Abstract The counterweight that rotates with the crankshaft in a scroll compressor has an interaction with the surrounding gas. In order to study the power loss due to such an interaction and counterweight geometrical effect on the loss, the flow domain in the housing that accommodates the counterweight was established by means of the moving mesh technique in CFD software Fluent. The resistance moment and power loss of the counterweight under different rotational speeds were obtained. Meanwhile the pressure distribution on the three counterweights and the effect of counterweight structure on both the resistance moment and power loss were analyzed too. The results show that the moment due to the pressure difference over the surfaces of the counterweight is too much larger than the moment generated by the skin friction during rotation, thus the pressure differential moment is the major cause for power loss production. Both kinds of moment are increased with increasing rotational speed. After the counterweight edges were modified with chamfer; the pressure differential moment was reduced by the improved flow condition around the counterweight so considerably that the power loss was lowered by more than 20%.
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