A study is presented in the paper on the applicability of the surge/rotating stall criterion, or parameter B (B=U/2ωLc), to practical engineering problems. This criterion, while being of great theoretical value, appears to have some uncertainty in application to engineering compressor systems with the difficulties arising from changeable compressor characteristics and the diversity in the geometry and the time lag in different systems. Therefore, a series of calculations were conducted to show the influence of the above-mentioned factors. It is concluded from the numerical results that there exists a single critical value of parameter B for a given compressor working in possibly different systems while no identical critical value could be employed to different compressors in different systems.

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