apart and ush mounted on devices:
shroud-casing) and one in the diuser (Transducer D).
For the unsteady data acquisition, an acquisition and Validynevariable reluctance pressure transducers.
analysis, also an in house developed program (UDACS), Omegahand held manometers/high stability pres-
was used. Pressure uctuations in the inducer, impeller, sure transducer using molecular bonded strain gage.
and the diuser were recorded with UDACS and ana- Water/mercury manometers.
lyzed. UDACS can perform the following functions:
The water and mercury manometers have a resolu-
Removal of a linear trend. tion of 2.54 mm. One of the water manometers is used to
Digital ltering (lowpass, highpass, bandpass, and measure the dierential pressure across the orice plate
stopband). and the other is used to measure the stage inlet static
Windowing (hanning, tukey, welch, parzen, mini- pressure. The only mercury manometer is used to mea-
mum sidelobe, maximum decay). sure the stage exit static pressure. The application of the
Overlapping. water and mercury manometers at these locations is
Fast Fourier transformation. considered necessary to validate the proper functioning
Power spectrum. of the Validyne and Omega pressure transducers.
58 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

The static pressures were measured with 3.175 mm Osborne and Sorokes [9] used single row LSVDs with
taps and the total pressures were measured with Kiel single and multistage compressors having radial and
probes. Flexible tubing was routed from the static mixed ow impellers, along with a wide range of specic
pressure taps and the Kiel probes to the Validyne and speeds and various sizes and gases. From their tests it
Omega transducers. The Validyne transducers are con- was concluded that LSVDs were successful with respect
nected to the Validyne digital transducer indicators with to eciency and ow range even at high and medium
Belden type 8434 cable, while the Omega transducers specic speeds. They also showed that attractive per-
have digital display integrated to the transducer. The formance gains resulted with simple at plate vanes and
Validyne transducers were calibrated with an Omega for geometric parameters (such as vane number and
pressure calibrator in conjunction with the water and vane setting radius ratios) which were beyond Senoos
mercury manometers, which provide an additional study. However the solidity of 0.69 was retained for
check during the calibration. On the other hand, the almost all congurations tested, and the stagger angles
Omega pressure transducers were factory calibrated and were maintained relatively high.
they were checked for proper function with the water Hayami et al. [8] showed the LSVD with 0.69 solidity
and mercury manometers before use. All pressures were performed better than the vaneless diuser of a tran-
read to the second decimal digit, either in inches of water sonic centrifugal compressor. The vanes were confor-
or mercury. The Validyne pressure transducers are able mally transformed from linear cascade of double
to measure with an accuracy of 0.25% of full scale, circular arc vanes. The LSVD also demonstrated good
which includes the eects of linearity, hysteresis and pressure recovery over a wide range of inow angles,
repeatability at an operating temperature range of )17 and the pressure recovery improved with increase in the
to 72 C. Detailed specications of the instruments are inlet Mach number of up to 1.1. They also found that
shown in Appendix A. the LSVD had maximum pressure recovery at an inci-
dence angle of )2 to )3.
Sorokes and Welch [14,15] developed a rotatable
3. LSVD development LSVD system, which was used to study the eect of
stagger angle. In addition to stagger angle they also
One of the earliest works on an LSVD for a radial studied the eect of vane leading edge radius ratio.
impeller is that of Sutton [16] which was based on a test Hohlweg et al. [7] performed experiments on a pro-
on a centrifugal pump. However the rst reference of an cess compressor and an air compressor with LSVDs.
LSVD to a compressor was in a Japanese patent in 1978 The LSVD used with the process compressor had 10
by Senoo [10,11] who characterized the vanes by a so- vanes with 0.7 solidity, while three LSVDs were tested
lidity of less than 0.9 and introduced both single and with an air compressor, all having 16 vanes and 0.7
tandem row LSVDs. solidity but dierent design incidence of )4.1, )1.9
Senoo et al. [12] presented and discussed the results and +0.3.
for both single and tandem row LSVDs installed in a Recently, Engeda [36] reported on the design and
centrifugal blower. They used USA 35B airfoil shape for performance of at plate LSVDs.
the vanes conformally mapped into a circular cascade.
The single row LSVD tested had 11 blades with 0.69
solidity. The tests with this LSVD were performed with 4. Experimental results
two dierent stagger angles of 70 and 68. In addition,
another single row LSVD with 13 vanes and 0.82 so- Eight low solidity vaned diusers (LSVD1LSVD8)
lidity was also tested. In the case of the two row tandem and for comparison purposes along with two vaneless
cascade LSVD, the rst row had a solidity of 0.345 with diusers and one conventional vaned diuser were tested
11 blades, and the second row had a solidity of 0.63. The downstream of the same impeller. Testing was con-
tests were performed for various combinations of vane ducted at three rotating speeds (Mu 0:69, 0.88, and
setting or stagger angles and radius ratios between 1.02), each from maximum ow rate to surge ow with a
the two rows to arrive at the peak recovery in the dif- minimum of nine operating points per speed line. In
fuser. presenting the experimental results, where the results
Senoo [13] summarized the eect of solidity, vane tended to have similar trend for all three speeds only
number, and stagger angle on the performance of the results of the highest speed Mu 1:02 are presented.
LSVD and emphasized the need to positively use sec-
ondary ow to obtain enhanced diuser performance. In 4.1. Overall performace characteristics
addition to the data presented in his 1983 paper, new
data for a 22 vane LSVD with the same solidity and At Mu 1:02 in Fig. 1(c), the characteristic curves of
stagger angle as for the 11 vane conguration as well as the vaneless diusers (VNLs) and all the LSVDs are
a 11 vane design with 0.82 solidity was included. vertical at the right end, with the mass ow rate being
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 59

