Secondary flows in transonic centrifugal compressor impellers affect their aerodynamic performance. In open-type impellers, low energy fluids can accumulate on the suction surfaces near the trailing edge tip side since the secondary flows and tip leakage flows interfere each other and complex flow phenomena can be generated around the impellers. Therefore, designers must consider the effect of secondary flows to avoid the aerodynamic performance degradation while designing compressor impellers. In this paper, a novel design concept about suppression of secondary flows in centrifugal compressor impellers to improve their aerodynamic performance. A transonic centrifugal compressor impeller was redesigned with the present design concept by a two-dimensional inverse method based on a meridional viscous flow calculation in this study.
A design concept was introduced in above calculation process. As the design concept, by bending vortex filaments with controlling peak positions of the blade loading distributions, induced velocity due to bound vortices at the blades was generated in radial opposite direction of the secondary flows on the suction surface.
Due to investigate the effect of the design concept in this paper, three-dimensional Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations were carried out, and the vortex cores were visualized by a critical point theory and colored by non-dimensional helicity. In the conventional transonic centrifugal compressor impeller, the secondary flow vortices were confirmed and one of the vortices was broken down. In the redesigned impeller, the breakdown of the secondary flow vortices was not observed and the accumulation of the low energy fluids was suppressed compared with the conventional impeller. The total pressure ratio and adiabatic efficiency of the redesign impeller were higher than that of the conventional impeller, and the secondary flows were successfully suppressed in this research.