Experiments were conducted on a diagonal-flow machine to study the behaviour of flow. Measurements showed that at reduced flow rates, reversal of flow occurs near the tip upstream of the rotor and near the hub downstream. At high flow rates, the flow reverses near tip at downstream only. In fact, there is only a limited regime of operation where the flow is not reversed before or after the impeller. The best fluid-dynamic efficiency was observed to be midway of this non-reversed flow regime.

Through-flow solutions of the mean hub-to-tip streamsurface were carried out by streamline curvature computation and compared with experimental results. The comparison showed good agreement of the predicted values with the experimental data. However, attempts to compare theoretical estimates of rotor losses with experimental measurements showed that the existing loss models are inadequate for loss prediction and further work is required in this direction.

The head-flow characteristic of the machine showed a droop at reduced flow rates, typical of what one usually notices in an axial-flow machine with the onset of blade stall. Study of the time history of velocity downstream of rotor illustrated that unlike rotating ‘stall-cells’ in axial-flow machines, the blade stall in the present case did not possess any regular pattern nor any unique speed of propagation. Near the hub at downstream of rotor, where the flow finally reverses upon reduction of flow rate, the stall appeared as patches of ‘blockage’ type disturbance over an otherwise systematic train of blade wakes when the flow coefficient reaches a value where the droop in the characteristic curve starts.

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