The three-dimensional, compressible, unsteady Navier-Stokes equations are solved to investigate the influence of the inclined leading edge diffuser vanes on the flow field and radiated noise from a transonic centrifugal compressor with high compression ratio. The computational domain is consisted of an inlet duct and a rotating impeller with splitter blades followed by a two-dimensional wedge vaned diffuser. The numerical method was validated by comparing the steady computational results with those of experiments in terms of pressure ratio and compressor efficiency at different operating points for the original diffuser. The transient simulations were verified by comparison of the velocity distribution with PIV data in normal flow condition before the onset of surge. In the case of steady simulations, seven types of diffuser vane with various inclination angles of leading edge were numerically modeled to investigate the effects of inclined leading edge on the diffuser pressure recovery and total pressure loss characteristics. The vaned diffuser with inclined leading edge reduces the interaction between the impeller discharge flow and diffuser leading edge which leads to improve the pressure recovery characteristics within the diffuser passage. Detailed flow analysis inside the diffuser passage showed the pressure ratio and compressor efficiency have been improved by the inclined leading edges. The maximum diffuser pressure recovery coefficient, 0.7185, and compressor efficiency, 84.80%, were observed in the case of 30 degree inclination angle from hub-to-shroud. In the case of transient simulations, five different inclined leading edge diffuser vanes were numerically conducted. The present study focuses on the unsteady pressure fluctuations and noise prediction within the impeller and diffuser passages at the compressor design point. The influences of inclination angle of diffuser vane leading edges on the pressure waves with different convective velocities, generated by the impeller-diffuser interaction and pseudo-periodic unsteady separation bubbles, were captured in the time/space domain along the diffuser blade surfaces. Since it is important to understand that the far-field acoustics are dominated by the internal pressure fluctuations inside the passages, the near-field pressure fluctuation spectra captured at the impeller-diffuser interface are evaluated to analyze the tonal BPF noise as the main noise source in the centrifugal compressors. It is shown that the inclined leading edges are very useful not only for improvement of the pressure recovery characteristics within the diffuser but also for the reduction of the interaction tonal BPF noise (around 7.6 dB SPL reduction). Furthermore, it was found that by using the inclined leading edge, the vortical structures and separations within the diffuser passages were reduced which may cause the attenuation of the broadband noise components and the overall sound pressure level.

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