Helium compressor is a main component of high temperature gas reactor (HTGR) helium power conversion unit, and its performance has significant effects on the power output and cycle efficiency. In this paper, the flow loss analysis of highly loaded axial helium compressor is carried out using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) program at both design and off-design point. To understand the loss mechanism of the highly loaded helium compressor, special attention is paid to the tip clearance loss, profile loss and the end wall loss. As is well-known, when increasing the backpressure, the specific power and adverse pressure gradient of general air compressor cascade increase as well. But the specific power and adverse pressure gradient of the highly loaded design helium compressor in this paper will decrease with the backpressure increasing due to the new velocity triangle. So the loss characteristics of the highly loaded helium compressor are different from that of air compressor. From the three-dimensional viscous numerical results, the profile loss is the most important loss source of the highly loaded helium compressor. The proportion of the highly loaded helium compressor profile loss is more than 50%.

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