This paper addresses the use of 5-hole probes in the testing of industrial centrifugal compressors. The 5-hole probes utilized for this work are of the conical-tip type and were used in a non-nulling configuration (i.e. the probes do not need to be rotated or moved in any way during the tests). These 5-hole probes proved to be fairly robust, making them practical for a non-laboratory setting such as an industrial multistage compressor test stand. A discussion of 5-hole probes and how they function is provided, including an overview of the mathematical formulations and calibrations required to translate the pressure data gathered from the 5 holes into static and total pressures, velocities and flow angles. A method to transform these variables from a probe-based coordinate system to a machine-based coordinate system is also presented and schematics of this process are provided to aid the reader’s understanding. The testing performed on a prototype multistage centrifugal compressor using 5-hole probes is also discussed showing that the probes provided valuable insight into the flowfield exiting the impellers and at the return bend. The hub-to-shroud velocity profile exiting an impeller was found to be more skewed than expected and was contributing to poor performance in the downstream stationary components. The measured flowfield from one of the tests is also compared against 3-D CFD results and comments are offered regarding the agreement between the analytical and measured results. Advantages and disadvantages of 5-hole probes as compared to more conventional instrumentation are presented. Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding the value of 5-hole probe data in the development and/or troubleshooting of high performance turbomachinery and in the validation / calibration of design and analysis tools.

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