approximately constant for all these diusers. On the 1.6

other hand, the maximum ow rate attained by the stage 1.5 Mu=0.88
with the conventional vaned diuser (CVND) was about 1.4 Poly. (Mu=0.69)
Poly. (Mu=0.88)
14% less than the other diusers. This clearly indicates 1.3
Poly. (Mu=1.02)

that the maximum ow through the compressor was

controlled by the vaned diuser throat choke in case of %RN
the CVND and by inducer choke in case of both the
vaneless and the low solidity vaned diusers.
The one and only dierence between VNL1 and 0.9

VNL2 is that VNL1 is narrower in terms of width by 0.8

18% than VNL2, which makes the ow more radial 0.7

leading to shorter uid path. VNL1 showed better stall 0.6

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
margin than did VNL2 at all speeds. This is because the
ow is more radial than in VNL2 at a given ow rate. (a)
The LSVDs did not exhibit surge ow rate equivalent to
VNL1, contrary to the observations of Hayami et al. [8]
and Senoo et al. [12] (h 10). The reason for this dif- 1.1
ference could be that the LSVD vanes in the present test
had higher turning angle (h) up to 14.6 and were made 1.08

of thin at plates which are more sensitive to incidence.

The eciency of the compressor with LSVDs was
better than the vaneless diusers for a wide range of 1.04
ow. Among LSVDs, LSVD5 achieved highest peak
eciency at the cost of ow range. LSVD8 has the 1.02
lowest turning angle (9.9) among the tested diusers Poly. (Mu=1.02)
1 Poly. (Mu=0.88)
and it has high negative incidence at high ow. It might Poly. (Mu=0.69)

be predicted that the LSVD with higher vane setting

angle would achieve both better eciency and the 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2

overload capacity at lower speed than design while the (b)
stall margin would suer. LSVD5 has a solidity of 0.9, 0.6
which is the maximum solidity a low solidity vaned
diuser, as shown in Engeda [3]. Moreover, it can also 0.55 Mu=0.88
be seen that the peak eciency of the LSVDs was at- Poly. (Mu=1.02)
Poly. (Mu=0.69)
tained at higher mass ow than the CVND. Thus LSVD 0.5
Poly. (Mu=0.88)

provides greater stable operating range between peak Cp2-5

eciency ow point and surge ow. 0.45
In general the eciency and the pressure ratio of the
compressor with LSVDs were superior to the best per- 0.4

forming vaneless diuser over a wide ow range. The

ow range obtained by the LSVD was also comparable 0.35

to the vaneless diusers. Thus LSVD gives greater ex-

ibility in design as they can be adjusted to peak in per- 0.3
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
formance over a wide range of impeller ow conditions.

4.2. Eect of solidity Fig. 2. Eect of solidity on the performance at Mu 1:02. (a) Flow
range versus solidity, (b) peak eciency versus solidity, (c) diuser
Fig. 2(a)(c) show the eect of solidity on the per- pressure recovery versus solidity.
formance at three dierent rotational speeds. It is shown
in Fig. 2(a) that the ow range increases as the solidity solidity caused a reduction in blade turning angle as the
decreases and the vaneless diusers have the widest ow number of vanes was kept constant at 18. This can be
range. It is expected that if the at plate vane of LSVDs attributed to the decrease in blade turning angle. How-
were replaced by streamlined airfoil, the LSVDs would ever, it seems that the peak eciency rises with the so-
achieve the better ow range, but the objective of this lidity in Fig. 2(b). Also it can be known that the stage
work is to show the good qualities of simple low cost at with LSVD having the at plate vane oers good per-
plate LSVDs. The ow range decreases with the impeller formance at lower speed. This is because of lower den-
tip Mach number. In the present work a reduction in sity increase at lower speed. At higher speed, the ow
60 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

