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Flow Control of Rotating Stall in a

Hiromu Tsurusaki Radial Vaneless Diffuser


Professor
The instabilities of a backflow layer on a diffuser wall and the main flow with vorticity
Takahiro Kinoshita have already been shown theoretically to cause the occurrence of rotating stall in a
Former Graduate Student vaneless diffuser. These instabilities, however, have not yet been proven to exist experi-
mentally. This study was carried out to examine the factors contributing to the occurrence
Department of Mechanical Engineering, of rotating stall using a jet installed in a diffuser. Rotating stall was completely sup-
Fukuyama University, pressed by a jet that was set in the direction opposite to the vector of the impeller
Fukuyama, Hiroshima 729-0292 Japan peripheral velocity, and amplified by the jet set in the same direction as that vector. The
e-mail: htsu@fume.fukuyama-u.ac.jp effects of the jets were confirmed by the experiment using the jets installed at positions
other than the neighborhood of the diffuser wall. The results suggest that the instability of
the main flow contributes to the onset of rotating stall. The factors contributing to the
onset of rotating stall and the effect of the jet on the performance of the impeller-diffuser
combination are discussed. DOI: 10.1115/1.1351174

Introduction The impeller was driven by a motor at a rotational speed of 2100


rpm. The specifications of the impeller and the vaneless diffuser
It is well known that rotating stall occurs in the vaneless dif-
are shown in Table 1.
fuser of a centrifugal fan/compressor. The fluid oscillation due to
The jet used in the experiment was constructed as follows. Air
rotating stall in many cases limits the stable operation range of the
pressurized in the blower was introduced into the flow meter, the
turbomachine. Many of the studies that were carried out on rotat-
flow distributer, the vinyl tubes and nozzles, and then flowed out
ing stall in vaneless diffusers dealt with the flow patterns present
from nozzle-holes 1 mm in diameter Fig. 2 in the direction par-
during rotating stall Tsurusaki et al. 1, the methods for predict-
allel to the diffuser wall. The velocity of the jet was 61 m/s. Eight
ing the initiation flow rate and rotational speed of stall cells based
nozzles were arranged at the same azimuthal intervals on a circle
on experimental results Kinoshita and Senoo 2, Tsurusaki et al.
with r/r 2 1.06. The flow direction of the jet was set by a pro-
3, and passive/active control methods Abdelhamid 4,
tractor attached to the nozzle. All of the vinyl tubes had the same
Yoshida et al. 5, Kurokawa et al. 6. The instabilities that oc-
length so that the flow rates through each of the jets were the
cur between the backflow layer on the diffuser wall and the main
same. The total flow rate of the eight jets was 23 l/min, which
flow with vorticity were identified as factors contributing to the
was equivalent to 3% of the flow coefficient 0.074 when ro-
occurrence of rotating stall by theoretical analyses Jansen 7,
tating stall was fully developed. This value was fixed regardless of
Abdelhamid 8. The unsteady interaction between the inviscid
the flow direction of the jet.
main flow and the boundary layers was studied as a theoretical
model of rotating stall Frigne and Van den Braembussche 9.
At the critical flow rate for the onset of rotating stall, the flow Measurement Method
angles were measured near the diffuser wall along the radius of A semiconductor-type pressure transducer was mounted at the
the diffuser Imaichi and Tsurusaki 10. In the experiment, the position r/r 2 1.06 on the wall, in the neighborhood of the dif-
radial extent of the backflow layer at the critical flow rate was fuser inlet. The frequency spectra of the pressure fluctuations were
estimated to be about 15 percent of the diffuser radial length. For measured using a FFT analyzer. A frequency spectrum was ob-
convenience, the flow rate when the backflow layer develops on tained from the ensemble average of 128 spectra by using an
the diffuser wall can be considered the initiation flow rate of ro- averaging function of the FFT analyzer. The measurement system
tating stall. However, the process of the transition of the backflow is shown in Fig. 3a. The pressure measurement point and the
layer to rotating stall, and the instability of the main flow itself nozzle position were located at different azimuthal locations. It
remain to be clarified. The mechanism of the occurrence of rotat- was confirmed that the influence of the jet on the measured value
ing stall remains unknown. of the pressure fluctuation was negligible. The stall cell number
The main objective of this study is to examine experimentally was obtained from the equation / , by using the phase dif-
the factors contributing to the occurrence of rotating stall. To this ference degree of the pressure fluctuations measured at two
end, a jet was introduced into the flow to control rotating stall. points located apart degree on the circle with r/r 2 1.06. The
The jet was directed parallel to the diffuser wall. The effect of the
jet on the performance of the impeller-diffuser combination is also
discussed.

