Actual performance testing is a key element in the design stage, development and troubleshooting of centrifugal compressors. The present work discusses the procedure for designing the experimental setup and the selection of drive unit for variable centrifugal compressors sizes. It starts with setting criteria of selection. A survey over different types of drive units and facility setup was conducted. It was found that the electric drive unit with the aid of transmission for stepping-up the speeds is the most suitable type. This is due mainly to the excellent control property of electric motors allowing for wide range of operational speed and power. A new methodology was developed for selecting operational power and speeds of the drive unit for different sizes of impellers. The code, used for the analysis, was developed by the authors. It calculates the range of input power, input torque, and rotational speeds, as well as, the mass flow rate, total pressure and temperature ratios for different sizes of impellers. This will aid in selecting the proper instrumentation for the experiments. The code used for design methodology is based on one dimensional through flow formulation and validated with experimental results in the literature. It is expected that the present methodology will enhance selection procedure for designing compressor test facility.

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