Xu, J. and Hrnjak, P., "Refrigerant-Oil Flow at the Compressor Discharge," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0247, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0247.
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.