Fast-response probes in multistage turbomachinery are typically used to measure unsteady flows and turbulence in a number of traverse locations throughout the machine (rotor-stator inter-regions, inlet and outlet sections, tip clearance gaps…). When used intensively, they provide complete information of time-resolved flow structures, including wake patterns, wake mixing, wake-wake and rotor-wake interactions or turbulence transport in 2D planes and even 3D pictures if the raw signals are post-processed accurately.

The segregation between deterministic, unsteady features and turbulent scales is essential to understand the unsteady mechanisms responsible for the energy transfer and requires an accurate selection of the sampling frequencies and the total length of the measured traces to assure a valid statistical reduction. Similar considerations must be made if they are filtered in a frequency basis (for example, filtering low-scale turbulence or extracting only BPF components), employing well-designed periodograms or power spectra with minimum scatter and large periods of time integration.

This work presents the general guidelines that any statistical procedure must follow to assure that phase-locked averaging results are consistent when applied to velocity signals in multistage turbomachinery. The procedure is established in terms of convergence (residuals) and coherence (error) between time-resolved traces retrieved using different sampling frequencies and number of total samples. The possible effects of three-dimensionality, the measured regions (hub, tip, midspan) or the sensibility to turbulence levels is also explored.

The proposed methodology is applied to a low-speed axial fan, so a concise survey of usual practices employed by other authors in the literature is firstly reviewed, in order to identify fundamental parameters and values typically adopted to guarantee convergence. Finally, recommendations are made as a function of the variable analysed, the wake pattern to be described or the global disorder of the flow structures inside axial flow fans.

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