Improving cooling and oil distribution in an oil-injected screw compressor

3 Feb 2022 16:00 to 17:00


Register for your free place here

All those registering for the webinar will receive a recording of the broadcast even if they are unable to join the live broadcast.


The Paper

Download the paper here


What you will learn

  • Hear about the IOR Ted Perry Award Winning student's research into performance and reliability of oil-injected screw compressors.
  • Learn how the oil-injected in a twin-screw compressor distributes itself in the compression chambers.
  • Find out how CFD (computational fluid dynamics) were used as part of this research.
  • Explore the results of case studies, tests on existing rigs and instrumental detail which show the effect of using different injection points and how to reduce power losses due to temperature rise.



Compressors today consume around 20% of the electricity generated worldwide and contribute to megatons of CO2 . Thus, even minor improvement of their efficiency will substantially impact sustainability. Oil-injected twin-screw compressors are widely used in industry for gas compression because of their high volumetric efficiency and reliability. The injected oil has a significant influence on the performance of these compressors, and its overall effect depends on the working fluid mass flow rate, the shaft speed, injection position and injected oil temperature. However, the individual contribution of each of these variables to the machine performance is yet not thoroughly researched.

Previous experimental and numerical studies have shown that the mass flow of oil and oil droplet sizes when varied have a significant effect on compressor performance. However, the distribution of oil in the compression chamber that is capable of affecting performance is not researched. Therefore, in this research, a novel design methodology, a stable, reliable, and accurate two-phase CFD model is developed by writing User Defined Nodal Displacement code in a parallel framework.

This model is applied to visualise oil distribution on rotor surfaces for a varying oil-injection flow rate in a typical twin-screw compressor. The model has predicted performance very close to experimental data and indicated high-temperature spots due to lack of oil in the compression chamber. Based on this observation, improved oil-injection design is suggested and implemented to limit high-temperature spots and thereby to improve compressor specific power. Applying this novel design methodology researchers and designers in the sector will be able to improve compressor efficiency and deliver a sustainable design solution. Further, the physics accounted by the model is extended with Adaptive Mesh Refinement techniques which will prevent failures due to oil lubrication in operation. This visualisation of the unstable oil regime provides deeper insight into the dynamics of the injected oil in a compressor. This thesis demonstrates that there will be at least 1.8% improvement in compressor specific power which will in turn have a huge positive impact for the environment and costs.

The presenter

Nausheen Basha winner of the Ted Perry Award for Student Research.  Nausheen Ted Perry