A New Appraisal of Reynolds Number Effects on Centrifugal Compressor Performance

[+] Author and Article Information
F. J. Wiesner

Compressor Development, Elliott Co., Jeannette, Pa.

J. Eng. Power 101(3), 384-392 (Jul 01, 1979) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3446586 History: Received December 27, 1977; Online July 14, 2010


This paper summarizes the results of an investigation into the effects of Reynolds number on the performance of centrifugal compressor stages, using a computer program for the detailed prediction of component and overall performance characteristics. This investigation included wide variation of stage geometries, speeds, and fluid conditions, resulting in diffuser inlet absolute Reynolds number variations over the range from 5 × 102 to 5 × 108 . The computer results indicate that variations in Reynolds number and in relative roughness will produce variations in all significant performance parameters: the flow coefficient, the work coefficient, and the efficiency. Correlations of these results with various sources of test data on single and multistage centrifugal compressors produce very satisfactory comparisons. As a result of this study, improved empirical methods are recommended for making practical adjustments of compressor performance with variation in Reynolds number. These recommendations should be taken into account in the modernization of all centrifugal compressor performance test codes such as those formulated by ASME and ISO.

Copyright © 1979 by ASME
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