Multi-quadrant performance simulation for subsonic axial flow compressors
Van Antwerpen, Werner
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The emergence of closed-loop Brayton cycle power plants, such as the PBMR, resulted in the need to simulate start-up transients for industrial multi-stage axial flow compressors operating at subsonic conditions. This implies that the delivery pressure and power requirements must be predicted for different mass flow rates and rotational speeds while operating in the first and fourth quadrants on the compressor performance charts. Therefore, an analytical performance prediction model for subsonic multi-stage axial flow compressors had to be developed that can be integrated into a generic network analysis software code such as Flownex. For this purpose, performance calculations based on one-dimensional mean-line analysis demonstrated good accuracy, provided that the correct models for losses, incidence and deviation are used. Such a model is therefore the focus of this study. A preliminary analytical performance prediction code, with the capability of interchanging between different deviation and loss models is presented. Reasonably complex loss models are integrated in association with the correct incidence and deviation models in a software package called "Engineering Equation Solver" (EES). The total pressure loss calculations are based on a superposition of theoretically separable loss components that include the following: blade profile losses, secondary losses and annulus losses. The fundamental conservation equations for mass, momentum and energy for compressible "rotating pipe" flow were implemented into the performance prediction code. Performance prediction models were validated against experimental data and evaluated according to their ease of implementation. Verification was done by comparing simulation results with experimental work done by Von Backstrom. This includes a calculation to determine the uncertainty in the experimental results. Furthermore, since the conventional definition of isentropic efficiency breaks down at the boundaries of quadrants on the performance charts, a new non-dimensional power formulation is presented that allows for the calculation of the compressor power in all of the relevant quadrants. Good comparison was found between simulation results and measurements in the first and fourth quadrant of operation.
- Engineering