Development and validation of a model for centrifugal compressors in reversed flow regimes

Katherine H. Powers, Ian J. Kennedy, Chris J. Brace, Paul A. Milewski, Colin D. Copeland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Turbochargers are widely used to help reduce the environmental impact of automotive engines. However, a limiting factor for turbochargers is compressor surge. Surge is an instability that induces pressure and flow oscillations that often damages the turbocharger and its installation. Most predictions of the surge limit are based on low-order models, such as the Moore-Greitzer model. These models tend to rely on a characteristic curve for the compressor created by extrapolating the constant speed lines of a steady-state compressor map into the negative mass flow region. However, there is little validation of these assumptions in the public literature. In this paper, we develop further the first-principles model for a compressor characteristic presented in Powers et al. [1], with a particular emphasis on reverse flow. We then perform experiments using a 58mm diameter centrifugal compressor provided by Cummins Turbo Technologies, where we feed air in the reverse direction though the compressor while the impeller is spinning in the forwards direction in order to obtain data in the negative mass flow region of the compressor map. This demonstrated experimentally that there is a stable operating region in the reverse flow regime. The recorded data showed a good match with the theoretical model developed in this paper. We also identified a change in characteristic behaviour as the impeller speed is increased which, to the authors knowledge, has not been observed in any previously published experimental work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIndustrial and Cogeneration; Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy; Marine; Microturbines, Turbochargers, and Small Turbomachines
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791884195
StatePublished - 2020
EventASME Turbo Expo 2020: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, GT 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Sep 21 2020Sep 25 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo


ConferenceASME Turbo Expo 2020: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition, GT 2020
CityVirtual, Online

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering

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