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research-article

EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION OF A WIDE-RANGE CENTRIFUGAL COMPRESSOR STAGE FOR SUPERCRITICAL CO2 POWER CYCLES

[+] Author and Article Information
Tim Allison, Ph.D.

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA
tim.allison@swri.org

Natalie R. Smith

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA
natalie.smith@swri.org

Robert Pelton

Hanwha Power Systems, Houston, TX, USA
rob.pelton@hanwha.com

Jason C. Wilkes

Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX, USA
jason.wilkes@swri.org

Sewoong Jung

Hanwha Power Systems, Houston, TX, USA
sewoong.jung@hanwha.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4041920 History: Received September 24, 2018; Revised October 29, 2018

Abstract

Successful implementation of sCO2 power cycles requires high compressor efficiency at the design-point and over a wide operating range in order to maximize cycle power output and maintain stable operation over many transient and part-load conditions. This requirement is particularly true for air-cooled cycles where compressor inlet density is a strong function of inlet temperature that exhibits daily and seasonal variations as well as transient events. To meet these requirements, a novel centrifugal compressor stage design was developed that incorporates multiple range extension features, including a passive recirculating casing treatment and semi-open impeller design. This design was fabricated via direct metal laser sintering and tested in an open-loop test rig in order to validate simulation results and the effectiveness of the casing treatment configuration. Comparison of predicted performance in air and CO2 conditions resulted in a reduced diffuser width for the air test in order to match design velocities and demonstrate the casing treatment. Test results in air show that the casing treatment performance generally matched CFD predictions, demonstrating an operating range of 69% and efficiency above predictions across the entire map. The casing treatment configuration demonstrated performance improvements over a solid wall configuration at low flows, resulting in an effective 14% increase in operating range with a 0.5-point efficiency penalty. The test results are also compared to a traditional fully shrouded impeller with the same flow coefficient and similar head coefficient, showing a 42% range improvement over traditional designs.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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