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.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Bauer, F., 1988, “Valve Losses in Reciprocating Compressors,” International Compressor Engineering Conference, Purdue University, IN.
Machu, E. H., 1999, “Increased Power Consumption of High-Speed, Short-Stroke Reciprocating Compressors Caused by Pocket Losses and Gas Inertia Effects,” Compressor Tech, March–April, pp. 107–111.
Boeswirth, L., and Milovanova, V., 1998, “Simple but Efficient Methods for Estimation of Value Loss, Capacity Loss Due to Suction Valve Throttling and Heat Transfer in Cylinder,” International Compressor Engineering Conference, Purdue University, IN.
Traversari, R., Bettini, B., Carcasci, C., and Fusi, A., 2013, “A Multi-Phase CFD Study of a Liquid Slug Ingestion in a Reciprocating Compressor,” Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference, July 14–18, Paris, France.
Birari, Y. V., Gosavi, S. S., and Jorwekar, P. P., 2006, “Use of CFD in Design and Development of R404A Reciprocating Compressor,” International Compressor Engineering Conference, Purdue University, IN.
Fagotti, F., and Possamai, F. C., 2000, “Using Computational Fluid Dynamics as a Compressor Design Tool,” International Compressor Engineering Conference, Purdue University, IN.
Basha, S. A., and Gopal, K. R., 2009, “In-Cylinder Fluid Flow, Turbulence and Spray Models—A Review,” Renewable Sustainable Energy Rev., 13(6–7), pp. 1620–1627. [CrossRef]
Qi, Y. L., Dong, L. C., Liu, H., Puzinauskas, P. V., and Midkiff, K. C., 2012, “Optimization of Intake Port Design for SI Engine,” Int. J. Automot. Technol., 13(6), pp. 861–872. [CrossRef]
Yang, X., Chen, Z., and Kuo, T. W., 2013, “Pitfalls for Accurate Steady-State Port Flow Simulations,” ASME J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power, 135(6), p. 061601. [CrossRef]
Gaikwad, S., Arora, K., Korivi, V., and Cho, S., 2009, “Steady and Transient CFD Approach for Port Optimization,” SAE Int. J. Mater. Manuf., 1(1), pp. 754–762. [CrossRef]
Balduzzi, F., Ferrara, G., Babbini, A., and Pratelli, G., 2012, “CFD Evaluation of the Pressure Losses in a Reciprocating Compressor: A Flexible Approach,” Proceedings of the ASME 11th ESDA Conference, July 2–4, Nantes, France, ASME Paper No. ESDA2012-82300. [CrossRef]
Pratelli, G., Babbini, A., Balduzzi, F., Ferrara, G., Maleci, R., and Romani, L., 2012, “CFD Evaluation of Pressure Losses on Reciprocating Compressor Components,” Proceedings of the 8th Conference of the EFRC, Sept. 27–28, Dusseldorf, Germany.
Tokuda, S., Kubota, M., and Noguchi, Y., 2013, “Development of CFD Shape Optimization Technology Using the Adjoint Method and Its Application to Engine Intake Port Design,” SAE Int. J. Eng., 6(2), pp. 833–842. [CrossRef]
Park, K., and Moon, S., 2005, “Optimal Design of Heat Exchangers Using the Progressive Quadratic Response Surface Model,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 48, pp. 2126–2139. [CrossRef]
Elsayed, K., and Lacor, C., 2013, “CFD Modeling and Multi-Objective Optimization of Cyclone Geometry Using Desirability Function, Artificial Neural Networks and Genetic Algorithms,” Appl. Math. Model., 37, pp. 5680–5704. [CrossRef]
Costagliola, M., 1950, “The Theory of Spring-Loaded Valves for Reciprocating Compressors,” ASME J. Appl. Mech., 17(4), pp. 415–420.
Versteeg, H. K., and Malalasekera, W., 1995, An Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics. The Finite Volume Method, Longman, UK.
Ferziger, J., and Peric, M., 2002, Computational Methods for Fluid Dynamics, 3rd rev., Springer, Berlin.
Menter, F. R., Kuntz, M., and Langtry, R., 2003, “Ten Years of Industrial Experience With the SST Turbulence Model,” Turbul. Heat Mass Transfer, 4, pp. 625–632.
Menter, F. R., 1994, “Two-Equation Eddy-Viscosity Turbulence Models for Engineering Applications,” AIAA J., 32(8), pp. 1598–1605. [CrossRef]
Lee, S. L., and Yang, J. H., 1997, “Modeling of Darcy–Forchheimer Drag for Fluid Flow Across a Bank of Circular Cylinders,” Int. J. Heat Mass Transfer, 40(13), pp. 3149–3155. [CrossRef]
Myers, W. R., Myers, R. H., and Carter, Jr., W. H., 1994, “Some Alphabetic Optimal Designs for the Logistic Regression Model,” J. Stat. Plann. Inference, 42, pp. 57–77. [CrossRef]
Condra, L. W., 2001, Reliability Improvement With Design of Experiments, CRC Press, New York.
Cox, D. R., and Reid, N., 2000, The Theory of the Design of Experiments, Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

New simulation approach: conceptual scheme

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Method for the evaluation of Ksp

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

CFD simulation domain

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Grid-independency analysis

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Ks'v for single-ring valve

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Ks'v for double-ring valve

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Complete cylinder assembly

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Cast cylinder: CFD domain

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Velocity contour plot and vector plot on the symmetry plane

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Pocket geometry features

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

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

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Dispersion of the errors of the RS

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Histogram of the errors of the RS

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 18

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




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In