Abstract

High-fidelity aerodynamic analysis has been demonstrated for mean performance and unsteady dynamics in a sCO2 compressor designed by Hanwha Power Systems Americas for a 10 MWe Concentrating Solar Power plant. Simulations were performed with crunchcfd® software tool that was matured to accurately model near critical real fluid effects in sCO2. Pretest predictions for mean performance were validated with test data collected later. Performance predictions were accurate and captured sensitivity of the efficiency to inlet temperature of CO2 as well as steep drop-off at high flow rates due to condensation in the inlet throat. Detailed analysis was performed to understand the source of these performance losses at near critical conditions. Unsteady dynamic effects in the compressor at off-design conditions were also identified and quantified. In particular, a system wide “condensation surge” condition was detected at high flow coefficients that results in large amplitude pulsations with accompanying mass flow fluctuations at low frequencies and has potential to cause damage in closed-loop systems.

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