Research Papers

Performance Improvement of a Return Channel in a Multistage Centrifugal Compressor Using Multiobjective Optimization

[+] Author and Article Information
Yoshifumi Nishida

e-mail: yoshifumi.nishida.cx@hitachi-pt.com

Hiromi Kobayashi

e-mail: hiromi.kobayashi.zm@hitachi-pt.com

Hideo Nishida

e-mail: hideo.nishida.cr@hitachi-pt.com
Tsuchiura Research Laboratory,
Research & Development Group,
Hitachi Plant Technologies, Ltd.
603 Kandatsu-machi,
Ibaraki-ken, 300-0013, Japan

Kazuyuki Sugimura

e-mail: Kazuyuki.sugimura.hk@hitachi.com
Department of Advanced Simulation Research,
Mechanical Engineering Center,
Hitachi Research Laboratory, Hitachi, Ltd.
832-2 Horiguchi, Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki-ken,
312-0034, Japan

Contributed by the International Gas Turbine Institute (IGTI) of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF TURBOMACHINERY. Manuscript received July 3, 2012; final manuscript received August 21, 2012; published online March 25, 2013. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Turbomach 135(3), 031026 (Mar 25, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: TURBO-12-1117; doi: 10.1115/1.4007518 History: Received July 03, 2012; Revised August 21, 2012

The effect of the design parameters of a return channel on the performance of a multistage centrifugal compressor was numerically investigated, and the shape of the return channel was optimized using a multiobjective optimization method based on a genetic algorithm to improve the performance of the centrifugal compressor. The results of sensitivity analysis using Latin hypercube sampling suggested that the inlet-to-outlet area ratio of the return vane affected the total pressure loss in the return channel, and that the inlet-to-outlet radius ratio of the return vane affected the outlet flow angle from the return vane. Moreover, this analysis suggested that the number of return vanes affected both the loss and the flow angle at the outlet. As a result of optimization, the number of return vane was increased from 14 to 22 and the area ratio was decreased from 0.71 to 0.66. The radius ratio was also decreased from 2.1 to 2.0. Performance tests on a centrifugal compressor with two return channels (the original design and optimized design) were carried out using two-stage test apparatus. The measured flow distribution exhibited a swirl flow in the center region and a reversed swirl flow near the hub and shroud sides. The exit flow of the optimized design was more uniform than that of the original design. For the optimized design, the overall two-stage efficiency and pressure coefficient were increased by 0.7% and 1.5%, respectively. Moreover, the second-stage efficiency and pressure coefficient were respectively increased by 1.0% and 3.2%. It is considered that the increase in the second-stage efficiency was caused by the increased uniformity of the flow, and the rise in the pressure coefficient was caused by a decrease in the residual swirl flow. It was thus concluded from the numerical and experimental results that the optimized return channel improved the performance of the multistage centrifugal compressor.

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Fig. 1

Parameters of return channel

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Fig. 9

Model compressor cross section

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Fig. 8

Compressor test apparatus

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Fig. 7

Performance characteristics of impeller (CFD)

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Fig. 6

Meridional and vane shapes of return channel

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Fig. 5

Relationships between the design variables and objective functions

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Fig. 4

Results of sensitivity analysis

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Fig. 15

Measured second-stage performance characteristics

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Fig. 3

Calculation models

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Fig. 2

Flow chart of the return channel optimization system

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Fig. 10

Pitot tube measurement positions

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Fig. 11

Measured flow angle distribution in first-stage outlet

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Fig. 12

Calculated flow angle distribution in first-stage outlet

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Fig. 13

Measured overall performance characteristics

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Fig. 14

Measured first-stage performance characteristics



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