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Improving reciprocating compressor performance using a hybrid two‐level optimisation approach

Ibrahim A. Sultan (School of Science and Engineering, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Australia)
Azfar Kalim (School of Science and Engineering, University of Ballarat, Ballarat, Australia)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe a design approach which can be used to manufacture better‐performing reciprocating compressors. This design approach relates the drive kinematic characteristics to the thermodynamic performance of the compressor.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented approach is based on employing a stochastic optimisation algorithm to find the best piston trajectory within one cycle of operation and couple that with a gradient‐based technique to find the best dimensions of the mechanism which can realise this trajectory.

Findings

The mathematical models presented to implement the proposed design approach have been coded in a computer program which has been employed for simulation purposes. A case study given at the end of the paper asserts the usefulness of the proposed method and proves that a few percentage points increase in a defined set of performance indices has been gained from the optimisation exercise.

Research limitations/implications

The presented models are only relevant to reciprocating compressors.

Practical implications

The promising results obtained in this paper will lead to the creation of better performing and more reliable compressor drives, designed to fulfil a set of desired performance criteria.

Originality/value

The paper offers originality in two different aspects. The mechanism design process has been undertaken in full consideration to the thermodynamic performance of the compressor; and the coupling of the stochastic and the gradient‐based optimisation methods to produce the desired outcome.

Keywords

Citation

Sultan, I.A. and Kalim, A. (2011), "Improving reciprocating compressor performance using a hybrid two‐level optimisation approach", Engineering Computations, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 616-636. https://doi.org/10.1108/02644401111141046

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited