Centrifugal compressors have the widest compressor application area, covering aircraft engines, small stationary gas turbines, process and refinery industries, the refrigeration industry, and turbochargers. Despite the vast literature coverage of diffuser systems for centrifugal compressors, there are not more than twenty publications in the open literature on the family of vaned diffusers known as Low Solidity Vaned Diffuser (LSVD). This is highly surprising, in light of the fact, that practically all process and refrigeration compressors manufacturers, at one time or another, have attempted to design and test LSVD. Therefore with the strong belief that any work on LSVD either theoretical or experimental will be welcomed, this paper presents the performance of two newly designed LSVD.
Comparative experimental studies on diffuser systems for centrifugal compressors, performed at the Michigan State University Turbomachinery Lab are presented. A vaneless, a conventional vaned and two low solidity vaned diffusers were tested. The results are compared for the effect of the diffuser systems on the stage performance, the maximum efficiency, and the operating range of the compressor. The effect of the vane number in low solidity vaned diffuser on the performance is also discussed.