As inlet bent-pipes are often used in vehicle turbocharger compressors, understanding of the inlet bent-pipe’s effect on centrifugal compressor and the mechanism of flow loss is important to improve the turbocharger compressor performance. Experiment and numerical simulation were carried out on a centrifugal compressor with straight pipe and bent-pipe. Numerical simulated compressor performance was compared with test data obtained from compressor flow bench test and to validate the numerical method. The analysis is mainly based on numerical results and it indicated that the inlet bent pipe induces a serious distortion at impeller inlet and increases the risk of blade high-cycle fatigue. The level of distortion changes to be more serious as the operation point of compressor varies from design point to high load. When an impeller channel enters distortion, the larger pressure difference between inlet and outlet makes this channel get clogged and the flow rate through this channel is reduced. At design point the bent pipe mainly influences the flow loss in the inlet pipe and impeller while at high load more serious flow distortion induced by bent-pipe is able to extend its stronger effect to the downstream diffuser and volute.

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