Robust Design of a Vaned Diffuser in a Centrifugal Compressor Stage With a High Load Impeller

TitleRobust Design of a Vaned Diffuser in a Centrifugal Compressor Stage With a High Load Impeller
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsAgnolucci A, Marconcini M, Biliotti D, Toni L, Baroni A, Romani L, Arnone A
Conference NameASME Turbo Expo 2023 Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition
Volume13D: Turbomachinery
Conference LocationBoston, MA, USA, June 26 – 30, 2023
ISBN Number978-0-7918-8711-0
Accession NumberWOS:001214834000045
Other NumbersScopus 2-s2.0-85177426995

Centrifugal compressors are suited for high pressure applications. Generally, many centrifugal compressor stages are stacked together in order to guarantee the overall pressure ratio implying larger machines. With the aim of more compact machines, it is possible to design high pressure ratio stages, thus reducing the total number of stages. In this case, the impeller rotates at high speed to obtain an adequate work input. That in turn implies that the flow exits the impeller and enters the following diffuser with a large tangential velocity component.

Vaned diffusers are thus more effective in this context to obtain a high pressure recovery keeping the widest operating range. Ideally, fixed diffuser blades do not present any gap between the tip of the blade and the casing however, due to assembly tolerances, the diffuser has a clearance impacting performance.

On these premises, this paper presents the optimization of a vaned diffuser exploiting artificial neural networks as a surrogate model. The maximum clearance value allowed by the manufacturing tolerances is taken into account during the optimization. The optimized geometry shows a large improvement in the diffuser performance ensuring an extended operating range. Moreover, the optimized diffuser is more gap insensitive, since the performance lay in a narrow range of variability demonstrating an improved robustness with respect to the clearance values. The performance of the optimized geometry is assessed within an experimental campaign carried out on the compressor stage.



Refereed DesignationRefereed