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# Purdue University

Purdue e-Pubs
International Compressor Engineering Conference School of Mechanical Engineering
1994
Leakage Calculation Trough Clearances
Y. Huang
Copeland Corporation
Complete proceedings may be acquired in print and on CD-ROM directly from the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at htps://engineering.purdue.edu/
Herrick/Events/orderlit.html
Huang, Y., "Leakage Calculation Trough Clearances" (1994). International Compressor Engineering Conference. Paper 953.
htp://docs.lib.purdue.edu/icec/953
LEAKAGE CALCULATION THROUGH CLEARANCES
Yong Huang
Copeland Cor[X)ration, Sidney, OH 45365
ABSTRACT
Gas leakage tlow through small clearances is modeled using two-dimensional (2-D) and quasi one-dimensional
{1-D) flow analysis. For 2-D approach, a dimensionless form of Navier-Stokes equations for two-dimensional, laminar,
viscous and compressible fluids are employed to compute the det-1iled tlow field across the clearance. The 2-D study
also establishes that when clearance (0) is very small compared to tl1e lengili (L), i.e., OIL<O.O I, a quasi lD model is
adequate to predict U1c leakage. The quasi 1-D model includes viscous, convective and dissipative effects. An integral
mct110d is used to derive the relationship between mass flow rate and other parameters. It is found iliat boili convective
and viscous effects arc equally important for leakage flow. TI1ercfore, tlle solution of t11e quasi 1-D model can be used
efficiently in performance analysis of compressors including such gas leakage.
INTRODUCTION
Losses due to leakage tJuough tip and flank clearances of scroll compressor are among the most important factors for
degrading performance. In design of scroll (or ::my other types oO compressors, great care is taken to avoid ilie
excessive leakage loss. Although precision tools today allow U1at comact surfaces be machined wiU1in a few microns, it
is still in demand to fully understand how much leakage would result under specific conditions in order to estimate
losses and conduct performance analysis.
Various models have been used before to evaluate leakage tlow tJnough clearances. One is based on 1-D inviscid
nozzle flow (for exrunple, sec [1]). The deficiency of 1-D in-viscid model is tJmt viscous effects, while important, are
neglected. On t11e other hand, purely lD viscous flow (Stokes flow) ignores the convection effect, which may be
significant when pressure gradient is large [2]. In addition, other quasi 1-D models were also employed to calculate the
leakage [3].
To fully understand the flow through clearances, an approach based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is
used in t11e present project. ll is aimed at calculating t11e detailed flow field, including velocity, pressure and mass flow
across the clearance and assessing the threshold as to when a quasi 1-D model is sufficient enough to predict ilie mass
0
flow. The setup of tl1e problem is illustrated in Fig. 1.
One-dimensional models or quasi 1-D models can be a good
approximation only when the ratio S!L is very small. The present
P2 study hegins with 2-D CFD approach and is followed by a quasi 1-D
L
model when BIL is small, which is usually tlle case for tip or flank
Fig. I Tip Clear> nee Geometry_
clearances of scroll compressors.
2-D APPROACH
Two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations were used to calculate the flow field. The flow was assumed to be
compressible, viscous nnd laminar. Ideal gas law was employed for equation of state. The system of partial differential
equations governing this type of flow is described as follows in non-dimensional fonn for Cartesian coordinate:
(1)
35
1 ') ')
p = (y-l)[e --p(u .. + v-)]
2
(2)
(3)
where Q =(p,
T
pu, pv, e] , E = [pu, pu
2
+ p, puv, u(e + p) r,
F=[pv, puv, pv
2
+p, v(e+p)r, p
is density, u and v arc velocity components. e is total energy, pis pressure, a is the speed of sound andy is the ratio of
specific heats. Reynolds numher Re is defined as Re = p
1
a
1
H I J.1
1
The viscous terms are:
E =
v
0
't
XX
'txy
')
P
-1 )-1 aa ..
IH +vt +J.l r (y-1 --
xx xy ax
F=
v
0
'tyx
'tyy
U'tyx +vtyy +J.lPr-l(y-1)-1 da2
dy
(4)
where shear stresses 1: "Y = J.l( ~ ~ ~ + aav), etc. and Pr is Prandll number. The viscosity follows Sutherland's law:
oy x
3/2
J.l ( T) T ~ +Ito
J.l .. = T,.., T+110
(5)
A finite-volume method [4] was used to discretize Eq. (1) so that a system of algebraic equations for five
