An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the instability and performance characteristics of a single-stage centrifugal compressor exposed to wet gas. The compressor was tested at different rotational speeds and low gas mass fractions (GMFs) in an open-loop test facility with ambient air and water. The stage consisted of a shrouded impeller with a vaneless diffuser surrounded by a symmetrical circular volute with increasing cross-sectional area. Liquid was uniformly injected into the impeller eye through multiple nozzles mounted in the inlet pipe.

High-response dynamic pressure sensors flush-mounted in the diffuser were used to identify instability inception and evolution. Changes in the instability and pressure ratio characteristics at different GMFs and rotational speeds were revealed. Analysis with reference to dry gas was performed. Visual observation of the wet gas surge process at the inlet is described.

Results and analysis obtained from the experimental investigation on wet gas instability are presented. The investigation contributed to knowledge concerning the impact of wet gas on the instability and performance characteristics.

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