Centrifugal compressors, sometimes called radial compressors, are a sub-class of dynamic axisymmetric work-absorbing turbomachinery.They achieve a pressure rise by adding kinetic energy/velocity to a continuous flow of fluid through the rotor or impeller. This kinetic energy is then converted to an increase in potential energy/static pressure by slowing the flow through a diffuser. The pressure rise in the impeller is in most cases almost equal to the rise in the diffuser.
Theory of operation
In the case where flow passes through a straight pipe to enter a centrifugal compressor the flow is axial, uniform and has no vorticity, ie swirling motion. As the flow passes through the centrifugal impeller, the impeller forces the flow to spin faster as it gets further from the rotational axis.
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