This paper deals with the numerical and theoretical investigations of the effect of geometrical dimensions and one-dimensional (1D)-design parameters on the impeller pressure slope of a transonic centrifugal compressor stage for industrial process application. A database being generated during the multi-objective and multipoint design process of a high flow coefficient impeller, comprising 545 computational fluid dynamics (CFD) designs is investigated in off-design and design conditions by means of Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) simulation of an impeller with vaneless diffuser. For high flow coefficients of 0.16 < ϕdes < 0.18, the CFD-setup has been validated against measurement data regarding stage and impeller performance taken from MAN test rig experimental data for a centrifugal compressor stage of similar flow coefficient. This paper aims at answering the question how classical design parameter, such as the impeller blade angle distribution, impeller suction diameter, and camber line length affect the local and total relative diffusion and pressure slope toward impeller stall operation. A second-order analysis of the CFD database is performed by cross-correlating the CFD data with results from impeller two-zone 1D modeling and a rapid loading calculation process by Stanitz and Prian. The statistical covariance of first-order 1D-analysis parameters such as the mixing loss of the impeller secondary flow, the slip factor, impeller flow incidence is analyzed, thereby showing strong correlation with the design and off-design point efficiency and pressure slope. Finally, guide lines are derived in order to achieve either optimized design point efficiency or maximum negative pressure slope characteristics toward impeller stall operation.

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