A novel design for a high-speed, miniature centrifugal compressor for a miniature RTBC (reverse turbo Brayton cycle) cryogenic cooling system is the focus of this paper. Due to the geometrical restriction imposed by the cryocooling system, the outer radius of the compressor is limited to 2.5 cm. Such a small compressor must rotate at a high speed in order to provide an acceptable pressure ratio. Miniature design precludes the use of inducers with large angles. In order to compensate for the absence of conventional inducers, the proposed design uses inlet guide vanes (IGV) that produce preswirl at the impeller inlet. IGV is followed by a radial impeller and an axial diffuser. The design speed for this compressor is 313,000 rpm for an overall static-to-total pressure ratio of 1.7 with helium as the working fluid for the compressor and the cryocooling system. The analysis undertaken in this paper is for an aerodynamically similar design with air as the working fluid. The rotational speed is 108,000 rpm and the overall static-to-total pressure ratio of 1.55. This paper concentrates on computational prediction of the performance of the compressor. The three-dimensional transient simulation is performed by using sliding mesh model (SMM). Blade tip leakage is not considered in the computation presented here. The unsteady solution predicts the interaction between IGV and the impeller, and between the impeller and the diffuser. The isentropic efficiency of impeller is found to be 81% at the design point. Based on the results obtained in this study, the inlet angle of diffuser vanes is modified to match the gas flow at the impeller exit, resulting in an increase of the isentropic efficiency of diffuser from 8.6% to 74.8%. It is also found that the performance of upstream components — IGV and impeller, are not affected by the performance of the diffuser.

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