Transonic centrifugal compressors are used with high-load turbochargers and turboshaft engines. These compressors usually have a vaned diffuser to increase the efficiency and the pressure ratio. To improve the performance of such a centrifugal compressor, it is required to optimize not only the impeller but also the diffuser. However the flow field of the diffuser is quite complex and unsteady because of the impeller located upstream. Although some research on vaned diffusers has been published, the diffuser flow is strongly dependent on the particular impeller exit flow, and some of the flow physics remain to be elucidated. In the research reported here, detailed flow measurements within a vaned diffuser were conducted using a particle image velocimetery (PIV). The vaned diffuser was designed with high subsonic inlet conditions marked by an inlet Mach number of 0.95 for the transonic compressor. As a result, a complex three-dimensional flow with distortion between the shroud and the hub was observed. Also, unsteady flow accompanying the inflow of the impeller wake was confirmed. Steady computational flow analysis was performed and compared with the experimental results.

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