The pressure field of deep rotating stall of a centrifugal compressor with two stall cells is analysed by means of the two-dimensional pressure pattern in the impeller determined by Chen et al. (1993). These authors transferred the pressure pattern measured on the shroud surface (i.e. in the absolute frame) to that related to the rotating blade channels. The transferred pressure pattern is thus a two-dimensional one.

The existence of the low and high pressure vortices according to the Rossby wave theory is confirmed by this experiment. The development stages of the two vortices, in combination with the Rossby wave that steers the rotating stall, can be evaluated very well.

The vortex low is developed from the front between the reverse flow (with high temperature and entropy) and the forward flow (with low temperature and entropy) due to baroclinic instability. Its center is situated within the channel of the splitter blade. This front is accompanied by a squall line of small-scaled eddies. This is the same phenomenon as can be observed on the meteorological polar front.

The vortex high is induced by the vortex low. Its embryo starts on the pressure surface. Its center is situated behind the inlet edge of the splitter blade.

It can be further verified that the stall cell is caused by the backflows of the induction fields of the two vortices (low and high).

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