How Johnson Controls is Optimizing Volute Design in a Centrifugal Compressor for Industrial Cooling

Johnson Controls is a global manufacturer of heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration products. JCI equipment is installed in universities, hospitals, office buildings, airports, marine vessels and residences. JCI also manufactures refrigeration and gas-compression equipment for processing food processing, beverage, chemicals and petrochemical industries.

Johnson Controls’ YORK® centrifugal compressors are high capacity and in use in many large, well-known buildings across the world. Johnson Controls used TURBOdesign Volute to redesign and optimize the volute for some of their YORK® centrifugal compressors. The design of a centrifugal compressor for industrial cooling applications faces two main challenges: high aerodynamic efficiency and compact packaging. TURBOdesign Volute was able to meet these challenges and generated a reduction in overall size of 8% and improved head and efficiency at the design point of 0.8% and 0.4% respectively, when compared to the existing design.


VoluteFig. 1. 3D solid model of a volute generated by TURBOdesign Volute.


The reduction in size was generated by switching from a circular cross-section to an elliptical one, combined with a change in volute cross-sectional areas distribution and different packaging. The optimum area distribution was obtained as a result of several design/analysis iterations and the main target of the area re-distribution was compressor efficiency. This is where TURBOdesign Volute offered the main advantage of outputting a 3D model of the volute that could be sent to a meshing software in a couple of steps. The entire process, from new inputs to TURBOdesign Volute to solid model, took less than 15 minutes.

Fig. 1. shows an example of a 3D volute ready for meshing. As a result, an optimized volute could be generated in a day. By comparison, using the older methodology and creating the solid model from ground-up took several days per iteration.

To discover how TURBOdesign Volute is revolutionizing volute design, we invite you to download your free copy of the case study below.


Download the case study

Book a LIVE demo on the design of a turbomachinery application of your choice.

Our demo is tailored to your specific application and design challenges

Book a Demonstration

Mehrdad Zangeneh

Mehrdad Zangeneh is Founder and Managing Director of Advanced Design Technology and professor of Thermofluids at University College London.

View All Articles


Loss Generation Sources in Subsonic and Transonic Centrifugal Compressors by Entropy Production Rate

One of the most important issues in design of centrifugal compressors is to understand what is the main source loss in the impeller and how changes...

How to Optimize a 6.2:1 Pressure Ratio Centrifugal Compressor Impeller?

Transonic centrifugal compressors with pressure ratios higher than 5:1 are commonly used in marine diesel turbocharger applications as well as in...

How to Design a Centrifugal Compressor Stage and a Radial-Inflow Turbine Stage for a Supercritical CO2 Recompression with the Brayton Cycle?

The supercritical cycle which always operates above the critical pressure and the critical temperature of its working fluid was devised to overcome...