The PIV (Particle Image Velocimetry) technology is a brand-new technique of measuring velocity. It started in the 1980’s with the development of high-speed photography and the image processing technique of computers. This article deals with PIV applied to the study of unsteady impeller-vaneless diffuser interaction in centrifugal fen. Experiments were carried out at The Turbomachinery Laboratory of Shanghai Jiaotong University. The test rig consists of a centrifugal, shrouded impeller, diffuser and volute casing all made of plexiglass. A series of performance measurements were carried out at different speeds and different vaneless diffuser widths. PIV measurements were applied to measure the unsteady flow at the exit part of the impeller and the inlet part of the diffuser for the case of the same width vaneless diffuser. The absolute flow field is measured at medium flow rate and at maximum flow rate. It is informative to capture the whole flow field at the same instant of time, and it might be more revealing to observe the unstable flow in real time.

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