In an internal combustion engine, the centrifugal compressor is placed upstream of the inlet manifold and therefore, it is exposed an unsteady flow regime caused by the inlet valves of the cylinder arrangement. This valve motion sets a pulsating state at the compressor exit, having greater influence when the operation is near the surge margin of the compressor. This paper presents the experimental results of the evaluation of the surge dynamics on a compressor with induced downstream pulsating flow. Different pulsation levels are achieved by the variation of three different parameters on the induced pulse: pulse frequency, amplitude, and system storage volume (plenum). Each pulse parameter was evaluated independently in order to assess its effect on the compressor stability limit. The main effect on the surge margin of the compressor was found to be due to the presence of a storage volume in the system for all cases (steady/pulsating condition) and at all frequencies. It was found that the magnitude of the pulse frequency determines the hysteresis behavior of the system that leads to a phase difference between the convected terms and the acoustic dominated terms, and therefore this affects the onset of flow instability, surge, in the compression system under study.

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