Experimental Apparatus
The experimental apparatus is shown in Fig. 1. Air pressurized
in the booster blower was piped into a flow meter, the suction
pipe, the two-dimensional centrifugal impeller, and the parallel
walled vaneless diffuser, and finally emitted to the atmosphere.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL


OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Fluids Engineering Division
September 21, 1999; revised manuscript received December 1, 2000. Associate Edi-
tor: D. Williams. Fig. 1 Experimental apparatus

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Table 1 Specifications of impeller and vaneless diffuser

Fig. 4 Frequency spectra of pressure fluctuation. Uncertainty


of data: f : 0.125 Hz, : 0.001, pressure amplitude: 6%.

impeller is 0.104, which means that rotating stall of the vaneless


diffuser was initiated at a flow rate slightly higher than that. By
comparing the rotational speed of the stall cell with that measured
previously Tsurusaki et al. 3, it was judged that the fluctuation
measured here was due to rotating stall of the vaneless diffuser.
When 0.030.10, the 1-, 2-, and 3-cell components appear
at the same flow rate, but they have different rotational speeds. As
the flow rate decreases to the region of 00.05, the amplitude
of 2-cell component becomes large, while other components be-
come small and finally disappear.

Dependence of Control Effect on the Flow Angle of Jet.


The variation of the pressure fluctuation nondimensional ampli-
Fig. 2 Jet nozzle inserted in diffuser tude of the fundamental component with the flow angle of the

Fig. 3 Measurement systems of pressure fluctuation a and


of velocity fluctuation b

phase difference was obtained from the phase of the cross spec-
trum between the two points. The rotational speed, f r , of the stall
cell was determined from f r f /, by using the fundamental fre-
quency, f, of rotating stall and the cell number .
An I-type hot wire probe was inserted vertically into the dif-
fuser at the position r/r 2 1.52, and the frequency spectra of the
velocity fluctuations were measured at several points located
along the diffuser depth. In the measurements, the wire of the
probe was aligned with the radial direction of the diffuser. The
measurement system is shown in Fig. 3b.
The performance of the impeller-diffuser combination was ob-
tained by the measurement of the pressure difference between the
diffuser exit and the impeller inlet.

Experimental Results and Discussion


Conditions of Rotating Stall. Figure 4 shows the frequency
spectra of the pressure fluctuation measured at r/r 2 1.06. The
flow coefficient of the impeller was varied between 0.116 and
zero. Three groups of discrete frequencies due to rotating stall of
the vaneless diffuser are observed. The stall cell number of each
group is 1, 2, and 3 from the left in the figure.
Figures 5a and 5b show the variation of nondimensional
amplitude of the fundamental component of the pressure fluctua-
tion with the flow coefficient , and that of nondimensional rota- Fig. 5 a Nondimensional pressure amplitude and b rota-
tional speed of the stall cell, respectively. The points shown as tional speed ratio of cells. Uncertainty of data: : 0.001,
zeros indicate that rotating stall was not observed in the measure- p u 22 :6%, f r f i : 0.004 1 cell, 0.002 2 cells, 0.001 3
ment. The flow coefficient for the shock-free entry of the tested cells.

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Fig. 6 Dependence of control effect on jet direction a 2-cell
component and b 3-cell component. Uncertainty of data: :
1 deg, p u 22 : 6%.