angle tends to decrease faster as the ow diuses within duction in blade number causes an increase in blade
the diuser. The higher the compressor speed, a lesser turning angle and accordingly in blade loading. The
turning angle vane should be used or the vane should be surge margin was improved by increasing the number of
curved. At Mu 0:69, there is small dierence both in vanes at a xed solidity. It can be explained that the
peak eciency and pressure recovery (Fig. 2(c)). As shorter vane allows the higher positive incidence angle
impeller speed increases, the dierences become higher. because of smaller turning angle.
One interesting observation in Fig. 2(c) is that the At all speeds, the LSVD with less vanes attain the
trendlines of pressure recovery at the dierent speeds best peak eciency. This might be due to the higher
encountered around the solidity of 0.35 and showed the blade turning angle which results in a shorter ow path
lowest pressure recovery. The diuser with solidity to reduce friction losses and causes more ow diusion
higher than 0.35 would achieve better pressure recovery which reduces losses in the volute.
with the impeller tip speed and vice versa one with lower
than 0.35. 4.4. Eect of turning angle
In general, the higher solidity diuser shows the
better pressure recovery and this can be a cause of a stall Fig. 4(a) and (b) show the inuence of the turning
at a higher ow rate. angle of eight dierent LSVDs on ow range and the
peak eciency, respectively at dierent rotational im-
4.3. Eect of vane number peller speeds regardless of vane number, solidity.
From Fig. 4(a), the overload capacities of the stage
Fig. 3 shows the eect of vane number on the per- running at Mu 1:02 with LSVDs lie in almost hori-
formance of the stage with the low solidity vaned dif- zontal straight line indicating the inducer choke. All
fusers of 14-vane, 16-vane, and 18-vane having the same LSVDs have almost the same overload capacity except
solidity of 0.7 at Mu 1:2. It is shown in Fig. 3 that the LSVD5 which has the highest turning angle of 14.64
overload capacities of the stage with vaneless diusers and the highest solidity of 0.9. LSVD1 has turning angle
and LSVDs are the same and 14% less for that with the of 14.6 similar to LSVD5 with solidity of 0.7. Thus
vaned diuser due to the choke at the diuser throat. decrease in overload capacity of LSVD5 resulted from
The overload capacities of the stage with VNLs and virtual throat choke caused by high solidity for a low
LSVDs correspond to the inducer choke. However, the solidity vaned diuser. The virtual throat was generated
stage with the LSVD with less number of vanes has by the pressure side stall. This has been conrmed by the
slightly better overload capacity and this becomes more numerical simulation results. As rotational impeller
clear at lower speed. However, when it comes to the stall speed decreases, the stage with LSVDs having the lower
margin the stage with fewer vane number of LSVD is turning angle show better overload capacity. The de-
better. For a xed solidity and blade inlet angle, re- crease in overload capacity results from negative inci-



=0.7 fo r LS VDs
0.7 LS VD1(Z=14)
LS VD2(Z=16)
LS VD7(Z=18)




0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3

Fig. 3. Eect of vane number on the performance at Mu 1:02.
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 61




N 1.06

1.04 Mu=0.69
1.02 Linear (Mu=0.69)
Linear (Mu=0.88)
Linear (Mu=1.02)
9 10 11 12 13 14 15

(a) Turning Angle (Degree)




N 0.8


Max. Flow@Mu=0.69
0.4 Max. Flow@Mu=0.88
Max. Flow@Mu=1.02

0.2 Min. Flow@Mu=1.02

Min. Flow@Mu=0.88
Min. Flow@Mu=0.69
9 10 11 12 13 14 15

(b) Turning Angle (Degree)

Fig. 4. Eect of turning angle. (a) Eect of turning angle on eciency, (b) eect of turning angle on ow coecient.

dence ow to the vane leading edge at lower than design pressure from stage inlet to exit measured at eight dif-
speed. It can be seen from Fig. 4(a) that the stage with ferent locations are shown and discussed regarding to
LSVD having higher turning angle exhibits the higher the factor limiting the ow. There is no signicant ob-
surge ow rate due to excessive diusion. At all speeds, served dierence in terms of pressure rises among all
the ow range gets narrower as the turning angle in- eight low solidity vaned diuser congurations at the
creases. The data are somewhat scattered in Fig. 4(b), dierent rotational speeds. Thus the data of LSVD5 and
the higher the turning angle, the higher the peak e- LSVD8 are shown only for the rotational speed of
ciency. Mu 1:02 and discussed. In Fig. 5 the ratio of the static
pressure to the stage inlet total pressure is plotted, with
4.5. Pressure rise in the stage respect to the dierent locations at which the pressure
measurements were made for dierent operating ow
In an attempt to understand the pressure rise in the points. From the static pressure characteristics of
stage with the low solidity vaned diusers, the static LSVD5 (Fig. 5(a)), the pressures from stage inlet to the
62 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

LSVD5@Mu=1.02 However, the LSVD5, the LSVD with the highest so-
lidity r 0:9, is responsible for limiting the maximum
2.2 ow. At high mass ow rates the ow has a high neg-
1.6-1.8 ative incidence on the vanes due to which the ow sep-
1.4-1.6 2
arates on the pressure side and forms a large stalled
1.8 region. This large stalled ow blocks a major area be-

Total Pressure Ratio

0.6-0.8 tween two vanes forming a virtual throat and causing
the ow to accelerate.
1.4 The pressure rise characteristics of LSVD8 is a mix-
ture of the characteristics of VNLs and CVND, which
are not shown here. It can be seen that the sudden
pressure drop occurs both in the impeller and in the
CHOKE 0.8 LSVD8 at high mass ow rate. However the maximum
ow rate attained by the stage with LSVD8 was equiv-
P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P06 alent to that of the VNLs as seen in performance char-
Pind1 Pind2 Pimp
(a) Probe Location acteristics in Fig. 1.

