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Research Papers: Gas Turbines: Turbomachinery

Performance Analysis of a Centrifugal Compressor Based on Circumferential Flow Distortion Induced by Volute

[+] Author and Article Information
Mengying Shu

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: mengy_shu@sjtu.edu.cn

Mingyang Yang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: myy15@sjtu.edu.cn

Kangyao Deng

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: kydeng@sjtu.edu.cn

Xinqian Zheng

Automotive Engineering Department,
Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, China
e-mail: zhengxq@tsinghua.edu.cn

Ricardo F. Martinez-Botas

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Imperial College London,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: r.botas@imperial.ac.uk

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Turbomachinery Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received December 4, 2017; final manuscript received June 19, 2018; published online August 9, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Haixin Chen.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 140(12), 122603 (Aug 09, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: GTP-17-1645; doi: 10.1115/1.4040681 History: Received December 04, 2017; Revised June 19, 2018

A volute is one of the key components in a centrifugal compressor. The aerodynamic stability of the compressor deteriorates remarkably when a volute is employed. This paper investigates the influence of volute-induced circumferential flow distortion on aerodynamic stability of a centrifugal compressor via experimentally validated three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulation method. First, the compressor performance is analyzed based on a newly developed stability parameter. The impeller is confirmed to be the main contributor to the instability of the investigated compressor. Next, the influence of volute on impeller performance is studied by circumferentially distorted boundary conditions at the impeller exit which are extracted from flow field at the volute inlet. Results show that the performance of an impeller passage is determined by not only the back pressure but also the local gradient of pressure distribution in the circumferential direction. Moreover, these passages confronted with pressure reduction in the rotational direction are most unstable, while those confronted with pressure rise have better performance. Consequently, the circumferentially distorted distribution at impeller exit results in a loop of passage performance encapsulating the performance of uniform case. The size of the loop is enhanced by the distortion amplitude. Moreover, the influence of volute-induced distortion on the impeller performance is concluded into two main reasons: the imbalance of the force on flow and the imbalance of tip clearance flow taken by passages. The force imbalance influences the accumulation of secondary flow, while the imbalance of the tip clearance flow results in discrepancies of the low momentum flow in passages.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Photos of the centrifugal compressor. (a) Impeller, (b) volute, and (c) meridional shape of compressor.

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Fig. 2

Layout of the compressor test rig

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Fig. 3

Meshes of computational domains. (a) Computational domains of the compressor, (b) meshes for a impeller passage, and (c) meshes for volute.

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Fig. 4

Distribution of y+ on the impeller blade

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Fig. 5

Predicted and experimental performance of compressor. (a) Total–total pressure ratio and (b) total–total efficiency.

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Fig. 6

Stability parameters of components of the compressor

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Fig. 7

Locations of passages in the impeller

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Fig. 8

Performance of individual passages in the impeller: (a) Pressure ratio and efficiency and (b) dimensionless mass flow rate

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Fig. 9

Stability comparison among passages. (a) Pressure ratio versus mass flow rate and (b) stability parameters of each passages.

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Fig. 10

Distortion static pressure at impeller exit. (a) Static pressure distribution at impeller exit and (b) simplified static pressure distribution.

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Fig. 11

Performance of the impeller confronted by distortions with different amplitudes. (a) Efficiency and (b) pressure ratio.

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Fig. 12

Performance comparison of three distributions with different amplitudes

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Fig. 13

Performance of passages under distorted distributions (A20 and A45). (a) pressure ratio and (b) efficiency.

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Fig. 14

Evolution of entropy distributions and secondary flow in passages (case A45). (a) Passages 6, 7, and 1 and (b) passages 2, 3, and 4.

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Fig. 15

Force analysis on a fluid element in passages confronted by distorted flow. (a) Relative flow angle at impeller exit and (b) sketch of force analysis.

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Fig. 16

Tip clearance flow of passages. (a) Circumferential pressure and mass flow rate of tip clearance flow and (b) imbalance of tip clearance flow.

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Fig. 17

Contours of vortices on the section downstream leading edges of the impeller with two pressure distributions (uniform case and A45). (a) Uniform case and (b) case A45.

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