As a novel generation of rotational gas wave machines, wave rotor machines such as wave rotor refrigerators (WRR) and wave rotor superchargers (WRS) are unsteady flow devices. In their passages two gas streams (with different pressure or even different phases) comes into direct contact can exchange energy due to the movement of shock waves and expansion waves. A detailed study shows that, when rotor channels open to the high pressure port gradually, the contact face in rotor channels inevitably skews, which is always accompanied with reflection of shockwaves. This causes very large energy dissipation and influences adversely on the refrigeration performance of WRR or the supercharging performance of WRS. In this work, factors such as centrifugal forces, Coriolis forces, gradual channel opening and gradual channel closing, etc, which influence the wave transportation and skewing of shock waves and contact faces are studied by means of computational fluid dynamics and experiments.
The skewing of contact faces causes uneven distribution of velocity and large local loss. With rotation Mach number smaller than 0.3, the skewing of contact face can be alleviated. To reduce the adverse influence of rotation Mach number, a smaller rotor channel width or higher rotational speed is necessary.
The rotation effect plays an important role for the skewing of gas discontinuities. Both the centrifugal and Coriolis forces of wave rotor cannot be ignored with the Rossby number of 1.3∼3.5. To reduce the skewing loss of contact face, a lower rotational speed seems necessary. The rotation speed of wave rotors has dialectical influences on the skewing of shock waves and contact faces.
The jetting width of high pressure port is the key factor of the gradual opening of rotor channels. A feasible way to reduce skewing losses of gas waves is to optimize the ratio between high pressure port width and channel width. The validation experiments have got at least 3∼5% rise of isentropic efficiency for WRRs.