LSVD8@Mu=1.02 4.6. Pressure recoveries in the LSVD

1.8-2 2.2 In an attempt to understand the detailed pressure
1.6-1.8 recovery in the LSVD, the diuser was subdivided.
1.4-1.6 2
1.2-1.4 Generally a vaned diuser can be divided into three
1.8 parts: upstream vaneless space, vaned region, and
Total Pressure Ratio

0.6-0.8 downstream vaneless space. As was conrmed by the

numerical calculation, the pressure around the leading
1.4 edge changes drastically at the same radius. So the dif-
fusers are subdivided into two parts: (1) upstream
vaneless space and vaned region and (2) downstream
vaneless space. Fig. 6 shows the subdivided pressure
0.8 recoveries in the dierent diusers at the highest speed.
Fig. 6(a) represents the pressure recovery of upstream
Pind1 Pind2 Pimp P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P06 vaneless space and vaned region, and Fig. 6(b) the
(b) Probe Location downstream vaneless space. It can be seen that the
pressure is recovered in the downstream vaneless space
Fig. 5. Pressure rise in the stage with the low solidity vaned diuser. (a)
Total pressure ratio history through the compressor stage for LSVD5,
of CVND and LSVDs at high mass ow rate, while the
(b) total pressure ratio history through the compressor stage for pressure is lost. However, as the ow rate decreases,
LSVD8. Cp24 increase rapidly for a short ow rate decrement
and then gradually up to optimum point. By comparing
Cp24 and Cp45 one interesting observation for the VNLs
diuser inlet are constant for the rst two operating is that almost there is zero pressure recovery between
points. However from diuser inlet to stage exit the upstream vaneless space and vaned region at high mass
pressure rise is dierent at the other operating points, ow rate. The radius ratio of P4 probes are 1.21 and the
thus indicating that neither the inducer nor the impeller corresponding ow angles for VNL1 are between 45.6
is responsible for limiting the maximum ow through 55.7. The pressure recovery of the vaneless diusers at
the compressor. It can be seen that there is a sudden high mass ow rate is a contribution of the diusion
pressure drop in the diuser at high mass ow rates. The from a certain radius ratio. As the ow decreases, Cp45
pressure drop is due to the negative incidence loss. decreases slowly and Cp24 increases for a short ow rate
In Fig. 5(b) the sudden pressure drop can be seen in decrement and remains almost constant.
the impeller at high mass ows (Op#1 to Op#3), which
cannot be seen in LSVD5 (Fig. 5(a)) and in the diuser,
which is common for both LSVD5 and LSVD8. The 5. Numerical investigation of the LSVD
pressure drop in the impeller is caused by the inducer
choke and one in the diuser is due to the high negative 5.1. The 3-D viscous ow solver
incidence loss but its rate is less steep even a high mass
ow rate for the LSVD8. The LSVD8 is not the limiting The code employed for this present work is TASC
component for maximum ow through the compressor. ow, a commercial code, which solves the 3-D Reynolds
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 63

oq o
CVND quj 0 3
VNL1 ot oxj
0.4 LSVD1 and
LSVD6 q 4

leff ldynamic lturbulent
keff kdynamic kturbulent
The partial dierential equations are discretized by
means of an implicit formulation at each node, so that
0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 each algebraic equation contains unknown values from
(a) N its neighboring nodes. The second order accurate dis-
cretization scheme uses skewed-upwind dierencing
combined with physical advection correction. This fully
VNL1 implicit formulation avoids stability limits that occur
VNL2 with explicit methods. A nite volume approach is used,
LSVD2 which insures conservation of mass, momentum, and
LSVD5 energy over any region of the computational domain.
0.3 LSVD6