unknown variables (p, u, 1', p, e) were derived. Wilh the appropriate upstream boundary conditions where total
pressure and temperature were specified and downstream conditions where static pressure was set, the equations were
integrated to steady state using MacCormack method; which is second-order accurate. Upstream and downstream
locations were defined as some distance up and down the step (about 10 times of channel height H).
QUASI 1-D APPROACH
The underlying assumption of quasi 1-D steady state moue! is that the ratio of clearance height o to the length of the
clearance L is very small: OIL<<l. As estahlishcJ in IJ1e previous
section, tJ1is ratio should generally be less tJ1:m O.OJ for validity and
accuracy of quasi 1-D model. The schematic geometry of quasi 1-D
model is shown in Fig. 2.
Based on the basic geometric assumption, IJ1e pressure,
temperature and density of tJ1e gas vary in the x-coordinate:
p=p(x), T=T(x), p=p(x)
(6)
L
Fig. 2 Geomety for Quasi 1-D Model.
As a result, tl1e govcming equations, Eq. ( 1 )-(2), degenerate to a set of boundary-layer-like equations:
d(pu) + a(pv) = 0
ax ay
(7)
(
d/1 au) dp d
1
u
p u-+v- =--+Jl--,
ox oy dx ()y
(8)
C (
dT) dp (()11)2
p u- =u-+Jl-
P dx dx ()y
(9)
36
X
p=pRT (10)
1l1e above set of equations were obtained by eliminated those tenns in 2-D equations which are either zero due to
the assumption (Eq. (6)) or very small due to the fact that O!L<<l. However, the dominating effects for small
clearances were taken into account: viscosity and convection. Also included in the energy equation (9) was the viscous
dissipation term which is significant when high speed and larger viscosity are present. It is noted that if this
dissipation term was neglected, the energy equation (9), toget11er wit11 t11e equation of St.."lte (10), reduces to familiar
p lp
1
= Const
The set of equations (7)-(10) is also applicable to flank clearance case if
curvature is large compared to the length of clearance passage, i.e., LIR<<l (see Fig.
3). In t11is case, t11e clearance height 0 is a function of streamwise coordinate and x
coordinate is replaced by stream wise coordinme, s.
The solution of the equations (7)-(10) was ohtained via an imegral method. The
mass flow rate ww> delined as:
6
,;, = J pudy
0
(11)
Fig. 3 f l a n ~ Clearance Gecmerry.
(12)
After lengthy derivation, the following equation defining relationship between mass flow rate and pressure, state
variables, viscosity and geometry was obtained:
(13)
1l1e cubic tenn in Eq. (13) is identified as the contribution from viscous dissipation in the energy equation; the
quadratic tcnn represents convection effect in the momentum equation, and tl1e linear tenn is due to viscosity. The
equation (13) is applicable for bol11 tip and flank clearance, as long as t11e curvature of t11e flank is much larger than
the effective passage length.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
For 2-D calculation, the width of tJ1e tip was set to be such that LIH=0.0726. The clearance height 8/H was allowed to
vary to see the 2-D effect. in the present study, t11e flow is in t11e laminar regime for Reynolds number (Re) ranging
from 500 to 1500.
Figure 4 shows that the m:L'>S tlow rate decre<Lses significantly wit11 t11e reduction of clearance height 8 for fixed
pressure ratio and Reynolds number. For t11ese values of 8/H, two-dimensional flow persists. In Fig. 5, the variation of
mass flow rate with Reynolds number is shown for o/H=0.05. It is observed that at higher Reynolds number, namely,
when t11e gas is less viscous, the increase of pressure ratio leads to flatter portion of tlle curve, indicating the restrictive
effect of compressible llow through a small opening.
It was shown from the 2-D computation tlwt pressure ratio (inviscid effect) and Reynolds number (viscous effect)
play important roles. The pressure drop was found to occur mostly across tl1e step. For t11e smaller clearance case when
OIH=0.025, a quasi-linc:1r drop across the clc:trance of pressure was observed (Fig. 6), suggesting that continuously
37
decreasing clearance height would lead to quasi l-D flow within t11e clearance. The flow was stagnant in most regions
away from the step for this case.
To demonstrate the result of 2D calculation in ahsolute units, the mass flow rate is plotted against tile clearance
in Fig. 7, for a pressure ratio of P2/Ph=0.85. Also shown in Fig. 7 is t11e result of quasi l-D model and ilS discrepancy
