Two different inlet configurations, including a straight pipe and a bent pipe, were experimentally tested and numerically simulated using a high-speed, low-mass flow centrifugal compressor. The pressure ratios of the compressor with the two inlet configurations were tested and then compared to illustrate the effect of the bent inlet pipe on the compressor. Furthermore, different circumferential positions of the bent inlet pipe relative to the volute are discussed for two purposes. One purpose is to describe the changes in the compressor performance that result from altering the circumferential position of the bent inlet pipe relative to the volute. This change in performance may be the so-called clocking effect, and its mechanism is different from the one in multistage turbomachinery. The other purpose is to investigate the unsteady flow for different matching states of the bent inlet pipe and volute. Thus, the frequency spectrum of unsteady pressure fluctuation was applied to analyze the aerodynamic response. Compared with the straight inlet pipe, the experimental results show that the pressure ratio is modulated and that the choke point is shifted in the bent inlet pipe. Similarly, the pressure ratio can be influenced by altering the circumferential position of the bent inlet pipe relative to the volute, which may have an effect on the unsteady pressure in the rotor section. Therefore, the magnitude of interest spectral frequency is significantly changed by clocking the bent inlet pipe.

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