Refrigerant-Oil Flow at the Compressor Discharge

Jiu Xu, Predrag Hrnjak

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Automotive air conditioning compressor produces an annular-mist flow consisting of gas-phase refrigerant flow with oil film and oil droplets. This paper reports a method to calculate the oil retention and oil circulation ratio based on oil film thickness, wave speed, oil droplet size, oil droplet speed, and mass flow rate. Oil flow parameters are measured by high-speed camera capture and video processing in a non-invasive way. The estimated oil retention and oil circulation ratio results are compared quantitatively with the measurements from system experiments under different compressor outlet gas superficial velocity. The agreement between video result and sampling measurement shows that this method can be applied in other annular-mist flow analysis. It is also shown that most of the oil exists in film from the mass point of view while oil droplets contributes more to the oil mass flow rate because they travel in a much higher speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSAE Technical Papers
Issue numberApril
StatePublished - Apr 5 2016
EventSAE 2016 World Congress and Exhibition - Detroit, United States
Duration: Apr 12 2016Apr 14 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Pollution
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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