The flow field of a high pressure ratio centrifugal compressor for turbocharger applications is investigated using a three-dimensional Navier-Stokes solver. The compressor is composed of a double-splitter impeller followed by a vaned diffuser. The flow field of the transonic open-shrouded impeller is highly three-dimensional, and it is influenced by shock waves, tip leakage vortices and secondary flows. Their interactions generate complex flow structures which are convected and distorted through the impeller blades. Both steady and unsteady computations are performed in order to understand the physical mechanisms which govern the impeller flow field while the operation ranges from choke to surge. Detailed Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) flow measurements are available at various cross-sections inside the impeller blades at both design and off-design operating conditions.

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