New evidence about the time domain operation of centrifugal compressors and pumps in compliant systems is presented. Data from Toyama [1,2] plus unpublished data from another compressor indicate that the flow rate oscillates continuously, at large amplitudes, when a compressor is operating in its supposedly stable regime. A tentative flow model predicts similar oscillations. The model assumes that the compressor operation at all times is described by its quasi-steady characteristic; no hysteresis or complex aerodynamic phenomena have been invoked.

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