jet installed at z j /b0.03 is shown in Figs. 6a and 6b. Solid


and open circles represent the cases with and without the jet,
respectively. 0 designates the direction which is opposite to
the vector of the impeller peripheral velocity, 90, the diffuser
outlet direction, and 180, the direction of the impeller periph-
eral velocity vector. At 0.074, rotating stall cells 2 and 3
cells were completely controlled by the jet in the 0 direction,
and amplified by the jet oriented in the 180 direction. How-
ever, at 0, rotating stall was not amplified by the jet oriented
in the 180 direction, although it was suppressed by the jet over
a wide range of . The same experiments were carried out with
the jet positioned at z j /b0.46 and 0.91, at 0.074 and
0. In those experiments, the suppression was achieved over a Fig. 7 Dependence of control effect on jet position a 1-cell
wide range of regardless of the cell number; however, no am- component, b 2-cell component, and c 3-cell component.
plification was observed. Uncertainty of data: z j b : 0.03, p u 22 : 6%.
Dependence of Control Effect on the Location of Jet. As
the dependence of the control effect on the flow angle of the jet
was clarified, the location of the jet was changed along the dif- effect of amplification in the case of 180 varies according to
fuser depth direction for two cases of 0 and 180. Figures the jet location. The 2-cell component was amplified by the jet
7a7c show the results at 0.072, where the abscissa des- near z j /b0. The 3-cell component was amplified by the jet be-
ignates the location of the jet. Open circles represent the case tween z j /b0.5 and 0.8, and at the same time the 2-cell compo-
where the jet was not activated, although the nozzles were in- nent was suppressed. The 1-cell component was suppressed even
serted into the diffuser. Solid circles and triangles represent the in the case of 180 except in the neighborhood of z j /b1.0.
case of 0 suppression and 180 amplification, respec- Figure 8 shows the results measured at 0. The 2-cell com-
tively. At this flow rate, the 1-, 2-, and 3-cell components coexist ponent was amplified by the jet in the 180 direction near
under the condition without control. In the case of 0, all com- z j /b0.5, but it was suppressed near z j /b0.
ponents were controlled regardless of the jet location, and espe- It became clear that rotating stall was amplified or suppressed
cially the 2-cell component disappeared completely. However, the by the jet even when it was installed at positions other than the

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Fig. 8 Dependence of control effect on jet position. Uncer-
Fig. 10 Dependence of control effect on flow coefficient ve-
tainty of data: z j b : 0.03, p u 22 : 6%. locity fluctuation. Uncertainty of data: : 0.001, v u 2 :
6%.

neighborhood of the diffuser wall. This shows that the flow near
the wall backflow is not the only factor contributing to the oc-
show the results for 2- and 3-cell components. Open circles rep-
currence of rotating stall. The instability of the main flow may
resent the case where the jet nozzle is not inserted into the dif-
have also caused rotating stall.
fuser, and solid circles and triangles represent the cases of 0
Dependence of Control Effect on Flow Rate. The jet was and 180, respectively. In the case of the jet directed at 0,
introduced at z j /b0.03, and pressure and velocity fluctuations rotating stall was completely suppressed at a comparatively high
were measured at several flow coefficients. Figures 9a and 9b flow rate, but it was not suppressed by the jet velocity used in this
experiment at a low flow rate. In the case of the jet at 180, the
3-cell component was amplified at 0.080.12, but suppressed
at 0.030.08. The 2-cell component was amplified over the
range 0.030.08. This phenomenon was also observed under
the conditions without control.
Figure 10 shows the velocity fluctuations for the 2-cell compo-
nent measured inside the diffuser at r/r 2 1.52 by using a hot
wire probe whose wire was set in the radial direction. Rotating
stall was completely suppressed at a comparatively high flow rate,
and amplified at low flow rates except for the zero flow rate case.
From this experiment, it is obvious that suppression and amplifi-
cation of rotating stall occur not only at the inlet but also inside of
the diffuser.

Change of the Rotational Speed of Stall Cells Due to Con-


trol. Figure 11 shows the variation of the nondimensional rota-

Fig. 9 Dependence of control effect on flow coefficient pres- Fig. 11 Dependence of control effect on flow coefficient rota-
sure fluctuation a 2-cell component and b 3-cell compo- tional speed ratio of cells. Uncertainty of data: : 0.001,
nent. Uncertainty of data: : 0.001, p u 22 : 6%. f r f i : 0.002.

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Fig. 13 Effect of jet on performance of tested fan. Uncertainty
of data: : 0.001, p u 22 : 0.02.

