CFD Analysis of Off-design Centrifugal Compressor
Operation and Performance
This paper presents some of the results from a Master’s thesis
research into the performance and operation of a centrifugal compressor at
off-design operating conditions using advanced computational fluid dynamics
(CFD) techniques. ANSYS CFX is the CFD solver used in this blind study to
evaluate the ability of modern CFD software to predict the performance of centrifugal
compressors operating at highly complex flows regimes.
The off-design cases considered included compressor operations
at 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 100% and 105% of the on-design rotational speed. Speed
lines were generated for each case and compared to experimental measurements.
The predicted results were found to match very closely with the experimental measurements.
The flow within the centrifugal compressor stage was also
examined by considering various performance parameters and making use of three-dimensional
flow visualizations. This allowed for a better understanding of the fluid behavior
within the centrifugal compressor.
Lastly, the benefits of unsteady (time accurate) simulation on
centrifugal compressor performance predictions were investigated. The results
obtained showed that unsteady simulations noticeably improve the accuracy of
the compressor performance predictions.
CFD Analysis of Off-design Centrifugal Compressor Operation and Performance
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