Detailed steady and unsteady experimental measurements and analysis were performed on a Single stage Transonic Axial Compressor with asymmetric rotor tip clearance for studying the compressor stall phenomena. The installed compressor had asymmetric tip clearance around the rotor casing varying from about 0.65mm to 1.25mm. A calibrated 5-hole aerodynamic probe was traversed radially at exit of rotor and showed the characteristics of increased flow angle at lower mass flow rates for all the speeds. Mach number distribution and boundary layer effects were also clearly captured. Unsteady measurements for velocity were carried out to study the stall cell behavior using a single component calibrated hotwire probe oriented in axial and tangential directions for choke/free flow and near stall conditions.
The hotwire probe was traversed radially across the annulus at inlet to the compressor and showed that the velocity fluctuations were dissimilar when probe was aligned axial and tangential to the flow. Averaged velocities across the annulus showed the reduction in velocity as stall was approached. Axial mean flow velocity decreased across the annulus for all the speeds investigated. Tangential velocity at free flow condition was higher at the tip region due to larger radius. At stall condition, the tangential velocity showed decreased velocities at the tip and slightly increased velocities at the hub section indicating that the flow has breakdown at the tip region of the blade and fluid is accelerated below the blockage zone. The averaged turbulent intensity in axial and tangential flow directions increased from free flow to stall condition for all compressor rated speeds. Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the raw signals at stall flow condition showed stall cell and its corresponding frequency of occurrence. The stalling frequency of about half of rotational speed of the rotor along with large tip clearance suggests that modal type stall inception was occurring.