High speed centrifugal compressors are used in turbochargers and in small gas turbine engines that typically power cruise missiles, helicopters and auxiliary power units (APU). Centrifugal compressors have wider operating range compared to axial compressor and are compact. Though centrifugal compressors having a pressure ratio of the order of 12:1 per stage have been demonstrated with reasonably good isentropic efficiencies, achieving a wider operating range has always been a challenge. A Turbocharger that needs to be designed to function both at sea-level and 5 km altitude conditions, requires a wider compressor map to accommodate the diesel engine operating line. A wider compressor map can be achieved by various techniques. The approaches used in the present study include providing pinch in the diffuser entry region and ported shroud arrangement in the compressor casing. A parametric study has been carried out by varying geometric parameters and an appropriate configuration that offers lower total pressure loss and better diffuser pressure recovery is chosen. The flow mechanisms responsible for better performance is investigated numerically for various configurations with diffuser pinch. To further enhance the operating range, a ported shroud configuration in the compressor housing is designed and analysed with the finalized diffuser pinch. Results of computational analysis for different ported shroud slot geometries have been studied numerically and are presented. Two configurations have been tested in a turbo-drive based test rig. The first configuration is only with diffuser pinch and the second configuration is with diffuser pinch and ported shroud. The extent of map width enhancement obtained by each technique is presented and compared with numerical analysis. The test results show good match with the predicted trend and confirms that diffuser pinch and ported shroud configurations offer significant enhancement in achieving a wider operating range. The flow mechanisms responsible are discussed in detail in the paper.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.