According to experiments described in the literature, radial grooves in vaneless diffuser walls are simple and powerful devices for suppressing rotating stall. To understand the mechanism behind the grooves and find some guidelines for diffuser designers, a detailed numerical study based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) was carried out. Not only the flow field variation caused by the grooves but also a simple model graphing the underlying nature was established. Also, the classic boundary layer integral method widely used in practical design procedure was adopted to calculate the diffuser flow distribution to verify the model. The CFD analysis indicated that the effectiveness of the grooves increases the flow angle thus delaying the diffuser wall flow reversals. The recommended placement of the grooves was in the region with reversed flow. Such locally fixed groove could effectively delay the stall without too much pressure loss. Also, a combined variable, representing the overall geometry of grooves was established and verified. The detailed study given in this paper gives guidelines for using grooves as a stall delay method.

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