LSVD8 5.2. Grid generation and boundary conditions
A single blade passage was modeled with body-tted,
H-grid structured mesh. The blade is located in the
0.1 center of the domain and nodes are buried in the width
of the blade to improve resolution of the leading and
trailing edges, and to reduce grid skewness in these re-
0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 gions. The computational mesh, shown in Fig. 7, con-
(b) N sists of 105 50 17 gridlines in the streamwise (I),
Fig. 6. Subdivided pressure recovery in the diusers at Mu 1:02. (a) pitchwise (J) and spanwise (K) direction resulting in
Cp24 at Mu 1:02, (b) Cp45 at Mu 1:02. 89,250 nodes.
The adjacent regions of the full diuser were modeled
by periodic boundary condition. At the inlet, total
stress averaged NavierStokes (NS) equations and the pressure, total temperature, and velocity direction were
time averaged mass and energy equations in stationary specied. In every case, the inlet endwall boundary layer
or rotating frames of reference. The viscous eects are thickness was assumed to be zero, and a uniform ow
simulated by the standard ke turbulence model and log- condition across both the span and pitch was assumed.
law wall functions for a hydraulically smooth surface. The inlet boundary condition can be taken from (1)
The primitive variables are found directly with the the measurement data of the impeller exit, (2) CFD re-
methods such as the streamfunctionvorticity approach, sults of impeller simulation, or (3) 1-D ow analysis. A
which, by dierentiation of the basic NS equations, simulation using measurement data at an impeller exit is
eliminates the pressure term and reduces the number of ideal and highly relevant for code validation. But it is
equations to be solved.
In partial dierential equation form, the governing
equations for a general scalar, momentum and mass are
o o o o/
q/ quj / keff S/ 1
ot oxj oxj oxj

o o
qui quj ui
ot oxj
oP o oui ouj
 leff Sui 2
oxj oxj oxj oxi Fig. 7. Computational mesh of LSVD5 (105 50 17).
64 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

known that the traverse data obtained near the surge 1.6
and stall ows are unstable and not reliable. This mea- CVND
surement is not possible unless a test rig has the ap- 1.5 CHOKE
propriate measuring equipment including space for it. LSVD8

Casey et al. [2] carried out numerical calculations of the 1.4 NEAR
vaned diuser of a pump using three dierent inlet SURGE
boundary conditions and compared those calculation 1.3

results with each other. They found out that more
complicated inlet boundary conditions do not yield 1.2
signicantly better results than simple (uniform) inlet
boundary condition. Thus, using uniform inlet condi- 1.1
tion seemed appropriate for this work.
The inlet total pressure, total temperature, and ve- 1
0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7
locity direction were determined based on velocity tri- N
angles and checked against measured temperature rise.
At the outlet, the mass ow rate was specied. The walls Fig. 8. Pressure ratio of the stage with the ows used for the numerical
were modeled as an adiabatic smooth wall and the calculation.
logarithmic law of the wall was used as a wall boundary
condition. The wall function was used to prescribe the
shear stress on solid surfaces. LSVD5 @Mu=0.69

The ow was assumed steady, compressible, and 1.4-1.6

turbulent. The working uid was dry air governed by the 1.2-1.4 DESIGN FLOW
1-1.2 1.6
equation of perfect gas. The turbulence model used was 0.8-1
a standard ke model. 0.6-0.8 1.4
The total pressure ratio curves of the stage with the

Pressure Ratio
VNL1, the CVND, the LSVD5, and the LSVD8 and the 1.2

three selected ows used for the numerical calculation

on the constant speed line of Mu 0:69 are shown in
Fig. 8. The ratios of mass ow rates of the near surge NEAR CHOKE 0.8
and the near choke to the design ow are 0.73 and 1.41
respectively. In Fig. 9 the measured pressures divided by 0.6
Pimp P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P06
Pind 1 Pind 2
the stage inlet total pressures at dierent locations of the Probe Location
stage with LSVD5 are shown.
The calculation was carried out on a Sun Ultra1 Fig. 9. Pressure rise in the stage with the LSVD5.
Workstation until the maximum residual was less than
104 . The whole diuser geometry is shown in Fig. 10.

5.3. Pressure distributions in the diusers

Figs. 1113 show the calculated static pressure dis-

tributions of the LSVD5 and the LSVD8 for the ows of
design, near surge, and near choke respectively and at
Mu 0:69.
From Fig. 11(a), the pressure rises steeply and the
contour lines are aligned for the design ow between the
adjacent vanes of LSVD5 with an incidence angle of
^1.9. Most of the pressure recovery is achieved up to
the trailing edge of the diuser vane. The pressure rise
becomes less steep in the area from the trailing edge of Fig. 10. Geometry of the LSVD5.
the diuser vane and more and more uniform circum-
ferentially as the diuser radius increases. In tests of this pressure recovery of the LSVD8 is lower as shown in
operating speed, the peak eciency of the LSVD5 is Fig. 11(b). This agrees with the experimental data and
even higher than that of the CVND designed with the the calculated eciency dierences of the diusers be-
cambered airfoil type vane. Compared to the LSVD5, tween the LSVD5 and LSVD8 are 1.5% and 4.2% based
the pressure rise of the LSVD8 is similar but due to a on total-to-total and total-to-static calculation respec-
less ow guidance on turning from shorter vane the tively.
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 65

Fig. 11. Pressure distribution at design ow and Mu 0:69.

