A typical compressor inlet volute is studied by using both experimental and numerical approaches. The highly distorted and complex flow pattern is measured in two typical configurations. Measurements include velocity, flow angle, Mach number and losses. The same geometries are analyzed by using a computer code which solves the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. Turbulence effects are modeled by a two-equation turbulence model. The set of measurements shows the flow distortion induced by the volute, and also highlights how this distortion can be controlled or largely reduced by small modifications to the geometry. The computational results indicate an overall good agreement with the measurements and allow reproducing the changes in the pattern induced by the changes in volute geometry. Both the measurements and computations prove the importance of the optimal design of this component which controls the uniformity of the flow approaching the compressor impeller.

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