Research Papers: Fluid-Structure Interaction

A Parametric Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis of the Valve Pocket Losses in Reciprocating Compressors

[+] Author and Article Information
Francesco Balduzzi

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy
e-mail: balduzzi@vega.de.unifi.it

Giovanni Ferrara

Department of Industrial Engineering,
University of Florence,
Via di Santa Marta 3,
Firenze 50139, Italy
e-mail: ferrara@vega.de.unifi.it

Riccardo Maleci

GE Oil & Gas,
Via F. Matteucci 2,
Firenze 50127, Italy
e-mail: riccardo.maleci@ge.com

Alberto Babbini

GE Oil & Gas,
Via F. Matteucci 2,
Firenze 50127, Italy
e-mail: alberto.babbini@ge.com

Guido Pratelli

GE Oil & Gas,
Via F. Matteucci 2,
Firenze 50127, Italy
e-mail: guido.pratelli@ge.com

Contributed by the Pressure Vessel and Piping Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF PRESSURE VESSEL TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 25, 2013; final manuscript received January 27, 2014; published online September 15, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Jong Chull Jo.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 137(1), 011301 (Sep 15, 2014) (10 pages) Paper No: PVT-13-1122; doi: 10.1115/1.4027660 History: Received July 25, 2013; Revised January 27, 2014

The reduction of pressure losses is one of the most important challenges for the efficiency increase of a reciprocating compressor. Since the absorbed power is strongly affected by the losses through pocket valves and cylinder ducts, an accurate prediction of these losses is essential. The use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation has shown great potential for the study of the entire reciprocating compressor, but is still limited by high computational costs. Recently, the authors have presented a simplified CFD approach: the actual valve geometry is replaced with an equivalent porous region, which has significantly increased the speed of calculation while ensuring accuracy as well. Based on this approach, a new methodology for the evaluation of pocket valve losses is presented. A set of CFD simulations using a parameterized geometry of the pocket valve was performed to evaluate the relationship between the losses of the pocket and its geometrical features. An analytical response surface (RS) was defined using the values of the geometrical dimensions as inputs and the pocket flow coefficient as output. Finally, the response surface was validated through a set of test cases performed on different geometries with the actual valve and the results have shown good predictability of the tool.

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Fig. 1

New simulation approach: conceptual scheme

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Fig. 2

Method for the evaluation of Ksp

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Fig. 5

Ks'v for single-ring valve

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Fig. 6

Ks'v for double-ring valve

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Fig. 7

Complete cylinder assembly

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Fig. 10

Pocket geometry features

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Fig. 8

Cast cylinder: CFD domain

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Fig. 9

Velocity contour plot and vector plot on the symmetry plane

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Fig. 3

CFD simulation domain

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Fig. 4

Grid-independency analysis

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Fig. 11

Ksp for the A cases (valve set): deviation from the averaged value

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Fig. 12

Error in the evaluation of Ksp for the porous set with respect to the valve set

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Fig. 13

Total pressure drop: comparison between CFD results and values calculated with Ksp (cases B, all subcases)

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Fig. 14

Total pressure drop error between CFD results and values calculated with Ksp (with porous set) for all runs

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Fig. 16

Dispersion of the errors of the RS

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Fig. 17

Histogram of the errors of the RS

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Fig. 18

Validation runs: Ksp comparison of CFD results and DOE predicted values



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