Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Numerical Investigation of the Flow Behavior Inside a Supercritical CO2 Centrifugal Compressor

[+] Author and Article Information
Alireza Ameli

Laboratory of Fluid Dynamics,
School of Energy Systems,
Lappeenranta University of Technology,
Lappeenranta 53850, Finland
e-mail: alireza.ameli@lut.fi

Teemu Turunen-Saaresti

Laboratory of Fluid Dynamics,
School of Energy Systems,
Lappeenranta University of Technology,
Lappeenranta 53850, Finland
e-mail: teemu.turunen-saaresti@lut.fi

Jari Backman

Laboratory of Fluid Dynamics,
School of Energy Systems,
Lappeenranta University of Technology,
Lappeenranta 53850, Finland
e-mail: jari.backman@lut.fi

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received May 7, 2018; final manuscript received May 31, 2018; published online August 30, 2018. Assoc. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(12), 122604 (Aug 30, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1197; doi: 10.1115/1.4040577 History: Received May 07, 2018; Revised May 31, 2018

Centrifugal compressors are one of the best choices among compressors in supercritical Brayton cycles. A supercritical CO2 centrifugal compressor increases the pressure of the fluid which state is initially very close to the critical point. When the supercritical fluid is compressed near the critical point, wide variations of fluid properties occur. The density of carbon dioxide at its critical point is close to the liquid density which leads to reduction in the compression work. This paper explains a method to overcome the simulation instabilities and challenges near the critical point in which the thermophysical properties change sharply. The investigated compressor is a centrifugal compressor tested in the Sandia supercritical CO2 test loop. In order to get results with the high accuracy and take into account the nonlinear variation of the properties near the critical point, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) flow solver is coupled with a look-up table of properties of fluid. Behavior of real gas close to its critical point and the effect of the accuracy of the real gas model on the compressor performance are studied in this paper, and the results are compared with the experimental data from the Sandia compression facility.

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Fig. 1

Mesh dependency tests

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Fig. 2

Geometry and grids of the supercritical CO2 impeller

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Fig. 3

Specific heat variation of CO2 close to the critical point

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Fig. 4

Tabulated region of simulation

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Fig. 5

Entropy error (%) at 70% span: (a) lowest resolution (100 × 100) and (b) highest resolution (500 × 500)

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Fig. 6

Fluctuations of Cp versus temperature and pressure (resolution gets higher from left to right: 100, 500, and 1000)

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Fig. 7

Operation conditions of the simulations

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Fig. 8

Mach number at leading edge of the main blade. The left figure is for highest and the right one is for lowest resolution tables.

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Fig. 9

Nondimensional temperature for highest resolution (left) and lowest resolution (right)

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Fig. 10

Nondimensional pressure for highest resolution (left) and lowest resolution (right)



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