Isothermal Compression

Isothermal compression is presented here to represent the upper limits of cooling and horsepower savings. It is the equivalent of an infinite number of intercoolers and is not achievable in the practical types of compressors described in this book. For an isothermal process,

From this, a theoretical value for the power used by the compressor can be found.

This equation is useful when evaluating the benefit of multiple intercoolers, because it establishes the theoretical power limit that can be achieved by cooling. Figure 2-2 is a plot comparing the effect of different numbers of intercoolers in terms of uncooled horsepower. Note the diminishing effect as the number of coolers is increased.

An example illustrates the benefits of intercooling.

OVERALL PRESSURE RATIO

Figure 2-2. Percent of uncooled horsepower required with intercoolers. (Courtesy of Effiott Company)

OVERALL PRESSURE RATIO

Figure 2-2. Percent of uncooled horsepower required with intercoolers. (Courtesy of Effiott Company)

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