Improving the Performance of Centrifugal Compressors by Flow Recirculation


Niroo Research Institute, Tehran, Iran


The impeller of a centrifugal compressor is traditionally designed using some formula for only one design point which makes it less efficient in all other situations. This is especially important for compressors not experiencing a constant working condition. To improve the performance at low mass flow rates and retard the surge, an innovative concept is introduced for a centrifugal compressor. In this method pressurized air is injected at the compressor inlet to improve the flow field. With better incidence angle, related losses at off design conditions are minimized and the surge is delayed. This system is designed, modeled and adjusted for providing an optimal flow pattern at the inlet. Its implementation on a compressor has shown an increase of efficiency at low mass flow rates. It has also improved flow pattern in impeller passages and decreased the blade loading near surge condition. It is also shown that the swirl generator system can be fed up from the compressor volute or diffuser, and thus widening the compressor performance map by retarding the surge margin.