Fig. 12(a) and (b) represents the calculated static is directly related to the solidity and the turning angle
pressure distributions of the LSVD5 and the LSVD8 with this conguration, makes a big dierence in the
respectively at near surge ow and Mu 0:69. The in- ow eld and pressure recovery at o-design ow con-
cidence angle of these is +5.0. It is apparent for the dition. The calculated eciency dierences of the dif-
LSVD5 as shown in Fig. 6(a) that the pressure gradient fusers between the LSVD5 and LSVD8 are )2.3% and
of the diuser vane suction side is steep up to half of the )1.3% based on total-to-total and total-to-static calcu-
diuser length and then the ow is separated from the lation respectively.
suction side of the rest half of the diuser vane. This is Fig. 13(a) and (b) represent the calculated static
due to excessive blade loading from the thin at plate pressure distributions of the LSVD5 and the LSVD8
vane, which is sensitive to the incidence angle. Com- respectively at near choke ow and Mu 0:69. The in-
pared to the LSVD5, the ow of the LSVD8 has less cidence angle of these is u ^9.7. There is a hole at
separated region with the same incidence angle and the the leading edge of the vane suction side indicating the
pressure distribution at downstream of the vane trailing stagnation point. The pressure drops steeply along the
edge is more uniform circumferentially at a radius as vane suction side (lower surface) but starts to gain near
shown in Fig. 12(b). The chord length dierence, which trailing edge. However, the ow moving along the vane
66 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

Fig. 12. Pressure distribution at near surge ow and Mu 0:69.

pressure side (upper surface) starting from the stagnation vane setting angle was added and subtracted from the
point accelerates while turning around the leading edge LSVD5. The rest of parameters remain the same. The
causing sudden pressure drop. From then the diusion same boundary conditions were employed. Figs. 1417
starts. There is additional pressure rise after the trailing show the calculated results of these LSVDs where the
edge and this agrees with the experimental data. The pressure contours, the ow pattern, and the streaklines
calculated eciency dierences of the diusers between from the leading edge are combined in one gure in the
LSVD5 and LSVD8 are )0.7% and )4.0% based on total- counterclockwise direction.
to-total and total-to-static calculation respectively. This First, in an attempt to develop the overload capacity
dierence at o-design comes from the chord length. the vane setting angle was increased by two degrees
(called LSVD52 ). Fig. 14 represents the calculation
5.4. Vane setting angle eect with near choke conditions at Mu 0:69. Compared to
the LSVD5 the ow near leading edge is much healthier
In an attempt to understand the eect of the vane and yields much better diuser eciencies as shown in
setting angle on the diuser performance, two degrees of Figs. 18 and 19. However, as shown in Fig. 15, the ow
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 67

Fig. 13. Pressure distribution at near choke ow and Mu 0:69.

with near surge conditions became much worse. The vane channel is steeper than the LSVD5. It is apparent
whole area of the vane suction side stalls and the diuser that the trailing edge/suction side has less separated ow
eciencies are dropping about 5% by setting the vane zone than the LSVD5. Here at this ow condition, two-
angle two degrees radially for the same ow conditions degree vane setting angle corresponds to 5% dierence
of near surge. It seems the ow rate corresponding to the of the diuser eciencies. However, the peak eciency
peak eciency moves at a higher ow rate. seems to be lower than LSVD5. As presumed before, it
Secondly, in an attempt to increase surge margin seems that the optimum incidence angle for the maxi-
capacity the vane setting angle was reduced by two de- mum eciency is near u ^2. The pressure recovery of
grees (called LSVD52 ). Fig. 17 represents the calcula- LSVD52 at near choke ow is very poor. Due to high
tion with near surge ow conditions at Mu 0:69. negative incidence angle the separated ow at the vane
Compared to LSVD5 the ow at the vane suction side pressure side generates a thick ow blockage (Fig. 16).
stalls only near end wall area oering better diuser The ow accelerates from the vane leading edge. The
eciencies about 5%. The pressure recovery between the rst diuser eciency is the lowest among all the
68 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

Fig. 14. LSVD52 for near choke ow at Mu 0:69.

Fig. 15. LSVD52 for near surge ow at Mu 0:69.

calculated diuser including LSVD8, which oers 24% The diuser eciencies are shown in Figs. 18 and 19
higher than LSVD5. Furthermore, the second eciency based on total-to-static and static-to-static respectively.
of LSVD52 is really poor close to zero. The eect of vane setting angle on the pressure recovery
The LSVD8 has the lowest peak eciency at the de- and ow range agrees well with Sorokes and Welch [15].
sign ow due to the small turning angle. This implies the The diuser eciency is dened below.
sensitivity of the turning angle (or the solidity) to the
maximum diuser eciency. However, as the ow more 5.5. Diuser eciencies
away than the design ow the eciencies of LSVD8
become higher than LSVD5. This implies the sensitivity The diuser does not involve work transfer. The
of the ow incidence (vane setting angle) to the diuser eciency of the diuser can be dened by the ratio of
performance including operating range. a rise in enthalpy along an isentropic process to ac-
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 69

Fig. 16. LSVD52 for near choke ow at Mu 0:69.