peripheral velocity of the main flow/peripheral velocity of the


impeller at rr 2 , and peripheral velocity of the jet/peripheral
velocity of the main flow at rr 2 . can be assumed to be a
constant value of 0.5 from the previous experiment Tsurusaki
et al. 3, is equal to 6 in the present experiment, and m is
varied as the flow rate of the impeller changes.
Figure 12a shows the variation of tan according to the
flow coefficient. The critical flow coefficient for the onset of ro-
tating stall is 0.105 in the case without nozzle Fig. 9a. The
dotted line in Fig. 12a was located so that the flow coefficient in
the intersection point of the dotted line with the curve without
Fig. 12 a Effect of jet on flow angle of main flow calculated jet extended was 0.105. In the case of 0, the flow angle
and b effect of jet on peripheral velocity of main flow calcu- becomes large at both large and very small flow coefficients. In
lated, r r 2 1.5
the previous studies Jansen 7, Abdelhamid 8, it was estab-
lished that the flow is stable at large flow angles. Therefore, this
calculated result shows that the flow becomes stable. In the case
tional speed of the stall cells for the two cases of jet directions, of 180, the flow angle becomes small, therefore, the flow re-
0 and 180, where the jet was set at z j /b0.03. Open circles mains unstable. Although the present consideration is based on the
represent the case where the nozzles were not inserted. With the averaged value of the flow angle along the diffuser depth, the
jet at 180, the rotational speed of the cells was increased result on the flow stability agrees qualitatively with the measured
slightly at low flow rates compared to the case without the nozzle. results.
This is based on the increment of the time-averaged peripheral Figure 12b shows the variation of the peripheral velocity ra-
velocity of the flow. It is established theoretically Abdelhamid tios calculated at r/r 2 1.5 with the flow coefficient. The incre-
8 and experimentally Tsurusaki et al. 3 that the rotational ment of the peripheral velocity due to the jet at 180 is smaller
speeds of the cells are proportional to the peripheral velocity of than the decrement of that due to the jet at 0. The changes of
the flow. The rotational speed of the cells was decreased markedly the measured rotational speeds of the cells due to the jets Fig. 11
when rotating stall was suppressed by the jet at 0. Though the are qualitatively conformable with the changes of the peripheral
jet velocity was the same for the two cases of 0 and 180, the velocity calculated over the range 00.05. The peripheral ve-
degree of change of the rotational speed of the cells was quite locity calculated in the case of 180 becomes very large at very
different. This remarkable effect of the jet is discussed in detail in low flow coefficients. However, in the case of 180, the real
the next section. peripheral velocity will not be so large at very low flow coeffi-
Consideration of Effect of Jet. The effect of the jet on the cients, because the pressure fluctuation Fig. 9a and the rota-
flow stability, that is, suppression/amplification of rotating stall, tional speed of the cells Fig. 11 are not so large compared to
can be explained based on the conservation law of the moment of those measured in the case without jet.
momentum. From the equations of the moment of momentum and The effect of the jet on the performance of the impeller-diffuser
continuity, the flow angles and the nondimensional peripheral ve- combination is shown in Fig. 13 over the range of when rotating
locities for the two cases of 180 and 0 are expressed, as- stall occurred. In the case of 0, a five percent decrement of the
suming r j r 2 for simplicity of calculation, as pressure rise is observed compared to the case without jet. This is
due to the decrement of the peripheral velocity of the flow Fig.
tan 1m 2 / 1m , 12b. In the case of 180, in spite of the increment of the
peripheral velocity, the pressure rise is nearly equal to that in the
c u /u 2 r 2 /r 1m / 1m ,
case without jet. It is believed that kinetic energy given by the jet
where and denote the cases of 180 and 0, respec- was almost dissipated in the diffuser due to rotating stall strength-
tively, mflow rate of the jet/flow rate of the impeller, ened with the jet.

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Uncertainty Estimation z position measured from the upper wall of the diffuser
m
The uncertainties in the measured data were estimated using a
flow angle measured from the tangent of the diffuser
formula for propagation of errors given in ASME PTC19.1-1985.
degree
Conclusions p pressure rise of impeller-diffuser combination Pa
flow angle of the jet degree
The main results of this study are as follows: air density kg/m3
1 It is believed that the instability of the main flow contributes flow coefficient radial velocity/impeller peripheral ve-
to the occurrence of rotating stall. locity at impeller outlet
2 Rotating stall can be suppressed or amplified by the jet set in Subscripts
the directions of 0 or 180, respectively. In particular, rotating 2 impeller outlet diffuser inlet
stall is completely suppressed at a comparatively high flow rate. h hot wire probe
However, the performance of the impeller-diffuser combination is j jet
reduced with the control jet at 0. u peripheral direction
3 The control effect of a jet on rotating stall can be explained
qualitatively using the conservation law of the moment of mo-
mentum.
References
4 The phenomenon that the alternate amplification/suppression 1 Tsurusaki, H., et al., 1984, Rotating Stall in a Vaneless Diffuser of a Cen-
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observed Figs. 9a and 9b. 2 Kinoshita, Y., and Senoo, Y., 1985, Rotating Stall Induced in Vaneless Dif-
fusers of Very Low Specific Speed Centrifugal Blowers, ASME J. Eng. Gas
Acknowledgment Turbines Power, 107, No. 2, pp. 514521.
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The authors wish to thank Mr. T. Yokota, who is a former ers of Centrifugal Fans, JSME Int. J., 30, No. 260, pp. 279287.
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b
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fi
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fr
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