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Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

Effect of Inlet Structures on the Performance of Oil Supply System of a Variable Speed Rotary Compressor

[+] Author and Article Information
Yihao Zhu

School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
Wuhan 430074, China
e-mail: zyhhappy@mail.hust.edu.cn

Guogeng He

School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
Wuhan 430074, China
e-mail: gghe@mail.hust.edu.cn

Wei Sun

School of Energy and Power Engineering,
Huazhong University of Science and Technology,
Wuhan 430074, China
e-mail: weisun@mail.hust.edu.cn

Mihoko Shimoji

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation,
Amagasaki 200030, Japan,
e-mail: shimoji@foxmail.com

Xiaoxia Chen

Mitsubishi Electric (CHINA) Co., Ltd.,
Shanghai Branch,
Shanghai 200336, China
e-mail: summer_0621@foxmail.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 14, 2018; final manuscript received March 1, 2019; published online April 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Satoshi Watanabe.

J. Fluids Eng 141(8), 081114 (Apr 08, 2019) (10 pages) Paper No: FE-18-1546; doi: 10.1115/1.4043060 History: Received August 14, 2018; Revised March 01, 2019

Variable speed rotary compressors are now increasingly favored in the market of household air-conditioners in China due to its advantage of energy saving and system stability. Oil supply system plays a pivotal role in high efficiency and good reliability of a variable speed rotary compressor. This paper presents an investigation of the effect of inlet structures on the performance of oil supply system of a variable speed rotary compressor by means of numerical simulation and experiment. The method of volume of fluid (VOF) has been employed in the simulation model and a novel experimental test rig is designed to perform oil flow rate measurements in order to validate the simulated results. With the help of numerical simulation, oil flow patterns in oil pump can be visualized and oil supply rate under different working conditions can be predicted. Good agreement between the simulated oil flow rates and the experimental data has been achieved. The results indicate that oil supply rate increases with an increase in oil level height, oil viscosity as well as the rotating speed. Vertical oil suction pipe with a tapered port contributes to oil pumping in comparison with a straight suction pipe and no suction pipe. Additionally, the minimum rotational speed at which oil starts to flow out of the oil pump increases with the oil inlet diameter and the increment of oil inlet diameter allows the improvement oil pumping performance at a high rotating speed.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Oil surface in the shaft

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Fig. 2

Oil level height in the shaft

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Fig. 3

Schematic diagram of a rotary compressor

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Fig. 4

Oil pump modeled in numerical simulation: (a) oil pump without suction pipe and (b) oil pump with suction pipe

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Fig. 5

The generated mesh model: (a) mesh model for oil pump without suction pipe and (b) mesh model for oil pump with suction pipe which has a tapered port

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Fig. 6

Schematic diagram of the experimental apparatus

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Fig. 7

The correspondence between the simulation model and the experimental apparatus for oil pump without suction pipe

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Fig. 8

Schematic diagram of oil suction pipes with different structures

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Fig. 9

The actual suction pipes

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Fig. 10

The simulated oil interface in oil pump: (a) phase distribution of oil VG2, H0 = 36 mm in oil pump without suction pipe and (b) phase distribution of oil VG2, H0 = 36 mm in oil pump with suction pipe

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Fig. 11

Oil flow rate for oil pump without suction pipe

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Fig. 12

Oil flow rate for vertical suction pipe with a tapered port at different oil level heights

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Fig. 13

Experimental results for oil suction pipe with different structures

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