There are many problems in turbomachinery which do not lend themselves to numerical analysis. One such area is the preliminary design of centrifugal compressor stages. It seems likely that expert systems technology and object-oriented programming techniques will be able to make some impact on this class of problems. This paper presents the results of the first phase of a project designed to test this assumption.

This paper describes a simple methodology for establishing the initial parameters of centrifugal compressor stages up to a pressure ratio of 5.0. The method combines heuristic rules and empirical relationships, with some very simple optimization routines. It requires very little input from the user other than aerodynamic performance requirements. Phase 1 of this project uses this methodology to estimate the initial geometry of a centrifugal compressor impeller.

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