Fig. 17. LSVD52 for near surge ow at Mu 0:69.

tual enthalpy rise from the diuser inlet to diuser suming a perfect gas, gD;T S can be related to inlet static
outlet. and out total pressure and to the inlet Mach number.
h05s0  h2  c1=c
gD;T S 5 P05
h05  h2 T05s0  T2 =T2 P2
gD;T S T05 7
h5s0  h2 T05  T2 =T2 T2
gD;SS 6
h5  h2
Using Eq. (7) reduces to
The rise in pressure taken from inlet static to outlet total  c1=c
pressure is used for the eciency, gD;T S , while the rise in P05
pressure from inlet static to outlet static pressure for the gD;T S c1
eciency, gD;SS . The process is shown in Fig. A.1. As- 2
70 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

0.9 0.9




0.75 0.7

0.7 LSVD5-2 LSVD5-2

LSVD5+2 0.6 LSVD5+2


0.6 0.5
0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
0 0

Fig. 18. The rst diuser eciency. Fig. 19. The second diuser eciency.

By a similar procedure, gD;SS can be related to From the results of the experimental investigation, it
pressure and Mach number. is found that solidity is the major parameter aecting the
   centrifugal compressor along with blade turning angle.
 1 1 c1 M52 The high ow limits for the LSVDs and VNLs tend to
P2 2
gD;SS 9 overlap at the designed rotational speed. However, the
M22  M52 LSVDs lose their equivalent overload capacity at lower
than the designed rotational speed. This eect is due to
The polytropic eciency is dened by higher sensitivity of the at plate vane to the incidence
angle, which turns to lower negative value (more inci-
c  1=c
gD;P 10 dence angle) at lower than the designed rotational speed.
n  1=n The entailed stall on the pressure surface is suspected
where P =qn const. n generally varies from diuser to form an articial throat limiting the maximum ow
inlet to outlet. An overall value can be determined from through the compressor. On the other hand, the real
throat of the CVND causes the loss of overload capacity
P5 q5 as well. This throat choke allows only a mass ow rate
that is approximately 14% less than that achieved by the
P2 q2
LSVDs and VNLs at the designed rotational speed.
or Concerning eciency, the LSVDs achieve slightly lower
!n=n1 than the vaned diuser but their behavior is similar to the
P5 T5 1 c1
M22 VNL since they obtain higher values over a wide ow
11 range. The eciency of LSVD5 (0.9 solidity and 14.6
P2 T2 1 c1
turning angle) is even higher than that of CVND at
Mu 0:69. Moreover, the peak eciency of the LSVDs
at all speeds was attained at higher mass ow than the
6. Conclusions CVND. Thus, LSVD provides greater stable operating
range between peak eciency ow point and surge ow.
Experimental investigation of a centrifugal compres- The solidity should be considered as a major design
sor with a low solidity vaned diusers along with two parameter. It gives signicant eect on the peak e-
vaneless diusers and one vaned diuser has been car- ciency and ow range; thus, it can be used as an initial
ried out to understand the eect of design parameters on design parameter to correlate other parameters like
performance. The design parameters of the LSVD blade length, vane setting angle, radius ratio of vane
include solidity, turning angle, incidence angle, and leading edge, and vane number. In general, the higher
the number of vanes. The experimental investigation solidity diuser shows the better pressure recovery and
was performed at three dierent rotational speeds this can be a cause of stall at the higher ow rate.
(Mu 0:69, 0.88, 1.02). The LSVD fullled the high The number of vanes does not have signicant eect
expectations since they seemed to combine the advan- on the overall performance. At a xed solidity a LSVD
tages of the vaned diuser systems by providing a good with fewer number of vanes provides better overload
pressure recovery over a wide ow range. capacity and peak eciency at all speeds even though
A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572 71

the dierence is small. Better eciency is due to the

higher blade turning angle which shortens the ow Specication Pressure transducer 2  P06
path through the diuser. This means less friction loss Company/Model Omega/PX425-030AV
despite the longer vane. On the other hand, a LSVD No.
with more vanes at constant solidity seems to move the Excitation 10 Vdc
surge point to lower mass ow, which might be due to Output 30 0.3 mV
the shorter vanes allowing a higher positive incidence Pressure range 050 psia
angle. The low surge ow of the vaneless diuser ob- Accuracy 0.2% span includes linearity
viously cannot be reached by any vaned diuser con- and hysteris
guration. Temperature range )54 to 120 C
The vane setting angle eect on the performance has Gages Diused semiconductor
been studied numerically using a 3-D viscous code. It
shows signicant eect on the ow range and rather less
on peak eciency. Flow range will widen with a nega- Specication Pressure transducer
tive incidence angle, which will suer peak eciency due (P4 , P03 , P05 )
to higher friction loss caused by longer ow path. An Company/Model No. Omega/HHP-201E
incidence of )2 degrees seems to be an optimal incidence Pressure range 030 psi
angle yielding the best peak eciency. However, the Display 412 digit LCD display
ow exiting impeller is not uniform in terms of velocity. Accuracy 0.2% span includes linear-
Proled leading edge based on measured data in detail ity and hysteris
from the impeller exit should be considered together for Temperature range 040 C

