How Does a Centrifugal Compressor Work?

Centrifugal CompressorCentrifugal Compressor

Centrifugal compressors, sometimes called radial compressors, are a sub-class of dynamic axisymmetric work-absorbing turbomachinery. The very first jet engines used centrifugal compressors, and they are still used on small turbojets and turbo shaft engines.

How Does a Centrifugal Compressor Work?

Centrifugal compressors typically consist of one or more stages. Each stage typically consists of an impeller and a diffuser. The impeller imparts kinetic energy to the gas fluid, whereas the diffuser converts part of that kinetic energy into pressure head.

In a centrifugal compressor, energy is transferred from a set of rotating impeller blades to the gas. The name “centrifugal” implies that the gas flow is radial, and the energy transfer is caused from a change in the centrifugal forces acting on the gas. Centrifugal compressors deliver high flow capacity per unit of installed space and weight, have good reliability, and require significantly less maintenance than reciprocating compressors.

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