With the development of offshore oil and gas industry, LNG turbo expanders are widely used in Floating Liquid Natural Gas equipment (FLNG) for natural gas transportation. The performance characteristic of the turbo expander is significant affected by the rolling motion caused by the ocean conditions. As an important part of expander, the labyrinth seal is directly related to the safety of the expander, so it is necessary to study the performance characteristic of labyrinth seal under rolling motion.
In this paper, CFD is used to simulate the internal flow field of labyrinth seals under different rolling periods and sloshing amplitudes conditions. The distribution of the pressure drop is obtained, and the influence of rolling motion on different labyrinth seal radial clearances and cavity depths are discussed.
The results indicate that variation periods of the pressure drop are consistent with the rolling periods, and the larger the rolling amplitude is, the larger pressure drop fluctuation can be observed. Additionally, the fluctuation characteristic is significantly affected by gap widths and cavity depths.