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Research Papers

An Investigation on the Loss Generation Mechanisms Inside Different Centrifugal Compressor Volutes for Turbochargers

[+] Author and Article Information
Andrea Tanganelli

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy
e-mail: andrea.tanganelli@unifi.it

Francesco Balduzzi

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy
e-mail: francesco.balduzzi@unifi.it

Alessandro Bianchini

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy
e-mail: alessandro.bianchini@unifi.it

Francesco Cencherle

HPE COXA, Via R. Dalla Costa 620,
Modena 41122, Italy
e-mail: FCencherle@hpe.eu

Michele De Luca

HPE COXA,
Via R. Dalla Costa 620,
Modena 41122, Italy
e-mail: MDeluca@hpe.eu

Luca Marmorini

HPE COXA,
Via R. Dalla Costa 620,
Modena 41122, Italy
e-mail: marmorix@mac.com

Giovanni Ferrara

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy
e-mail: giovanni.ferrara@unifi.it

Manuscript received June 26, 2018; final manuscript received July 4, 2018; published online September 19, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(2), 021004 (Sep 19, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1369; doi: 10.1115/1.4040864 History: Received June 26, 2018; Revised July 04, 2018

In centrifugal compressor design, the volute plays a key role in defining the overall efficiency and operating range of the stage. The flow at the impeller outlet is indeed characterized by a high kinetic energy content, which is first converted to potential energy in the diffuser downstream. The compressed gas is then collected by the volute at the cylindrical outlet section of the diffuser and directed to the intake piping, possibly with a further pressure recovery to enhance the stage performance. Due to the high flow speed at the volute inlet, the capability of ensuring the lowest amount of total pressure loss is pivotal to prevent a detriment of the machine efficiency. Moreover, the flow conditions change when the volute operates far from its design point: at mass flow rates lower than the design one, the flow becomes diffusive, while at higher mass flow rates the fluid is accelerated, thus leading to different loss-generation mechanisms. These phenomena are particularly relevant in turbocharger applications, where the compressor needs to cover a wide functioning range; moreover, in these applications, the definition of the volute shape is often driven also by space limitations imposed by the vehicle layout, leading to a variety of volute types. The present paper reports an analysis on the sources of thermodynamic irreversibilities occurring inside different volutes applied to a centrifugal compressor for turbocharging applications. Three demonstrative geometrical configurations are analyzed by means of three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations using common boundary conditions to assess the overall volute performance and different loss mechanisms, which are evaluated in terms of the local entropy generation rate. The modification of the loss mechanisms in off-design conditions is also accounted for by investigating different mass flow rates. It is finally shown that the use of the entropy generation rate for the assessment of the irreversibilities is helpful to understand and localize the sources of loss in relation to the various flow structures.

Copyright © 2019 by ASME
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic sketch of the compressor cross section

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Fig. 2

Volute geometries for the computational domain: (a) volute C and (b) volute E

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Fig. 3

Details of the geometry in the tongue region: (a) ideal and (b) manufactured

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Fig. 4

Reference stage performance in normalized form: selected working conditions are represented with filled black diamonds

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Fig. 5

Reference comparison between the constant boundaries applied to the simulation of the volute only simulation and the coupled simulation with the impeller

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Fig. 6

Details of the computational grid: (a) cross-sectional grid of the M2E mesh, (b) cross-sectional grid of the M6E mesh, and (c) surface grid in the tongue area of the M6E mesh

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Fig. 7

Mesh sensitivity results: total pressure drop as a function of the grid size for meshes with ER > 0.7 in the case of elliptical volute (a) or the circular one with tongue (b)

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Fig. 8

Total pressure loss coefficient as a function of the dimensionless flow coefficient

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Fig. 9

Entropy generation rate as a function of the dimensionless flow coefficient

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Fig. 10

Locations of the cross section planes of the volute for the flow field analysis

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Fig. 11

Contours of total pressure: (a) volute C with tongue, (b) volute C without tongue, and (c) volute E

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Fig. 12

Contours of entropy generation rate per unit volume: (a) volute C with tongue, (b) volute C without tongue, and (c) volute E

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Fig. 13

Volute C with ideal tongue: entropy generation rate per unit volume at different φ*

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Fig. 14

Volute C with tongue: total pressure at different φ*

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Fig. 15

Volute C without tongue: entropy generation rate per unit volume at different φ*

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Fig. 16

Volute C without tongue: total pressure at different φ*

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Fig. 17

Volute E: entropy generation rate per unit volume at different φ*

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Fig. 18

Volute E: total pressure at different φ*

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