The centrifugal compressor for a marine use turbocharger with its design pressure ratio of 3.2 was tested with a vaneless diffuser and various vaned diffusers. Vaned diffusers were chosen to cover impeller operating range as broad as possible. The analysis of the static pressure ratio in the impeller and the diffusing system, consisting of the diffuser and scroll, showed that there were four possible combinations of characteristics of impeller pressure ratio and diffusing system pressure ratio, The flow rate, QP, where the impeller achieved maximum static pressure ratio, was surge flow rate of the centrifugal compressor determined by the critical flow rate. In order to operate the compressor at a rate lower than QP, the diffusing system, whose pressure recovery factor was steep negative slope near QP, was needed. When the diffuser throat area was less than a certain value, the compressor efficiency deteriorated; however, the compressor stage pressure ratio was almost constant. In this study, by reducing the diffuser throat area, the compressor could be operated at a flow rate less than 40 percent of its design flow rate. Analysis of the pressure ratio in the impeller and diffusing systems at design and off-design speeds showed that the irregularities in surge line occurred when the component that controlled the negative slope on the compressor stage pressure ratio changed.

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Yoshinaka, T., 1977, “Surge Responsibility and Range Characteristics of Centrifugal Compressors,” 1977 Tokyo Joint Gas Turbine Congress.
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