Design, analysis and fabrication of a meso-scale centrifugal compressor

A. Laveau, J. S. Kapat, L. C. Chow, E. Enikov, K. B. Sundaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A gas or vapor compressor is one of the key components of many engineering systems, such as certain designs of vapor compression refrigeration systems, cryo-coolers, air handlers. For meso-scale systems with linear dimensions of a few centimeters, conventional designs do not work efficiently because of rather large relative tolerances, and hence these meso-scale systems require micro-fabricated components for efficient operation. This paper presents a meso-scale centrifugal compressor fabricated by photo-lithographic techniques. A preliminary design based on 1-D flow analysis using air as the working fluid shows that a 50 mm diameter centrifugal compressor with a blade height of 200 μm gives a static pressure ratio of 1.12. In this design, the impeller has 10 full blades and 10 splitter blades. Each blade has the NACA profile 9510 with the maximum camber at 50% of the chord. These impeller blades have exit angles 35° with exit flow angles of 60°. A vaned diffuser having 20 equally spaced vanes with the same NACA profile is used to improve compressor efficiency. A 3-D compressible, viscous flow analysis has been done using a commercial finite volume software. The results of this analysis allowed the verification of the flow characteristics inside the meso-scale centrifugal compressor. The compressor has been fabricated using micro-fabrication techniques. The rotor and the stator are made by etching a silicon wafer by using DRIE (Deep Reactive Ion Etching) technique. A Pyrex wafer is then bonded to the stator for visual access inside the compressor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Advanced Energy Systems Division (Publication) AES
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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