On the development of an efficient regenerative compressor

D. Griffini, S. Salvadori, M. Carnevale, A. Cappelletti, L. Ottanelli, F. Martelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (SciVal)


Regenerative compressors are attractive machines used in several industrial processes. Their main characteristic is the highly three-dimensional development of the flow. Consequently, usual approach for axial or centrifugal compressors design are not an affordable strategy. The analysis of the rotor/stator coupling is the main issue in the design of regenerative compressors because of the vane-less nature of the stator and the characteristic trajectory of the flow. This paper describes the design of an efficient regenerative compressor based on a highly detailed Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) analysis. The targets of the activity are defined in terms of expected mass-flow, pressure rise and compressor efficiency, and then a preliminary design is performed using an in-house mono-dimensional tool based on simplified assumptions for the nominal operating conditions. Once the model provided the most promising geometrical characteristics for the target operating point, three-dimensional steady RANS analyses are performed to evaluate the actual performance of the compressor for a wide range of mass-flow values. Special attention has been paid to the generation of the computational mesh and a specific solution for the rotor row has been developed. Compressibility effects are non-negligible since the flow Mach number is higher than 0.5 in several compressor sections, including the leakage zone regions where the losses are higher. The rotor and the full compressor efficiencies are evaluated and discussed to underline the importance of the rotor/volute coupling. The flow behaviour inside of the volute as well as the distribution of losses is also discussed and some guidelines for the efficient design of regenerative compressors are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-257
Number of pages6
JournalEnergy Procedia
Early online date19 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2015
Event70th Conference of the Italian Thermal Machines Engineering Association, ATI 2015 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 9 Sept 201511 Sept 2015


  • CFD
  • Efficiency
  • Grid generation
  • Regenerative compressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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