wit11 tl1e 2D result. It is important to note that when tJ1e clearance height decreases, the two results converge. It is seen
tlutt if 8/L<O.O I, the error between 2D and quasi I D calculations is witllin a few percent, which is very acceptable for
engineering calculations.
Figure 8 shows t11c results using present quasi I D model witll tllose obtained by Suefuji et al. [3], who employed
a set of ordinary differential equations and estimated viscous effect tllrough friction factor. It was found tllat the
agreement with Sucfuji et al. [3] is good considering tllat Suefuji et al. [3] did not provide all tile data needed for the
present calculation (temperature and viscosity).
In Fig. 9, the mass flow rate is plotted against pressure ratio for several tip clearance values. The clearance length
was setal 3 mm and its width was standardized at I inch. It can be observed tllat when tlle clearance is large (>20
microns) the reduction of pressure ratio does not increase t11e mass flow rate. This is an indication tllat tlle strong
convection effect due to pressure ratio results in choked llow. The Mach number was indeed found to be close to unity
at t11e inlet for these cases.
Flank clearance leakage was simulmed and the results arc presented in Fig. 10. A nozzle-like passage of flank
clearance allowed a slightly easier llow through the passage. This is demonstrated by comparing the mass flow rate
witll t110se shown in Fig. 9 for the same clearance . At 20 microns, flank leakage is not yet significantly choked.
The influence of various effects including viscosity, convection and dissipation is shown in Fig. 11 and Fig. 12
for two tip clearance values. At 5=10 microns, t11e omission of dissipation and especially convection gives significant
error. 1l1us, purely viscous model is not adequate for predicting leakage. At 8=5 microns, t11e discrepancy decreases as
viscosity becomes more important It is also observed that the dissipation is not as important as convection and
viscosity.
SUMMARY
Two analytical approaches were pursued in study of leakage flow. Through small clearm1ces the 20 flow analysis
using NavierStokes equations were found to be more general and applicable to larger clearances. However, the
compu11ttional cost is relatively high compared to simplified quasi lD modeling. In addition, the 2-D model,
presently, is limite(.) to laminar and regular geometry. Furtller research is necessary to extend tlle 2-D approach to
turbulent flow in m1 irregular geometry. Nevert11eless, ti1e 20 modeling helped establish the tllreshold when quasi 1-D
m1alysis is adequate. II was found timt 8/L<O.Ol is a necessary condition before applying 1-0 model, which is almost
always the case in practical design of compressors.
For quasi lD modeling, important factors such as viscosity and convection were considered in the model for
leakage llow. Flank leakage as well as tip leakage were modeled under certain conditions. It was found that neither
effect can be neglected for a I O-micron clearance when tl1e length is about 3 mm. Also ti1e choked effect of the leakage
llow was observed when the pressure difference increased for larger clearmlCes (20 to 40 microns). The present 1-D
result was compared to Sucfuji et al. [3] and general agreement was observed.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The author is sincerely thankful to Jean-Luc Caillat for his help and encouragement during tlle work of the project and
tl1c preparation of this presentation.
REFERENCES
(1] JcanLuc Caillat, "A Computer Model for Scroll Compressor", Purdue Compressor Conference, 1988.
[2) Zhu Jic, ct. al. "Research on Self-adjusting Backprcssure Mechanism of Scroll Compressor", Purdue Compressor
Conference, 1992.
38
[3] Kazutaka Suefu_ji, Masao Shiibayashi and Kenji Tojo, "Perfonnance Analysis of Hennetic Scroll Compressors",
Purdue Compressor COI({erence, 1992.
[4] Rodrick V. Chima, "lnvisciu and Viscous Flows in Cascades with an Explicit Multiple-Grid Algorithm", AIAA
Journal, Vol. 23, No. 10, pp 1556-1563, 1985.
0 ~ - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - .
y
1.050
P21P1=0.85. Re=500, SIH=0.025
1.000 l---------,,....-..,..,.------------.-----------------
(._11 nil till m )
-
o ...
e o ....
0 0.03
c 0.112
B o ..
0.1150 A 000
0.7t
070
0.'11
0.1?
o.eoo
0.78
070
0.74
0.73
o.?z
-{).100 -{1,050 0.000 0.050 0.100 0.150 X
Fig. 6 Pressura Contour across 'Tip Clearance( 2-D Result)
0.0200
~ 0.0150
::!
..

