Abstract

A numerical investigation has been carried out to predict the fluid flow and heat transfer within a scroll compressor working chamber. The “two-boundary” algebraic method was employed to generate the curvilinear and deforming grid systems which can accommodate a range of practical scroll compressor configurations. The computation accounts for the effect of simultaneous change in the instantaneous volume and the moving boundary of the scroll chamber. The convective heat transfer has been calculated through standard k-ε turbulence model with log-law wall function. Fluid flow and heat transfer rate were predicted in consecutive time steps. Results obtained were compared with that predicted using the lumped parameter approach employing the First Law of Thermodynamics, where some commonly used heat transfer empirical correlations were employed. The comparisons show that empirical correlations are inadequate in predicting heat transfer within the scroll compressor chamber. This is due to highly curved geometry of the scroll chamber and results in the existence of the recirculating flow especially in the late period of the compression process. However, reasonably good prediction in pressure history can be obtained using the First Law of Thermodynamics.

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