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Aerodynamic Design of Small Chiller Compressor for Domestic CHP Applications

The customer, one of the leading manufacturers of high speed rotating machines, asked ADT to carry out the complete aerodynamic design of a brand new centrifugal chiller compressor stage using the inverse design approach available through the TURBOdesign Suite software. Performance targets (Pressure Ratios and Efficiencies) and operating points were set by the customer before the start of the project. Tight requirements on off-design and mechanical performance and the overall size of the stage were also set by the customer.


Impeller geometry for final designThe initial meridional shapes and main dimensions for the compressor stage were produced by means of the 1-Dimensional sizing software TURBOdesign Pre. Real gas effects are modelled directly in TURBOdesign Pre, with gas property data included via .rgp files produced using NIST REFPROP data.


By using the 3D blade design software TURBOdesign1 the blade loading distribution was optimized in order to achieve the target Pressure Ratio at the design mass flow and obtain good compressor impeller efficiency. The compressor requires good efficiency over a very wide operating range, and so a vaneless diffuser design was produced. Vaneless diffuser pinch width and length were optimised as part of the design process. 

Designs produced were tested by means of commercial CFD codes. Designs were analysed both at design point and the most challenging off-design points. The final design has also been analysed across the entire operating map, considering different compressor speed lines between 40% and 120% of the design rotational speed.

Stage geometry for final designCFD analysis shows that the final design is reaching all target Pressure Ratios and mass flows, whilst meeting all target efficiencies and exceeding the design point target efficiency (including the Volute) by 2%. Read the consultancy summary in full.

In our webinar, we show how using the different modules in TURBOdesign Suite you can design high efficiency compressors rapidly from scratch. We use an example of a small heat pump and show the following design process:

  • Creation of real gas property tables (RGP) from REFPRO for the new refrigerant.
  • Meanline design of the compressor by using TURBOdesign Pre and the RGP files.
  • 3D design of the impeller by TURBOdesign1.
  • Optimization of the impeller geometry for multiple operating points by TURBOdesign Optima.

Playback Chiller Compressor Webinar

About Advanced Design Technology

We provide software and services for the design and optimization of turbomachinery, based on our unique 3D Inverse Design technology. Our tools and services help customers achieve innovative “breakthrough” designs, delivering market leading solutions at dramatically reduced development costs.

ADT, headquartered in London, UK, was established in 1999 as a joint venture between University College London and The Ebara Research Co Limited of Japan. We are considered as one of the leading global turbomachinery design software providers, with our TURBOdesign Suite tool set in use across a very wide range of applications and sectors. 

Our design consultancy services deliver cutting-edge solutions to our global customers. Whether the task involves a complete solution, from concept to final design for manufacturing, or is facing challenging multi-point / multi-objective design optimization, we work closely with our customers and support them throughout the entire design process.

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