This paper shows the power of spreadsheets as a strong tool in engineering teaching and research labs. In applied thermo-fluid education, even the one dimensional design or simple experimental measurement and analysis becomes a very complex exercise unless the procedure is programmed. Due to lengthy calculations and iterations, simple solutions are not possible. Exercises have therefore been limited in the classroom. But recent advances in powerful spreadsheets have opened a simple and fast way of performing design and advanced measurements. In recent times due to the introduction of a variety of mathematical soft wares, students have been relived from unnecessary time consuming chores; and therefore, complex measurements can now be carried out more comprehensively and easily. This paper reports on an experimental investigation to determine the effect of the vaneless diffuser width on the unsteady flow performance of a centrifugal compressor stage, where the whole data processing was carried out using a spreadsheet both for the steady and unsteady characteristics. Two compressor configurations with different vaneless diffuser width were investigated at four different impeller speeds and compared in the frequency and time domain. Only one diffuser rotating stall but different types of impeller rotating stalls were detected. The experiments show that the diffuser has a strong influence on the flow in the impeller including in areas way upstream. Analysis of the results indicated: • With increasing diffuser width the onset of impeller rotating stall was shifted to lower flow rates. • With increasing diffuser width the frequencies of the rotating stalls decreased. • There is a common tendency in most of the experiments to lower numbers of rotating cells with increasing relative speed. The whole data acquisition, processing and presentation are carried out using Excel.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.