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A gas compressor is a mechanical device that increases the pressure of a gas by reducing its volume. Compressors are similar to pumps, both increase the pressure on a fluid and both can transport the fluid through a pipe. As gases are compressible, the compressor also reduces the volume of a gas. Liquids are relatively incompressible; while some can be compressed, the main action of a pump is to pressurize and transport liquids.

The methods employed to achieve compression are: Trap consecutive quantities of gas in some type of enclosure, reduce the volume, thus increasing the pressure, and then push the compressed gas out of the enclosure. Trap consecutive quantities of gas in some type of enclosure; carry it without volume change to the discharge opening, compressing the gas by overcoming back flow from the discharge system and pushing the compressed gas out of the enclosure. Compress the gas by mechanical action of rotating impellers or bladed rotors that impart velocity and pressure to the flowing gas. Additional velocity energy in the gas is converted to pressure in an adjacent stationary diffuser or blade. Entrain the gas in a high velocity jet of another compatible gas and convert the high velocity of mixture into pressure via a diffuser. TYPES OF COMPRESSORS

Positive displacements machines work by mechanically changing the volume of working fluid. Dynamic machines work by mechanically changing the velocity of the working fluid.

Reciprocating pistons:Reciprocating compressors are positive displacement machines in which the compressing and displacing element is a piston having a reciprocating motion with in the cylinder. a reciprocating compressor can be analysed in 2 ways: Open, steady flow system, taking in a fluid at a low pressure, delivery at a higher pressure. A closed piston and cylinder system containing the working fluid, with the process repeated to obtain the flow (this is not quite a complete model because we must include a mass transfer). Small capacity compressors are almost all reciprocating designs. The overall cycle with the four typical phases of intake, compression , discharge, and expansion. Inlet valves are open from 4 to 1 and discharge valves are from 2 to 3 Intake(mass transferred into volume) inlet valve open Compression both valves closed Discharge(mass transferred out of volume) delivery valve open Expansion Schematically this process can be shown as

in terms of each process: Intake: cylinder head moves down from 2 V (=0) to 1 V , drawing in fluid. Compression: cylinder head moves up and, since both valves are closed, fluid is compressed. Discharge: whilst cylinder head is moving up, delivery valve is opened and fluid Leaves the cavity. Expansion: after discharge cylinder head moves back simultaneously by in taking and expanding. Graphically it is represented as

Sliding vane:-

Sliding vane compressors are rotary positive displacement compressors. A slotted cylinder is fitted with non-metallic vanes and placed eccentric inside a tube. As the slotted cylinder is turned, the vanes slide along the inner wall of the tubes forming regions of changing volume. No suction valve needed. Minimum gas pulsation

Liquid piston: Liquid ring compressors utilize a squirrel cage fan type impeller which is placed eccentric inside a tube. a compatible liquid is introduced into the chamber along the gas to be compressed. Because of centrifugal force and the shape of internal cavity, the liquid forms an eccentric shape producing regions of changing volume. The liquid must be separated from the compressed gas after the compression process and recirculated.

Rotary lobe: Two straight mating lobed impellers trap the gas and carry it from intake to discharge . There is no internal compression.

HELICAL SREW:Two intermeshing rotors compress and displace the gas. The gas is trapped in the rotor pockets at one end; it is compressed between the intermeshing rotors and discharged at the opposite end. Some helical screw compressors operate with fluid and these are called flooded screw compressors. The fluid provides a liquid seal around the rotors, absorbs the heat of compression, allowing the machine to produce a greater pressure rise. The fluid must be removed from the gas after the compression process.

Centrifugal compressors Centrifugal compressors are dynamic machines in which the rapidly rotating impeller accelerates the gas. The process flow propagate from axial to radial (perpendicular to shaft centreline) into a stationary diffuser converting velocity to pressure . Commonly used for large systems, including chillers Gas enters a spinning impeller and is thrown to the outside of the impeller through centrifugal force Impeller provides the gas with a high velocity (kinetic energy) which is converted to pressure (internal energy); remember Bernoullis Law!

Axial compressors:Axial compressors are dynamic machines in which the gas flow is accelerated in an axial and peripheral direction by the rotation of specially shaped blades. The process flow is parallel to shaft centreline. Stator blades allow the recovery of velocity to pressure.


Compressors performances:Performance is generally expressed through graphs of pressure produced, power required and efficiency vs flow. For flow rates greater than 10,000cfm, the choice of a multistage axial is relatively simple . for pressure ratios greater than 20, the choice of a multistage reciprocating compressor is simple as well. However, most compressor application have a pressure ratio less than 20 and a flow rate less than 10,000 cfm, which requires a compression method evaluation for a given process. All of the positive displacement and dynamic compressor types make contributions in this performance zone. For a given flow and pressure rise, each type of compressor can be satisfactory yet accomplish the task in a much different way.

DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS AND SPECIFIC SPEED: For compressors , dimensional analysis has been used to identify the speed in rpm a given machine geometry must operate in order to raise one cubic foot of gas one foot in head. Moreover , by generalizing geometries into specific diameters a plot of specific speed vs specific diameter for the compressor family tree I below figure reveals that each machine design there are ideal operating ranges where compressor efficiencies are optimum.

Generalized NS DS diagram for single stage pumps and compressors at low pressure ratios.

Required Data:N = rpm, operating speed V1= actual cubic feet per second, inlet flow H = foot pound force pound mass, adiabatic head D = feet, diameter SPECIFIC SPEED AND DIAMETER EQUATIONS:NS = NxV10.5/H0.75 Ds = DxH0.25/V10.5

SPECIFIC SPEED OF POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINERY: Piston type compressors generally operate in the 300 to 1,800 rpm range utilizing 4.5 inches to 26.0 inches diameter pistons and stroke lengths of 3.0 inches to 13.0 inches. Piston compressor designers tend to think in terms of linear stroking velocities of 500ft/min to 1000ft/min. The optimum specific speed and diameter ranges for these machines is NS= 0.003 to 3.0 DS= 3.0 to 30.0 Rotary lobe compressors operate in the 600 to 3600 rpm range utilizing 4.0 inches to 14.0 inches diameter lobes. The optimum specific speed and diameter ranges for these machines is NS = 2.5 to 150 DS = 0.3 to 5.0

SPECIFIC APEED OF SINGLE STAGE CENTRIFUGALS: Single stage centrifugal operate in the range of 3600 to 50000 rpm range utilizing 4.0 inches to 30.0 inches diameter impellers. Centrifugal designers tend to think in terms of impeller rotational tip speed of 500 to 1000ft/sec. The optimum specific speed and diameter ranges for these machines are NS = 7.0 to 150 DS= 1.0 to 10

Mixed flow and axial flow machines operate at similar speeds to centrifugals, utilizing diameter wheels and stators. Optimum specific speed and diameter ranges for these machines are. NS = 150 to 6000 DS = 0.4 to 3.0