optimization. Remarks HHP-100C/101B/101C/101D
were used for others, which
are similar to HHP-201E
Specication Temperature reading
This paper was the result of a joint research project
Company/Model No. Omega/type T+DP460
between the Elliott Company and Michigan State Uni-
Temperature range )99.9 to 401.4 C
versity Turbomachinery Lab. The author would like to
Accuracy 0.5 C
acknowledge N. Amineni and W. Kim who conducted
Temperature coecient 0.03/C; 545 C
most of the experiments. Furthermore, the author
Repeatability 1 count
wishes to thank Mr. Ron Aungier for his valuable sug-
Time stability 1 C per year
gestions and help throughout this work.
Input impedance 20 MX
Reading rate 1 per s
Ambient temperature 545 C; 80% RH non-
Appendix A. Specications of instruments range condensing

Specication Pressure transducer

Company Validyne
Pressure range DP15-32-N3S4A Pind1 2.0 psid
DP15-34-N3S4A Pind2; DPorf 3.2 psid
DP15-36-N3S4A Pimp 5.0 psid
DP15-42-N3S4A P2 ; P3 ; P03 20 psid
DP15-44-N3S4A P4 ; P5 32 psid
DP15-46-N3S4A P06 50 psid
Excitation 5 Vrms, 35 kHz
Output 35 mV/V
Accuracy 0.25% FS includes non-linearity and hysteris,
and non-repeatability
Temperature range 0160F
Inductance 20 mH, each coil
Sensor material 410 Stainless steel
Pressure ports 1/8 -27 NPTbleed screws
72 A. Engeda / Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science 28 (2003) 5572

[2] M.V. Casey, K. Eisele, F.A. Muggli, Flow analysis in a pump

Specication Dynamic transducer
diuser, Part 2: Validation of a CFD code for steady ow, ASME
Company/Model No. PCB/112A02 FED 227 (1995) 135143.
Sensitivity 1.0 pC/psi [3] A. Engeda, A generalized design approach for low solidity vaned
diusers for centrifugal compressors, Annual Report 1996,
Resolution 0.002 psi
Turbomachinery Lab, Michigan State University, 1996.
Resonant frequency 250 kHz [4] A. Engeda, Investigation of impellerdiuser interaction on the
Rise time 2 ls basis of three types of diuser, ASME Paper 96-WA/PID-4, 1996.
Pressure range 0.01100 psi [5] A. Engeda, Comparison of pressure recovery in three dierent
Capacitance 18 pF types of diusers, ASME IGTI, Orlando FL, 1997.
[6] A. Engeda, Design and investigation of four low solidity vaned
Temperature range 400 F
diusers to asses the eect of solidity and vane number, ASME
IGTI, Stockholm Sweden, 1998.
[7] W.C. Hohlweg, G.L. Direnzi, R.H. Aungier, Comparison of
Specication Inline amplier conventional and low solidity vaned diusers, ASME Paper No.
Company/Model No. PCB/402A02 93-GT, 1993.
[8] H. Hayami, Y. Senoo, K. Utsunomiya, Application of a low
Gain 2.5 mV/psi solidity cascade diuser to transonic centrifugal compressor,
Input resistance 1011 ohm ASME Journal of Turbomachinery 112 (1990) 2529.
Input capacitance 100 pF [9] C. Osborne, J. Sorokes, The application of low solidity diusers in
Noise 15 lV rms centrifugal compressor, ow in non rotating turbomachinery
component, ASME FED 69 (1988) 89101.
[10] Y. Senoo, Japanese patent application disclosure, 119411/78, 1978
P05 (in Japanese).
h02 = h05 05 [11] Y. Senoo, Low solidity circular cascade for wide ow range
blower, in: Proceedings of Advanced Concepts in Turbomachi-
h 05s' nery, Fluid Dynamics Institute, Hanover-NH, 1981.
5 [12] Y. Senoo, H. Hayami, H. Ueki, Low solidity tandem cascade
5s' diusers for wide ow range centrifugal blowers, ASME Paper
No. 83-GT-3, 1983.
[13] Y. Senoo, Low solidity cascade diusers for wide ow range
2 centrifugal blowers, VKI Lecture Series, 1984.
s [14] J.M. Sorokes, J.P. Welch, Centrifugal compressor performance
enhancement through the use of a single stage development rig, in:
Fig. A.1. hs diagram in a diuser. Proceedings of the Twentieth Turbomachinery Symposium, Taxas
A & M University, 1991.
[15] J.M. Sorokes, J.P. Welch, Experimental results on a rotat-
References able low solidity vaned diuser, ASME Paper No. 92-GT-19,
[1] K.N. Amineni, 1996, Design and development of advanced vaned [16] E. Sutton, The performance and ow conditions within a radial
diusers for centrifugal compressors, Ph.D. thesis, Michigan State diuser tted with short vanes, British Hydromechanical Research
University, 1999. Association, Report 946, 1968.