Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, Tamilnadu 600032, India
Computational analysis is performed on a centrifugal compressor fitted with tapered vaneless diffuser in order to increase the rate of diffusion. The main parameter involved in the present study is the wall taper angle of the diffuser, which is varied from 1° to 6° in the interval of 1°. Simulations are performed for the stationary as well as rotating diffuser at a speed of 79,000rpm, by using ANSYS CFX 17.2. By considering the geometry with stationary parallel wall diffuser as the base case, the performance enhancement in the characteristics such as static pressure recovery coefficient, stagnation pressure loss coefficient, isentropic efficiency, energy coefficient and torque coefficient are reported. The flow features in the compressor having various diffuser geometries are studied with the help of static pressure, radial velocity, static entropy, and contours of velocity streamlines at the design point. Of all the cases of stationary tapered diffusers, the diffuser with 3° taper angle showed optimum performance: the increase in isentropic efficiency (η) is by 1.5%, the increase in static pressure recovery coefficient (CP) is by about 9% and the decrease in stagnation pressure loss coefficient (CPOL) by 10.7%. On the other hand, it was found that in the case of rotating diffuser optimum performance: an increase of about 40% in CP and decrease of about 32% in CP0L occurred for a taper angle of 6°. However, its efficiency decreased by 2.9% with rotating diffuser in comparison with the base case, due to increased energy losses.