A surge in the small jet engine market due to aero-propulsion purposes generates a requirement to develop compact and robust high-performance compressors. Mixed flow compressors can provide a comparatively higher pressure ratio compared to axial compressors and have less frontal area than centrifugal compressors. Rapid progress in manufacturing and computational capabilities has resulted in the successful design of mixed flow compressors in recent decades.
In the present study, the mixed flow compressor was designed to operate at 3,000 rpm with a small total-to-total pressure ratio of 1.03 and a mass flow rate = 1.98 kg/s to carry at low-speed testing for university-level research. Meanline design for the compressor with air as working fluid was done. The blade geometry was developed using commercial Ansys® Bladegen module. The flow domain mesh was generated by the TurboGrid module. Ansys CFX was used as a solver and post-processing tool for the present numerical study.
The present work describes the detailed design procedure, overall performance, and flow field features of a low-speed mixed-flow compressor with the special requirement of axial flow exit. The parametric analysis was carried out on splitter blade placement, wrap angle (10°, 20°, 30°, and 50°), and exit cone angle (30°, 40°, 50°, 60°, and 65°), at constant tip clearance and keeping the other parameters constant to observe their effect on performance and flow structure. The use of splitter blades smoothen the flow structure along both stream-wise and span-wise direction, which minimizes flow the separation issue and thereby helping in extending the overall operating range. Comparing the flow field characteristic and performance of each parametric variable, the optimum range of design values is exhibited. The numerical observation and analysis done on parametric variations in this paper can be used for the design of such a future low-speed mixed flow compressor for different performance expectations and installation requirements.