The three-dimensional viscous flow in a low-speed centrifugal compressor stage is simulated using an average passage Navier–Stokes analysis. The impeller discharge flow is of the jet/wake type with low-momentum fluid in the shroud-pressure side corner coincident with the tip leakage vortex. This nonuniformity introduces periodic unsteadiness in the vane frame of reference. The effect of such deterministic unsteadiness on the time mean is included in the analysis through the average passage stress, which allows the analysis of blade row interactions. The magnitude of the divergence of the deterministic unsteady stress is of the order of the divergence of the Reynolds stress over most of the span from the impeller trailing edge to the vane throat. Although the potential effects on the blade trailing edge from the diffuser vane are small, strong secondary flows generated by the impeller degrade the performance of the diffuser vanes.

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