Liquid piston gas compression

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 68 Citations

Abstract

A liquid piston concept is proposed to improve the efficiency of gas compression and expansion. Because a liquid can conform to an irregular chamber volume, the surface area to volume ratio in the gas chamber can be maximized using a liquid piston. This creates near-isothermal operation, which minimizes energy lost to heat generation. A liquid piston eliminates gas leakage and replaces sliding seal friction with viscous friction. The liquid can also be used as a medium to carry heat into and out of the compression chamber. A simulation is presented of the heat transfer and frictional forces for a reciprocating piston and a liquid piston. In the application of an air compressor, with a pressure ratio of 9.5:1 and a cycle frequency of 20 Hz, the liquid piston decreased the energy consumption by 19% over the reciprocating piston. The liquid piston and the reciprocating piston exhibited a total efficiency of 83% and 70% respectively. The liquid piston demonstrated significant improvements in the total compression efficiency in comparison to a conventional reciprocating piston. This gain in efficiency was accomplished through increasing the heat transfer during the gas compression by increasing the surface area to volume ratio in the compression chamber.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages2183-2191
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Energy
Volume86
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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Pistons
Compaction
compression
liquid
Liquids
Gases
gas
heat transfer
friction
surface area
Friction
Heat transfer
Leakage (fluid)
Heat generation
leakage
sliding
Seals
Compressors
Energy utilization
air

Keywords

  • Air compressor
  • Compression efficiency
  • Gas compression
  • Liquid piston

Cite this

Liquid piston gas compression. / Van de Ven, James D.; Li, Perry Y.

In: Applied Energy, Vol. 86, No. 10, 01.01.2009, p. 2183-2191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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