Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Evaluate the validity of the empirical correlations of clearance and friction coefficients to improve a scroll expander semi-empirical model

Kutlu, Cagri; Erdinc, Mehmet T.; Li, Jing; Su, Yuehong; Pei, Gang; Gao, Guangtao; Riffat, Saffa


Cagri Kutlu

Mehmet T. Erdinc

Jing Li

Professor of Thermal Science and Building Technology

Gang Pei

Guangtao Gao

Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems


This study presents a scroll expander modelling methodology for small scale power generation systems by combining scroll geometry and semi-empirical model. Although the semi-empirical model is quite popular, its dependence on several experimentally-determined scroll geometrical and operational parameters makes this approach inflexible for different capacities and operating conditions. Some studies have sought to improve its flexibility in terms of using different working fluids and more accurate empirical parameters, however, those improved models still depend on a considerable number of experimentally-obtained scroll parameters. Therefore, in this study, a practical methodology for a simpler semi-empirical model combined with the operational flexibility of the scroll geometry is presented. Firstly, the flow rates of mainstream and leakage flows are analysed, where a correlation between scroll clearance and pressure ratio is determined. Secondly, a simpler approach to the semi-empirical model of scroll expander is proposed, whereby dependent parameters have been reduced to two parameters by using scroll geometrical calculations. The model is further improved to predict the rotational speed and electricity output by considering the overall friction coefficient of the coupled expander-generator unit. The findings are then compared with the results of an experimental study. The results show that the effective clearance values between scrolls vary according to pressure ratios, increasing from to . Mass flow rate can be predicted within 10% deviation from the experimental results for the same inlet conditions and rotational speed at a transient state. Additionally, considering steady state conditions, modelling results show that the rotational speed and electricity output can also be predicted within 8% and 7.5% of deviation, respectively.


Kutlu, C., Erdinc, M. T., Li, J., Su, Y., Pei, G., Gao, G., & Riffat, S. (2020). Evaluate the validity of the empirical correlations of clearance and friction coefficients to improve a scroll expander semi-empirical model. Energy, 202,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2020
Online Publication Date Apr 29, 2020
Publication Date Jul 1, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 30, 2021
Journal Energy
Print ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 202
Article Number 117723
Keywords Clearance, Empirical correlation, Leakage area, Friction coefficient, Scroll geometry, Semi-empirical model
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations