Establishing repeatable operation of a centrifugal compressor research facility for aerodynamic investigations

Matthew Philip Dolan, Purdue University


The objective of this research has been to analyze the steady state performance of a new centrifugal compressor research facility. The CSTAR (Centrifugal STage for Aerodynamic Research) compressor has been designed to be placed as the last stage in an axial compressor and its performance in this flow regime was measured. Because the compressor was designed as a research vehicle, unique instrumentation throughout the flow path provides a detailed look at its steady state performance. Rakes at the inlet and deswirl section quantify the overall performance but other instrumentation is used to understand the component performance. Static pressure taps along the shroud, within the diffuser, and through the turn-to-axial show the static pressure rise. Additionally, rakes at the inlet and exit of diffuser also characterize the performance of the wedge diffuser and the impeller. Additionally, capacitance probes located at the knee and exducer of the impeller non-intrusively measure the size of the tip clearance during facility operation. An investigation into these measurements resulted in a standard procedure for in-situ calibration and installation to produce repeatable and accurate clearance measurements. Finally, the feasibility of future Laser Doppler Velocimetry measurements acquired through the shroud window was tested and was found to be achievable with the use of beam translators to ensure that measurement volumes are created after beam refraction through the windows. Inlet conditions of the facility have been investigated and fluctuations of the ambient conditions have been mitigated with a large settling chamber to ensure repeatable and stable operation. The current instrumentation was utilized to determine the compressor performance. Measurements of the steady performance parameters along with those of the internal flowfield are documented.




Key, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering|Mechanical engineering

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