A 3D inverse design method in which the blade (or vane) geometry is designed for specified distributions of circulation and blade thickness is applied to the design of centrifugal compressor vaned diffusers. Two generic diffusers are designed, one with uniform inlet flow (equivalent to a conventional design) and the other with a sheared inlet flow. The inlet shear flow effects are modelled in the design method by using the so-called “Secondary Flow Approximation” in which the Bernoulli surfaces are convected by the tangentially mean inviscid flow field. The difference between the vane geometry of the uniform inlet flow and non-uniform inlet flow diffusers is found to be most significant from 50% chord to the trailing edge region.

The flow through both diffusers are computed by using Denton’s 3D inviscid Euler solver and Dawes’ 3D Navier-Stokes solver under sheared inflow conditions. The predictions indicate improved pressure recovery and internal flow field for the diffuser designed for shear inlet flow conditions.

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