Centrifugal Compressors VS Axial Compressors|Working Principle|Engineering Explained

Centrifugal Compressors VS Axial Compressors|Working Principle|Engineering Explained

Centrifugal Compressors

This types of compressors comes under dynamic compressors that depends on transfer of energy  from a rotating impeller to the air.

A centrifugal compressor has a simple rotating element,mounted onto the shaft which is usually connected directly to the prime mover.The compressor is divided into four parts.Input,centrifugal impeller,diffuser and the collector.

The compressor sucks the air or the air enter through input part and then centrifugal compressor raises the energy of working gases/air by rotating set of blades.From here the velocity of the air is increased before moving to the diffuser. Diffuser converts the kinetic energy of the air into the pressure energy by gradually decreasing the air velocity.And in this way air is compressed and collects from the collector.

centrifugal compressor

centrifugal compressor

One of the interesting characteristics of the centrifugal compressor is that as the speed of the impeller reduces the capacity of the compressor increases.The air is sucked axially by the impeller and the blades impart the additional energy which is converted into pressure energy by the diffuser and then easily delivered from the collector casing.centrifugal_diagram

These type of compressors are more efficient than positive displacement screw type compressors due to  availability of its multiple-stage compressors.


These types of compressors are usually used for gas compression in oil platforms. 
While LPG storage and transport installations.
Centrifugal compressors are used in Turbochargers in diesel engines.

Axial Compressors

Axial compressors are somewhat similar to centrifugal compressor.It is the compressor that continuously compress air.It is a rotating airfoil-based compressor in which gas or air flows parallel to the axis of rotation.

There are a set of rotating blades and a set of stationary blades.Both have different operations.

Axial Flow compressors(image show how the blades rotates)

Axial Flow compressors(image show how the blades rotates)

As the compressor sucks the air axially and increases  its energy level by flowing air through the rotor blades that rotates and exert a torque on the air.Now the stationary blades slow down the speed of the fluid and converts the circumferential component of air into the pressure.So the air get compressed in this way.

An axial flow compressor in its very simple form also known as axial flow fan which is commonly used for domestic purposes.The pressure produces in number of stages.


Gas turbines such as jet engines
High speed ship engines
In small scale power stations
Blast furnace air
Air separation plants


This is all about centrifugal compressors Vs axial Flow compressor.If you want to add something fell free to comment.

I have discussed Rotary compressors and its types in last article.

And also Reciprocating compressors and its types.

To Know different types of compressors hit BACK




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