CFD Modelling of Coupled Heat Transfer between Solid and Fluid in a Twin Screw Compressor

Authors: Ding H, Jiang Y, Dhar S
Where published:IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering: IOP Publishing

Temperature variation in a compressor is very critical for compression performance and efficiency. To accurately predict the thermal dynamic behaviour of a compressor, heat transfer between metal components and the working fluid needs to be properly evaluated in CFD simulation. Thermal expansion of solid components due to temperature increase may also cause excessive abrasion of metal parts and changing in leakage clearance. Solving conjugate heat transfer (CHT) of twin screw compressors not only needs to deal with complex moving rotor geometry, but also needs to consider huge difference of temperature propagation time scale inside different media. Typically, heat propagation is much slower in solid than in compressed gas. Therefore, it may take many compressor revolutions to reach a stable CHT solution if heat conduction inside solid and thermodynamic temperature change of compressed gas are directly coupled in a CFD simulation. The run time of simulation may become impractical.

In this paper, an innovative approach solving conjugate heat transfer using the Mixed Timescale Coupling method between different media will be described in detail. This approach can address time scale difference in heat propagation. The proposed approach will be applied to a twin screw compressor. Simulation results will be compared with available test data. Effects of conjugate heat transfer will be evaluated by comparing the simulation results for the cases with and without considering conjugate heat transfer. Thermal expansion of the solid rotor will also be evaluated using predicted temperature distribution. Simulation will also demonstrate that the approaches used in the paper are robust, fast, and user friendly, and can be readily applied to industrial compressor systems.

Keywords:Computational Fluid Dynamics , heat transfer , screw compressor , screw machines , temperature