Aiming at reducing noise without deterioration of diffuser performance in a low solidity cascade diffuser (LSD) of a centrifugal blower, the authors have proposed to locate a shallow and short groove or a slot between the diffuser wall and the LSD blade tip limiting to near the blade leading edge. The effect of the LSD blade tip-groove on the blower characteristics and the noise characteristics were investigated experimentally as well as numerically. The mechanism being able to maintain the high LSD blade loading even at small flow rates was pursued in view points of the vortex formation and the induced secondary flow. In addition, the effect of the tip-groove length on the vortex formation in the shroud tip-groove and the secondary flow behavior in the LSD were analyzed numerically and an optimum tip-groove configuration was proposed. It is concluded that formations of the stable and intense vortex in the shroud tip-groove and the recirculating secondary flow along the shroud wall toward the impeller exit are the key factors for achieving a high LSD performance and reducing noise simultaneously at small flow rates.

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