Understanding the turbulence that can occur in flowing gases can be an important part in forecasting and optimising the performance of air compressor systems.
In any flowing fluid, turbulence can occur due to interactions between the fluid itself and the interior surface of the pipe.
This makes the flow more energetic, with the kinetic energy of the laminar component of flow supplemented by the energy contained within the swirls and eddies of turbulence.
In some gas systems, predicting this can be made harder by the presence of solid particulates held in suspension within the gas flow.
But researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, Professor Donald John Bergstrom and corresponding author Ashraf Uz Zaman, have written in the Journal of Fluids Engineering of their two-fluid model for dilute gas-solid flow in rough-walled pipes.
They explain that a two-layer method can model the turbulence of the gas phase, taking into account the enhancement and suppression of turbulence due to the presence of solid particles within the flow.
By better understanding these issues – and how to model them – air compressor systems can also be modelled accurately, ensuring that their design and function are optimised to result in good performance and longevity.