Boundary layer suction can be effective in delaying compressor surge, if the surge is triggered by flow separation on the shroud- or hub-casing. This work aims at positioning a suction slot in a radial vaned diffuser, which is thought to be the limiting component in a centrifugal compressor, such as the one considered here. The location of the slot is determined based on the results of both steady and unsteady flow simulations of a transonic centrifugal compressor of a turboshaft. Although the overall performance of the compressor is well-described by steady RANS, large discrepancies are observed between the steady and unsteady simulations of the diffuser flow, discrepancies imply different flow-separation scenarios. Steady results show more low-momentum fluid near the hub, whereas it is concentrated near the shroud in the unsteady simulations, hence no valid physical conclusions can be expected from the steady simulations. Analysis of the instantaneous skin-friction distribution from the unsteady simulations reveals that the separation is fixed and leads to a slot location on the shroud casing, near the diffuser main-vane suction side, so that it covers the range of separation saddle positions as the operating point is changed.

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