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Centrifugal Compressors

Turbo machines
PP 517-532

Centrifugal Compressor Stage

Impeller
Flow
Vaneless
Space

d
2
/2
d
t
/2
d
h
/2
Diffuser
Flow through Inducer without inlet
guide vanes (Zero inlet swirl)

Flow
u
1

w
1

1

u
1

C
x1
= C
1
C
1
= 0
Flow through inducer with inlet guide
vanes

Inducer
C
1

1

w
1
= C
x1

u
1
= C
1

Entry

1
= 90

C
2

w
2
C
r2

u
2

C
2

C
1
w
1

C
r1

1

1

u
1

C
1

Impeller

d
t
/2
d
h

d
1

d
2

w
1

C
1

1

C
x1

1

u
1

C
1

w
2
= C
r2

C
2

2

2
= 90
C
2

= u
2

HOW IT WORKS

1. FLUID ENTERS THE IMPELLER THROUGH THE INDUCER
2. THE INDUCER TURNS THE FLOW THAT ENTERS IT
3. AIR LEAVES THE IMPELLER FLOWING IN THE RADIAL
DIRECTION
the flow enters the inducer part of the impeller axially
the flow leaves radially after the inducer turns it
4. FLOW PASSES THROUGH A RADIAL DIFFUSER WITH
VANED PASSAGES
-these passages decrease the flow velocity, turning the
momentum into higher pressure
5. THE SCROLL/COLLECTOR COLLECTS THE FLOW LEAVING
THE DIFFUSER AND REDIRECTS IT TOWARD THE OUTLET
THE INDUCER AND IMPELLER

INDUCER: impeller entrance section
changes the tangential fluid motion
helps the flow enter the impeller smoothly
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
* Without an inducer, there is flow separation and
violent mixing near the leading edge of the
impeller vane. The separation and mixing can
be very noisy.
* By directing the flow smoothly into the impeller,
the inducer prevents the separation and mixing,
making the compressor much quieter.

THE DIFFUSER

Velocities flowing out of the impeller, relative to the
impeller are quite low, but with a high impeller tip
speed (35,000 RPM +),
the absolute velocity leaving the impeller could
reach values above Mach 1.
The diffuser is used to reduce this velocity, while at
the same time increase the pressure.
The vane less diffuser is a simple annular channel
in which the radial velocity component is reduced by
area increase and
the tangential velocity component by the requirement
of constant angular momentum.