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Research Papers: Alternative Energy Sources

Centrifugal Compressor Performance Improvements Through Impeller Splitter Location

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Xu

Research and Development Center,
Hunan Tyen Machinery Co. Ltd,
Hunan 421000, China
e-mail: xuc2@asme.org

R. S. Amano

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Wisconsin,
Milwaukee, WI 53210
e-mail: amano@uwm.edu

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received June 10, 2017; final manuscript received August 27, 2017; published online November 9, 2017. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(5), 051201 (Nov 09, 2017) (17 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1275; doi: 10.1115/1.4037813 History: Received June 10, 2017; Revised August 27, 2017

The splitter blades are very common to use for centrifugal compressor impellers to improve the compressor performance and manufacturing capability. In this study, a low-flow single-stage centrifugal compressor with a vaneless diffuser was used to investigate the location effects of the impeller splitter between two main blades. It is demonstrated that the splitter position provides an opportunity to improve the compressor performance and reduce the operational cost. The splitter location optimizations were performed numerically, and the optimal splitter location was identified. A prototype was built for the impeller with optimal splitter position. The performance tests were performed, and test results are compared with numerical analyses. The studies indicated that splitter positions have impacts on the compressor stage performances. The studies showed that the traditional splitter located in the middle of the two main blades is not the optimal location for aerodynamic performance. The splitter location optimization provided the opportunity to improve the centrifugal compressor performance further.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Centrifugal compressor design process

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Fig. 2

Calculations results for volute characteristics

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Fig. 3

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculation domain and mesh

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Fig. 4

Impeller with splitters

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Fig. 5

Compressor performance curve: (a) efficiency and flow relationship and (b) pressure ratio and flow relationship

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Fig. 6

Efficiency comparisons near design point

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Fig. 7

Blade to blade static pressure distributions at pressure ratio 1.50: (a) static pressure distribution for 45% splitter near hub (10% radial height), (b) static pressure distribution for 50% splitter at mid radial height (50%) radial height, and (c) static pressure distribution for 55% splitter at near tip (94% radial height)

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Fig. 8

Total pressure distribution at pressure ratio 1.50: (a) total pressure distribution for 45% splitter at near hub (10%), (b) total pressure distribution for 50% splitter at mid radial height (50%), and (c) total pressure distribution for 55% splitter near tip (94%)

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Fig. 9

Meridional total pressure distributions at pressure ratio 1.5: (a) meridional total pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) meridional total pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) meridional total pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 10

Total pressure distributions at exit at pressure ratio 1.5: (a) total pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) total pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) total pressure distributions for 50% splitter

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Fig. 11

Static pressure distributions at exit at pressure ratio 1.5: (a) static pressure distribution for 45% splitter (view from flow direction, splitter in right), (b) static pressure distribution for 50% splitter, and (c) static pressure distribution for 55% splitter

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Fig. 12

Mach number distributions at exit at pressure ratio 1.5: (a) Mach number distributions for 45% splitter, (b) Mach number distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) Mach number distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 13

Static pressure distributions near design point at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) static pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) static pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) static pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 14

Total pressure distributions near design point at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) total pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) total pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) total pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 15

Meridional total pressure distributions at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) meridional total pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) meridional total pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) meridional total pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 16

Total pressure distributions at exit near design point at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) total pressure distributions at impeller exit for 45% splitter, (b) total pressure distributions at impeller exit for 50% splitter, and (c) total pressure distributions at impeller exit for 55% splitter

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Fig. 17

Static pressure distributions at exit for 55% splitter near design point at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) static pressure distributions at exit for 45% splitter, (b) static pressure distributions at exit for 50% splitter, and (c) static pressure distributions at exit for 55% splitter

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Fig. 18

Mach number distributions at impeller exit at design point at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) Mach number distributions at impeller exit for 45% splitter, (b) Mach number distributions at impeller exit for 50% splitter, and (c) Mach number distributions at impeller exit for 55% splitter

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Fig. 19

Static pressure distributions at pressure ratio 2.85: (a) static pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) static pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) static pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 20

Total pressure distributions at pressure ratio 2.85: (a) total pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) total pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) total pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 21

Static pressure distribution at pressure ratio 2.85: (a) static pressure distribution for 45% splitter, (b) static pressure distribution for 50% splitter, and (c) static pressure distribution for 55% splitter

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Fig. 22

Total pressure distributions at impeller at pressure ratio 2.85: (a) total pressure distributions for 45% splitter, (b) total pressure distributions for 50% splitter, and (c) total pressure distributions for 55% splitter

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Fig. 23

Static pressure distributions at impeller exit at pressure ratio 2.85: (a) static pressure distributions at impeller exit for 45% splitter, (b) static pressure distributions at impeller exit for 50% splitter, and (c) static pressure distributions at impeller exit for 55% splitter

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Fig. 24

Total pressure distributions at impeller exit near design point at pressure ratio 2.52: (a) total pressure distributions at impeller exit for 45% splitter, (b) total pressure distributions at impeller exit for 50% splitter, and (c) total pressure distributions at impeller exit for 55% splitter

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Fig. 25

Mach number distributions at impeller exit at pressure ratio 2.85: (a) Mach number distributions at impeller exit for 45%, (b) Mach number distributions at impeller exit for 50%, and (c) Mach number distributions at impeller exit for 55%

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