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Impact of Frequency Dependence of Gas Labyrinth Seal Rotordynamic Coefficients on Centrifugal Compressor Stability

[+] Author Affiliations
Giuseppe Vannini

GE Oil & Gas Nuovo Pignone, Florence, Italy

Manish R. Thorat, Dara W. Childs

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Mirko Libraschi

Engineering Consultant, Florence, Italy

Paper No. GT2010-22039, pp. 1-10; 10 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 6: Structures and Dynamics, Parts A and B
  • Glasgow, UK, June 14–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4401-4 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3872-3
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


A numerical model developed by Thorat & Childs [1] has indicated that the conventional frequency independent model for labyrinth seals is invalid for rotor surface velocities reaching a significant fraction of Mach 1. A theoretical one-control-volume (1CV) model based on a leakage equation that yields a reasonably good comparison with experimental results is considered in the present analysis. The numerical model yields frequency-dependent rotordynamic coefficients for the seal. Three real centrifugal compressors are analyzed to compare stability predictions with and without frequency-dependent labyrinth seal model. Three different compressor services are selected to have a comprehensive scenario in terms of pressure and molecular weight (MW). The molecular weight is very important for Mach number calculation and consequently for the frequency dependent nature of the coefficients. A hydrogen recycle application with MW around 8, a natural gas application with MW around 18, and finally a propane application with molecular weight around 44 are selected for this comparison. Useful indications on the applicability range of frequency dependent coefficients are given.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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