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research-article

Effects of asymmetric radial clearance on performance of a centrifugal compressor

[+] Author and Article Information
Cheng Xu

ASME Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 115 E. Reindl Way, Glendale, WI 53212
xuc2@asme.org

Ryo Amano

ASME Life Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 115 E. Reindl Way, Glendale, WI 53212
amano@uwm.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038387 History: Received August 22, 2017; Revised October 18, 2017

Abstract

The centrifugal compressors are widely used in industrial applications. The design, manufacturing, and installation are all critical for the compressor performance. Many studies have been carried out in the past to optimize the compressor performance during compressor design. The manufacturing tolerances and installation errors can cause the performance drop. There are many compressor performance distortions are not fully understood due to manufacturing and facilities. In this paper, an asymmetrical radial clearance of the impeller due to manufacturing and installation is studied in details for the performance impacts. The numerical studies and experimental tests indicated that the asymmetric radial clearance impacts the compressor flow field and performance. Experimental results suggested that the manufacturing and installation cause radial clearance asymmetric decreases the compressor performance in whole operating range. The numerical analysis demonstrated that the impeller asymmetric clearance impact performance near the design pressure ratio more than another pressure ratio. The numerical studies showed that the maximum clearance location of asymmetric clearance may impact the compressor performance. The proper asymmetricity of diffuser verse the volute may benefit the compressor performance. The good compressor performances for centrifugal compressors especially for small centrifugal compressors not only need to have a good aerodynamic design but also need to control manufacturing and installation carefully.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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