Impinging oil separator for compressors

Jiu Xu, Pega Hrnjak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oil separation is commonly needed in air conditioning and refrigeration systems to reduce the oil circulation rate and keep the oil inside the compressor. For compactness, the oil separation structure integrated into the compressor is more and more popular than traditional external oil separators. However, a quantitative guideline for the design of oil separation structure is missing for irregular geometry and realistic flow condition at the compressor discharge. This paper presents impinging separation mechanism, one of the basic mechanisms of droplet separation. The separating structures are studied by flow visualization and experimental measurement under realistic compressor discharge conditions. The video of oil mist flowing through the baffles and plates is captured by a high-speed camera and analyzed quantitatively. The effect of the oil flow condition and the effect of separator geometry design are investigated based on the experimental data. With the help of flow visualization, the flow details are analyzed, and a semi-empirical model is proposed to predict the separation efficiency and pressure drop of a certain wave-plates structure. The results and conclusions from this study give useful guidelines about how to reduce the oil circulation ratio by designing oil separators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Refrigeration
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Compressor
  • Droplet
  • Impingement
  • Oil
  • Separator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering


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