I 0.0100
0
;;;
<:
~
i5
0.0050
li/H=0.05
UH=0.0726
O.IXIOO .._....,...,..._""-__ ....._ _ __._,.j,._.._....._.....___._""-......_---
10"'
10''
10''
i
.,
O:i
a:
m
~
.0'
0
0.25 0.50
Pressure Ratio
0.75
Fig. 5 2-D Mass Rate Through Clearance
'
'
'
'
'
,
L=3mm
W=1 in
P1=200 psi
T1=200 F
~ a - - ~
100
g 75
e
w
50
25
10"
0
L..----J......----...L...----...1...----.............. 0
0.0 05 1.0 1.5 2.0
Clearance (mm)
Fig. 7 Leakage Flow: 2-D vs. 1-0
39
l=o4.5mm
W=126mm
P1=0.1 Mpa
10. T1=300 K
R22
...,.

J!
..
a:
a
,.
t0
4
to
0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 0.70 0.80
Pressure Ratio
Fig. 8 Tip Leakage Usmg Data of SuefUJI et al. [3].
to
0.00
(])
iii 0.01:
II
1/)

::E 000010
R=15mm
L=3mm
W=1 in
P1=200 psi
T1=200 F
R22
0.25
o.so
Pressure Ratio P2/P1
0.75
Fig. 10 Leakage Through Flank Clearance
L:3mm
W:1il
P1=200 psi
Tt:200F
R22
Viseous'Convecioo w/ Diss1paoo
ViSCOJs/Convecion w/o DISSipllbo
VISC(IIS no Convedicn!Dissipalion
0.25 0.50 0.7S
Pressure Ratio P2/P1

10"'
i
..
"ii
a:

,.
to
0.00
o.oom
Ill
Ill
as o.ootoo
::2
O.OIXW

l=3mm
W=1 in
P1=200 psi
T1=200 F
R22
0.25 0 50 0.75 1.00
Pressure Ratio P2/P1
Fig. 9 Leakage Through Tip Clearance
L:3mm
Wdll
P1:200psi
T1=200F
R22
wf Dissiptioo
VISCCI.Is!Convecion w/o
VISC(IIs no QrwedicniDisSipalion
O.JI5 O.ril 0.75
Pressure Ratio P2/P1
Fig. 11 Effect of Viscosity, Convection and
Dissipation on Leakage. &= 10 microns.
Fig. 12 Effect of Viscosity, Convection and
Dissipation on Leakage. o=S microns.
40