An inverse design technique to design turbomachinery blading with splitter blades in three-dimensional flow is developed. It is based on the use of Clebsch transformation which allows the velocity field to be written as a potential part and a rotational part. It is shown that the rotational part can be expressed in terms of the mean swirl schedule (the circumferential average of the product of radius and tangential velocity) and the blade geometry that includes the main blade as well as the splitter blade. This results in an inverse design approach in which both the main and the splitter blade geometry are determined from a specification of the swirl schedule. Previous design study of a heavily-loaded radial inflow turbine, without splitter blades, for a rather wide variety of specified mean swirl schedules result in a blade shape with unacceptable non-radial blade filament; the resulting reduced static pressure distribution yields an “inviscid reverse flow region”1 covering almost the first half of the blade pressure surface. When the inverse design technique is applied to the design study of the turbine wheel with splitter blades, the results indicate that the use of splitter blades is an effective means for making the blade filament at an axial location more radial as well as a potential means for eliminating any “inviscid reverse flow” region that may exist on the pressure side of the blades.

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