This paper presents the CFD simulations of a high speed centrifugal compressor impeller using the NUMECA Fine/Turbo software with the one equation turbulence model of Spalart-Allmaras. The simulations are validated via comparison with the experimental data. The computational grid densities are changed with the impeller tip size and a grid independent study is carried out. The flow physics of the compressor impeller is numerically studied in details, in particular, the formation of shocks and their effects on the 3D flow and the secondary flow structure are analyzed at different operation conditions, with comparison to low speed machines. It is found that the energy loss production is greatly affected by the shock waves and their interaction with the boundary layers in the inducer portion, while in the other portion, the secondary flow structure is globally the same as those in low speed machines.

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