Diffusers are found to play a significant role in the performance of centrifugal compressors. Extensive studies have been in progress in various research laboratories for improvement of performance with various types of diffusers. One such effort for study of performance of a centrifugal compressor stage with Low Solidity Diffuser (LSD) vanes is presented in this paper. The study was conducted at a tip mach number of 0.35. An exclusive test rig was set up for carrying out these flow studies. The LSD vane is formed using standard NACA profile with marginal modification at the trailing edge region. The study encompasses the variation of setting angle of the LSD vane and the vane solidity. The effect of solidity and the setting angle on overall stage performance is evaluated in terms of flow coefficient, head coefficient and efficiency normalised with respect to these parameters for the case of vaneless diffuser at design flow. Improvement in performance as well as static pressure recovery was observed with LSD as compared to vaneless diffuser configuration. It is concluded from these studies that there is an optimum solidity and stagger angle for the given stage with LSD vanes for the chosen configuration.

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