The effects of inlet distortion on the inducer stall in a centrifugal compressor are investigated. Cases of both radial and circumferential distortion are investigated. It is shown that the rotating stall onset is amplified by radial distortions, and restrained by circumferential distortions. These results are compared with calculations based on the small disturbance theory. The authors find that the stall onset is governed by the characteristic parameters related to the lower flow rate region for radial distortions, but affected by those of the higher flow rate region for circumferential distortion. It is shown that the process of stall is different for each distortion pattern. Existence of inlet distortion reduces compressor performance characteristics and strongly influences the stability margin.

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