Predictions of turbulent flow for the impeller of a NASA low-speed centrifugal compressor

K. M. Guleren, I. Afgan, A. Turan

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21 Scopus citations


The turbulent flow inside a low-speed centrifugal compressor at design condition is investigated using large-eddy simulation (LES) comprising of up to 26 ×10 6 computational volume cells. Unlike in the past, the current study's special emphasis is placed on the turbulence field evolution inside the impeller. LES predictions suggest that the Boussinesq hypothesis does not seem to be valid, especially near the exit of the impeller where the blade unloading takes place. Reynolds stress variations show a tendency toward an "axisymmetric expansion" type of turbulence after the impeller exit for which the subgrid-scale stress contribution shows a monotonic decrease. Probability density function analysis for the leakage flow show that instantaneous velocities in the wake region are less intermittent as compared with those in the jet. Time spectra analysis display also another feature that the energy cascade proceeds at a higher rate and lasts longer in the wake region than in the tip jet region.

Original languageBritish English
Article number021005
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Centrifugal compressor
  • LES
  • Tip leakage
  • Turbulence


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