The manufacturer of a high speed, motor-driven compressor was seeking a new centrifugal compressor design to be used in a water aeration application. The compressor needed to be powered by a high-speed electric motor.  In order to satisfy the customer’s weight requirement, the design had to be very compact.

 

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Figure 1. High Speed Compressor Design.

 

The project began with a meanline design and analysis.  It was determined that in order to gain a more efficient compressor design, trade-offs would need to be considered quickly and efficiently, such as speed, blade number, diffuser type, and blade back sweep.  Using CFX Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software, a three-dimensional compressor design (Figure 1) was achieved.

The manufacturer then built and tested the prototype.  The testing demonstrated that the compressor achieved 82% isentropic efficiency.  This increased efficiency was considerably higher in comparison with its competitors.  Since the time of this design and analysis, the compressor has gone into successful full scale production.

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