Screw compressors are complex flow systems, but operate upon simple considerations: they are positive displacement machines consisting of meshing rotors contained in a casing to form a working chamber, whose volume depends only on the angle of rotation. Their performance is highly affected by leakages, which is dependent on various clearances and the pressure differences across these clearances. Nowadays, the manufacturing and profiling techniques have matured so much, that rotors of even the most complex shapes can be manufactured to tolerances in the order of few microns, resulting in high efficiencies. With manufacturing tolerances this tight, there is only small amount of improvement expected from further exploration of this venue, and a rather different direction for analysis may be more rewarding, i.e. other components of the screw compressor, like the suction and discharge areas. While the available literature includes several references on improvements of the compressor performance based on the analysis of the discharge port and discharge chamber, the investigation of the suction arrangement and inlet port remains fairly unexplored. This is the area of concern for the present paper, where the influence of the port shape and suction arrangement on the overall compressor performance is investigated. Two suction models were investigated for a standard screw compressor by means of CFD, which allowed in-depth analyses and flow visualizations, confirmed by the experimental investigation carried out on the actual compressor.

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