Centrifugal Compressor Performance Enhancement Through The Use Of A Single Stage Development Rig.
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Despite recent advances in computation fluid dynamics, the complex flows through centrifugal compressor components are still not totally understood. These uncertainties detract from the designer's ability to accurately predict component performance. Consequently, design verification remains largely dependent on performance testing. Some data can be gathered during testing of production units. However, this information can be somewhat limited, i.e., only overall or stage data, no component data. A more direct approach is to gather the required data in a single stage research vehicle. Recent experiences in the use of such a rig are presented. The advantages of rig production testing are described. Also included is a description of the test rig facilities used: the rig itself; the instrumentation; and the data acquisition system. A recent performance comparison of two three-dimensional impellers is discussed. A stage containing the first wheel exhibited an undesirable droop in pressure rise toward surge. Therefore, a new arbitrary bladed, inducer-style impeller was developed and validated in the rig. Test results for both wheels are presented. Tests being conducted using a variable geometry low solidity vaned diffuser (LSO) are also cited. Included are comments on the advantages/disadvantages of LSOs, prior experience, and the factors which prompted the test program. Recent test results are submitted which show the effect of LSD setting angle on stage performance. The authors conclude that single stage rig testing is essential to: acquire a better understanding of existing stages; verify new stage or component designs; validate design procedures; and develop the technology necessary to achieve enhanced compressor performance.
Sorokes, James M.; Welch, John P. (1991). Centrifugal Compressor Performance Enhancement Through The Use Of A Single Stage Development Rig.. Texas A&M University. Turbomachinery Laboratories. Available electronically from