Working of Centrifugal Compressor

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 ·


Air compressors of various designs are used widely throughout DOE facilities in numerous applications. Compressed air has numerous uses throughout a facility including the operation of equipment and portable tools. Three types of designs include reciprocating, rotary, and centrifugal air compressors.

Centrifugal Compressors

The centrifugal compressor, originallybuilt to handle only large volumes of lowpressure gas and air (maximum of 40psig), has been developed to enable it tomove large volumes of gas with dischargepressures up to 3,500 psig. However,centrifugal compressors are now mostfrequently used for medium volume andmedium pressure air delivery. Oneadvantage of a centrifugal pump is thesmooth discharge of the compressed air.The centrifugal force utilized by thecentrifugal compressor is the same forceutilized by the centrifugal pump. The airparticles enter the eye of the impeller,designated D in Figure 6. As the impeller rotates, air is thrown against the casing of the compressor. The airbecomes compressed as more and more air is thrown out to the casing by the impeller blades.The air is pushed along the path designated A, B, and C in Figure 6. The pressure of the air is increased as it is pushed along this path. Note in Figure 6 that the impeller blades curve forward, which is opposite to the backward curve used in typical centrifugal liquid pumps.Centrifugal compressors can use a variety of blade orientation including both forward and backward curves as well as other designs.There may be several stages to a centrifugal air compressor, as in the centrifugal pump, and the result would be the same; a higher pressure would be produced. The air compressor is used to create compressed or high pressure air for a variety of uses.Some of its uses are pneumatic control devices, pneumatic sensors, pneumatic valve operators, pneumatic motors, and starting air for diesel engines.

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