Previous experimental investigations revealed the existence of acoustic modes in the side cavities of a high-pressure centrifugal compressor. These modes were excited by pressure patterns which resulted from rotor/stator-interactions (often referred to as Tyler/Sofrin-modes). The acoustic modes were significantly influenced by the prevailing flow in the side cavities. The flow field in such rotor/stator-cavities is characterized by a high circumferential velocity component. The circumferential velocity of the flow and the phase velocity of the acoustic eigenmode superimpose each other, so that the frequencies of the acoustic eigenmodes with respect to the stator frame of reference follow from the sum of both velocities. In the previous study the circumferential velocity was estimated based on existing literature and the phase velocities of the acoustic modes were calculated via an acoustic modal analysis. Based on these results the rotational speeds of the compressor, where acoustic modes were excited in resonance, were determined. The present paper is based on these results and focuses on the influence of the swirling flow and the coupling of the excited acoustic modes between the two side cavities. Such a coupling has been predicted in previous numerical studies but no experimental evidence was available at that time. In this study the circumferential velocities of the flow are determined by measuring the actual radial pressure distribution in the side cavities and assuming radial equilibrium. The determined values are directly used for the prediction of the rotational speeds at resonance. The values for the rotational speeds at resonance predicted that way are compared to the resonance speeds found in the experiments. Further on, simultaneously measured pressure fluctuations in the shroud and hub side cavities with respect to the rotor frame of reference give evidence about the coupling of the acoustic modes between the two side cavities in case of resonance. If the experimentally determined swirling flow velocity is accounted for in the prediction of acoustic resonances, the calculated rotational speeds of resonance are in good agreement with the experimental findings in most cases. Neglecting the flow in the cavities, however, leads to large deviations between calculated and experimentally determined rotational speeds. Varying the operating point of the compressor results in changes of the circumferential velocities in the side cavities and, therefore, in changes of the rotational speeds of resonance. Contrary to the acoustic modes calculated via a finite element analysis by the authors of this paper in previous studies the excited acoustic modes in the experiments are mostly not coupled between the two side cavities, but are localized to one of both cavities. This finding is assumed to be caused by the flow field in the compressor.

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