Reciprocating compressors come in a wide range of specifications and they are being used extensively in a variety of applications that require a pressurized gas supply. A compressor that takes input gas at pressures above atmospheric and delivers it very high pressures (> 100 bar) is specifically called a booster pump. These pumps commonly consist of two or more piston-barrel units in series, connected through check valves that determine the final delivery pressure.
Although various booster pumps are available in the global market, very little information on their design is available in literature. The design of a booster pump operating at a desired output pressure and mass flow rate will depend on coupled flow and heat transfer phenomena in the system, such as fluid flow through the check valves and heat transfer through the barrel walls, as well as mechanical properties of pump materials and cyclic operation parameters. We have initiated a combined experimental-computational study to investigate the transport processes that happen in a two-barrel booster pump, with the aim of determining key design parameters and their effect on pump performance and capacity.
This study will focus on the computational studies of gas compression and check valve actuation. Through Ansys Fluent software, computational fluid dynamics was utilized to the solve momentum and energy conservation equations on a dynamic mesh. The accuracy of representing the moving piston boundary in 2-D was tested against adiabatic compression calculations. To avoid additional moving boundary problems, check valve dynamics were modeled macroscopically by using UDFs. Results of these simulations will be presented, along with the adaptation of this model setup to 3-D geometry. ORCID NO: 0000-0002-9101-5288
Anahtar Kelimeler: Ansys Fluent, CFD, compressors, fluid dynamics