Investigation of a centrifugal compressor and study of the area ratio and TIP clearance effects on performance

Research paper by Mahdi Nili-Ahmadabadi, Ali Hajilouy-Benisi, Mohammad Durali, Farhad Ghadak

Indexed on: 05 Dec '08Published on: 05 Dec '08Published in: Journal of Thermal Science


In this research, the centrifugal compressor of a turbocharger is investigated experimentally and numerically.Performance characteristics of the compressor were obtained experimentally by measurements of rotor speed and flow parameters at the inlet and outlet of the compressor. Three dimensional flow field in the impeller and diffuser was analyzed numerically using a full Navier-Stokes program with SST turbulence model. The performance characteristics of the compressor were obtained numerically, which were then compared with the experimental results. The comparison shows good agreement. Furthermore, the effect of area ratio and tip clearance on the performance parameters and flow field was studied numerically. The impeller area ratio was changed by cutting the impeller exit axial width from an initial value of 4.1 mm to a final value of 5.1 mm, resulting in an area ratio from 0.792 to 0.965. For the rotor with exit axial width of 4.6 mm, performance was investigated for tip clearance of 0.0, 0.5 and 1.0 mm. Results of this simulation at design point showed that the compressor pressure ratio peaked at an area ratio of 0.792 while the efficiency peaked at a higher value of area ratio of 0.878. Also the increment of the tip clearance from 0 to 1 mm resulted in 20 percent efficiency decrease.