Energy conversion characteristics of reciprocating piston quasi-isothermal compression systems using water sprays

Research paper by GuanWei Jia, MaoLin Cai, WeiQing Xu, Yan Shi

Indexed on: 19 Jan '18Published on: 17 Jan '18Published in: Science China Technological Sciences


Air compressors are vital and have numerous industrial applications. Approximately 8% of the annual operating electricity consumption in industrial countries is constituted by due to the use of air compressors. Because the poor heat transfer to the environment in the rapid compression process, the compression is non-isothermal, the efficiency of compressors is restricted. To improve their efficiency and achieve isothermal compression, this study proposes energy conversion reciprocating piston quasiisothermal compression using a water spray. First, a mathematical model of a reciprocating piston compressor with water sprays was established. Through experimental investigation and simulations, the mathematical model was validated. The energy conversion characteristics of the reciprocating piston compressor were then studied. To reduce compression power and enhance compression efficiency, it was first discovered that the critical parameters were the input pressure of the driving chamber, water spray mass, and compression volume ratio, which were then evaluated thoroughly. The higher the inlet pressure of the driving chamber, the faster the air compression velocity. Additionally, the compression efficiency was elevated as the water spray mass was gradually increased for a given compression volume ratio. When the compression volume ratio was increased from 2 to 3, the compression power increased from 172.7 J/stroke to 294.2 J/stroke and the compression efficiency was enhanced from 37.3% (adiabatic) to 80.6%. This research and its performance analysis can be referred to during the parameter design optimisation of reciprocating piston quasi-isothermal compression systems using water sprays.