To extend the boundaries of understanding of machines for compression and expansion processes, thereby:
- enabling them to operate more efficiently over a wider range of conditions, with aim to reducing both environmental impact and manufacturing costs;
- utilising such machines in novel configurations for improved recovery of power from low grade heat;
- serving as an aid to industry in the design, manufacture and operation of such machines, both in existing and novel forms.
Expertise and capabilities
Funded mainly by industrial contracts, but with some input from public funding, members of the centre have developed software for improved analytical modelling of both compression and expansion processes, the use of computational fluid dynamics for more detailed studies, including solid-fluid interaction and noise reduction and test facilities for both air and refrigerant compressors and detailed internal flow measurements.
By this means, apart from its ongoing research activities, the centre is able to investigate and solve industrial problems, offer courses in machine design both to registered students and industrial engineers, license proprietary software and, if required, carry out the complete design, build and testing of prototype machines for industry.
Additionally, the centre organises and hosts a biennial International Conference on Compressors and their Systems, which is sponsored by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) and leading industrial manufacturers. This has been functioning since 1999 and is a leading forum for academic, research and industrial organisations concerned with the development of fluid machinery.
Centre members have been granted 12 patents, published three monographs, 85 journal papers, 166 conference publications and over 200 industrial reports, for which they have received 13 professional awards and prizes.
Key research activities
- Rotor profiling and screw machine performance calculation
- Utilisation of low temperature heat sources by using screw expanders
- Research in multifunctional screw machines
- Multistage screw compressors for high pressure difference applications
- Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in screw machines
- Laboratory investigation of screw machine working processes
- Investigation of multiphase and leakage flows in screw machines
- Noise in rotating machines
- Multiphase flow modelling and experimentation
- Project evaluation
- Software development
- Fault investigation
- Thermodynamic and fluid flow studies
- Stress analysis
- Instrumentation and control
- Laboratory measurements
- Noise suppression
- Complete product design and development
Software program suites
- SCORPATH – Screw Compressor Optimal Rotor Profiling and Thermodynamics
- SCORG – Unique grid generation and analysis of screw machines
- DISCO – Design integration interface for Screw Compressors
Following three years of collaborative work between Professor Ian Smith, who was attempting to develop screw expanders, for recovery of power from low grade heat, at City, University of London, and Professor Nikola Stosic of the University of Sarajevo, who had significant experience in the development of similar machines as compressors, the centre was established in 1995, when Nikola Stosic was awarded a Royal Academy Professorship, with industrial co-sponsorship by Holroyd, of Milnrow, Lancs.
Professor Ahmed Kovacevic, who had been working on screw compressors since 1986, joined them in 1996 and pioneered the application of Computational Fluid Dynamics to evaluate the screw machine performance.
Latterly, they were joined by Dr Elvedin Mujic, who made a significant contribution to noise reduction and who now holds a senior position in industry, and subsequently by Dr Ashvin Dhunput, who also now holds a senior industrial position. More recently, they have been joined by Dr Matthew Read. Dr Read is now a lecturer in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. He makes a significant contribution to integrating expanders into power recovery.