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Effect of inlet vanes on centrifugal compressor acoustics and performance

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The effect of inlet guide vanes (IGVs) on the acoustic and performance characteristics of an automotive centrifugal compressor is studied on a steady-flow turbocharger experimental facility. Broadband noise accompanying flow separation occurs as the flow rate of the compressor is reduced and the incidence angle of the flow relative to the leading edge of the inducer blades increases. The addition of IGVs upstream of the inducer imparts a tangential (swirl) velocity component in the same direction of impeller rotation, which improves the incidence angle particularly at low to mid-flow rates. In the present study, experimental data is compared for three compressor inlet geometries, including a no-swirl baseline along with two different IGV configurations. IGVs were shown to slightly improve the surge line at the highest rotational speed considered in this study, while compromising the maximum flow rate at all rotational speeds. In the high-flow range, IGVs are observed to increase compressor inlet noise levels over a wide frequency range. At the more common low to mid-flow range, however, broadband whoosh noise is reduced with the addition of IGVs in the 5-12 kHz band.
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Keywords: 11.6.2; 13.2

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Ohio State University

Publication date: July 1, 2014

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