A theoretical and experimental study of stall inception processes in a three-stage low-speed axial flow compressor with inlet distortion is presented in this paper. Since inlet distortion provides asymmetric flows imposing onto the compressor, the main goal of this research is to unveil the mechanism of how such flows initiate long and/or short length-scale disturbances and how the compression system reacts to those disturbances. It is found that the initial disturbances are always triggered by the distorted flows, yet the growth of such disturbances depends on system dynamics. While in many cases the stall precursors were the short length-scale spikes, there were some cases where the compressor instability was triggered after the disturbances going through a long-to-short length-scale transition. A Moore-Greitzer-based (system scale) model was proposed to qualitatively explain this phenomenon. It was found that, when the compressor operated in a region where the nonlinearity of the characteristics dominated, long length-scale disturbances induced by the inlet distortion would evolve into short length-scale disturbances before they disappeared or triggered stall. However, the model was not able to predict the fact that many disturbances that were triggered by the distorted sector(s) were completely damped out in the undistorted sector(s). It is thus suggested that in future research of compressor instability, one should consider the flows in blade passage scale, the dynamics in system scale, and their interaction simultaneously.
Long-to-Short Length-Scale Transition: A Stall Inception Phenomenon in an Axial Compressor With Inlet Distortion
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Lin, F., Li, M., and Chen, J. (February 1, 2005). "Long-to-Short Length-Scale Transition: A Stall Inception Phenomenon in an Axial Compressor With Inlet Distortion." ASME. J. Turbomach. January 2006; 128(1): 130–140. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2098808
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