Previous experimental and CFD investigation of a GE Oil and Gas centrifugal compressor stage with a vaneless diffuser revealed a complex excitation mechanism caused by an aero-acoustic interaction between three blade rows. In stages with vaned diffusers, additional sources of aeromechanical excitation on the impeller can be expected. This unsteady CFD investigation is a follow-up from the previous vaneless diffuser study to identify any additional sources of excitation that arise in the presence of a vaned diffuser in preparation for aeromechanic tests to be conducted later. The study confirms that excitation from impeller-diffuser interaction generated acoustic modes can dominate the potential field excitation from the diffuser vanes. In addition, a significant aero-acoustic excitation to the impeller at a vane pass frequency corresponding to the sum of the vane counts in the two downstream vane rows is observed, and its origination is discussed. The latter excitation is different from that observed in the vaneless diffuser stage where the vane pass frequency observed by the impeller corresponds to the sum of the vane counts in the upstream and downstream vane rows.

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