A numerical procedure to predict the impeller/volute interaction in a single-stage centrifugal compressor is presented. The method couples a three-dimensional unsteady flow calculation in the impeller with a three-dimensional time-averaged flow calculation in the volute through an iterative updating of the boundary conditions on the interface of both calculation domains.

The method has been used to calculate the flow in a compressor with an external volute at off-design operation. Computed circumferential variations of flow angles, total temperature and pressure are shown and compared with measurements. The good agreement between the predictions and measurements confirms the validity of the approach.

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