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International Journal of Rotating Machinery
Volume 5 (1999), Issue 4, Pages 241-250

Performance Evaluation of an Air-Conditioning Compressor Part II: Volute Flow Predictions

David Taylor Model Basin, 9500 MacArthur Blvd., West Bethesda, MD 20817-5700, USA

Received 12 May 1998; Revised 10 July 1998

Copyright © 1999 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A numerical method that solves the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations is used to study an inefficient component of a shipboard air-conditioning HCFC-124 compressor system. This high-loss component of the centrifugal compressor was identified as the volute through a series of measurements given in Part I of the paper. The predictions were made using three grid topologies. The first grid closes the connection between the cutwater and the discharge diffuser. The other two grids connect the cutwater area with the discharge diffuser. Experiments were performed to simulate both the cutwater conditions used in the predictions. Surface pressures along the outer wall and near the inlet of the volute were surveyed for comparisons with the predictions. Good agreements between the predicted results and the measurements validate the calculations. Total pressure distributions and flow stream traces from the prediction results support the loss distribution through the volute. A modified volute configuration is examined numerically for further loss comparison.