A gas compressor that can continuously pressurize gases is known as an axial compressor. It is an airfoil-based rotating compressor where the gas or working fluid primarily flows axially, or parallel to the axis of rotation. This contrasts with other rotating compressors including centrifugal, axi-centrifugal, and mixed-flow compressors where the fluid flow through the compressor will include a radial component. The motion of the rotor blades, which impose a torque on the fluid, causes the fluid’s energy level to rise as it passes through the compressor. The circumferential component of flow is changed into pressure by the stationary blades, which also slow the fluid. Typically, a steam or gas turbine, an electric motor, or both are used to power compressors.
Continuous compressed gas flow is produced by axial flow compressors, which also offer the advantages of high efficiency and high mass flow rates, especially in comparison to their size and cross-section. To obtain a significant pressure rise, they do, however, need multiple rows of airfoils, which makes them complex and expensive in comparison to other designs. Large gas turbines, such as jet engines, high-speed ship engines, and small-scale power plants, all incorporate axial compressors into their designs.
Additionally, they are utilized in industrial processes including propane dehydrogenation, air from blast furnaces, air used in fluid catalytic cracking, and large-scale air separation plants. They are also employed in fuel pumps, aircraft rocket engines, and other vital high volume applications because of their excellent perforᴍᴀɴce, high dependability, and flexible functioning throughout the flight envelope.
Axial compressors are made up of stationary and rotating parts. A stationary tubular casing houses a central drum that is driven by a shaft and held in place by bearings. There are rows of airfoils between the drum and casing, with each row alternately connected to the drum or the casing. The fluid is accelerated in both the axial and circumferential directions by a pair of rotating airfoils, also referred to as blades or rotors.
The stationary airfoils, also referred to as vanes or stators, redirect the fluid’s flow direction in order to get it ready for the rotor blades of the subsequent stage by diffusing the extra kinetic energy into static pressure. In order to maintain an ideal axial velocity as the fluid is compressed, the cross-sectional area between the rotor drum and casing is decreased in the flow direction.
The centrifugal part of the energy equation is not included because the fluid enters and exits in an axial direction. Here, the passages’ dispersing action serves as the sole foundation for the compression. The absolute kinetic head of the fluid is changed into an increase in pressure by the stator’s diffusing action. The only reason the relative kinetic head occurs in the energy equation is because the rotor rotates. The rotor decreases the fluid’s relative kinetic head, impacts the fluid’s particles to increase their speed, and reduces the fluid’s relative velocity to the rotor as a result.
Simply put, the rotor raises the fluid’s absolute velocity while the stator increases pressure as a result. The rotor passage can cause a pressure rise in addition to its normal operation if it is designed with a diffusing capability. This results in a larger pressure rise each stage, which incorporates both a stator and a rotor. The reaction principle for turbomachines is this. It is considered to have a 50% reaction if the rotor portion achieves 50% of the pressure rise in a stage.
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