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Stall Margin Improvement in a Centrifugal Compressor through Inducer Casing Treatment
The increasing trend of high stage pressure ratio with increased aerodynamic loading has led to reduction in stable operating range of centrifugal compressors with stall and surge initiating at relatively higher mass flow rates. The casing treatment technique of stall control is found to be effective in axial compressors, but very limited research work is published on the application of this technique in centrifugal compressors. Present research was aimed to investigate the effect of casing treatment on the performance and stall margin of a high speed, 4 : 1 pressure ratio centrifugal compressor through numerical simulations using ANSYS CFX software. Three casing treatment configurations were developed and incorporated in the shroud over the inducer of the impeller. The predicted performance of baseline compressor (without casing treatment) was in good agreement with published experimental data. The compressor with different inducer casing treatment geometries showed varying levels of stall margin improvement, up to a maximum of 18%. While the peak efficiency of the compressor with casing treatment dropped by 0.8%-1% compared to the baseline compressor, the choke mass flow rate was improved by 9.5%, thus enhancing the total stable operating range. The inlet configuration of the casing treatment was found to play an important role in stall margin improvement.
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