Rotating stall phenomenon frequently causes the troubles such as vibrations acting on the shaft system and reduces the reliability of turbomachines. In the present study, the diffuser rotating stall in a three-stage centrifugal pump was experimentally studied. Special emphasises were placed on the geometrical conditions; an axial offset of rotor against the stationary part, which might be unavoidable due to accumulation of geometrical tolerances and assembling errors., and the radial clearances of annular leakage paths which increases the thru-flow rate at the impellers and the first and second stage diffusers. As a result, with the rotor axial offset to the suction side, the rotating stall appeared only at the third stage diffuser, while with that to the discharge side, the rotating stall was more significant. By enlarging the leakage flow passages at the inter-stage bush and the balancing flow channel, the onset range of rotating stall became narrower in the first and second stage diffusers, which was well explained by the increase of the thru-flow rate. On the other hand, with the enlarged leakage passage at the liner ring, the onset range became slightly wider.

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