Redesign of an Industrial Compressor Stage

This consultancy project developed a state-of-the-art industrial compressor stage, consisting of impeller, diffuser and de-swirl vane to improve stage efficiency while improving a stable operating range

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Introduction

Compressor stage configurationThe client is one of the leading industrial compressor manufacturers for a variety of applications from oil and gas to pipeline compressors. In this project, they asked ADT to help with design optimisation of an industrial compressor stage including a shrouded impeller, a low-solidity vaned diffuser and a de-swirl vane. The client provided ADT with a baseline compressor design. The design focused on optimising the compressor performance in terms of efficiency, operating range ( i.e. Stall and choke margins) and pressure ratio.

Inverse Design input parameters can be tuned to achieve superior aerodynamic performance.

Design Process

TURBOdesign1 3D inverse design code was used to redesign all components of the compressor stage. Figure 1 shows the complete stage configuration which was designed by ADT. The code allows for prescription of detail inflow condition for each component, hence a good matching between adjacent blade rows could be achieved with minimum effort. It is shown that by careful and logical feedback from the inviscid flow results obtained in TURBOdesign1 and CFD analysis results, inverse design input parameters can be tuned to achieve superior aerodynamic performance.

Normalised efficiency characteristics

This design project also showed the flexibility and convenience of the code to modify the blade geometrical parameters.

Results

For the compressor stage investigated in this project, five points improvement in stage efficiency was obtained at design point, while the operating range and off-design performance were also improved. Figure 2 shows the normalised efficiency characteristics of the original and redesigned compressor stage.

Impeller geometry and Mach contours as predicted by TURBOdesign1

 

This design project also showed the flexibility and convenience of the code to modify the blade geometrical parameters such as meridional shape, and / or change the design point and performance characteristics in the desired direction in a relatively short time, hence reducing the overall design cycle time.

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