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Grid generation methodology and CFD simulations in sliding vane compressors and expanders

Bianchi, G., Kovacevic, A., Cipollone, R. , Murgia, S. & Contaldi, G. (2017). Grid generation methodology and CFD simulations in sliding vane compressors and expanders. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 232(1), article number 012053. doi: 10.1088/1757-899x/232/1/012053


The limiting factor for the employment of advanced 3D CFD tools in the analysis and design of rotary vane machines is the unavailability of methods for generation of computational grids suitable for fast and reliable numerical analysis. The paper addresses this challenge presenting the development of an analytical grid generation for vane machines that is based on the user defined nodal displacement. In particular, mesh boundaries are defined as parametric curves generated using trigonometrical modelling of the axial cross section of the machine while the distribution of computational nodes is performed using algebraic algorithms with transfinite interpolation, post orthogonalisation and smoothing. Algebraic control functions are introduced for distribution of nodes on the rotor and casing boundaries in order to achieve good grid quality in terms of cell size and expansion. In this way, the moving and deforming fluid domain of the sliding vane machine is discretized and the conservation of intrinsic quantities in ensured by maintaining the cell connectivity and structure. For validation of generated grids, a mid-size air compressor and a small-scale expander for Organic Rankine Cycle applications have been investigated in this paper. Remarks on implementation of the mesh motion algorithm, stability and robustness experienced with the ANSYS CFX solver as well as the obtained flow results are presented

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article published in IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. This article is published under a CC BY licence. The Version of Record is available online at
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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