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Design of 3D centrifugal compressors with superior performance

One of the key challenges the automotive industry is facing is improvement of engine fuel economy with the aim of both reducing global CO2 emissions and making best use of the finite oil resources. It is well understood how a turbocharged diesel engine’s fuel consumption is directly affected by the turbocharger efficiency through the engine’s pumping cycle work. The more efficient the turbomachinery, the lower the work done by the engine during the pumping cycle, resulting in better engine BSFC (Brake Specific Fuel Consumption) and higher efficiency.

Diesel engines developed to meet future US and European emission regulations place an unprecedented demand on compressor performance in terms of pressure ratio and flow range capability. Additionally, the direct impact compressor efficiency has on engine fuel consumption means that the new generation of centrifugal compressors designed for turbochargers will have to meet very demanding efficiency targets. Cummins Turbo Technologies have been exploring the application of 3D inverse design techniques for improved compressor efficiency and pressure ratio.

Cummins Turbo Technologies is a leading designer and manufacturer of turbochargers for diesel and gas-derivative engines above 2.3 litres. Headquartered in the UK with global manufacturing facilities in; Brazil, China, Europe, India and USA along with dedicated technical centres in UK, China and USA, and is one of the major companies that has developed advanced turbocharging technologies to enable engine manufacturers to meet strict emissions criteria and engine performance requirements by using TURBOdesign1.

difference in efficiency between conventional and inverse impeller

It is evident that turbocharger impellers have to operate at relatively high pressure ratios, and hence tip speeds, and until recently most turbocharger manufacturers were constraining their designs to blades with straight filaments. However, it has become clear recently that further improvement in turbocharger performance is difficult to achieve by using straight filament geometry for the impeller, and some manufacturers have considered the development of 3D geometries by using conventional design methods in which the blade geometry is modified iteratively by using some CAD representation and then analysed by CFD.

A turbocharged diesel engine’s fuel consumption is directly influenced by the turbocharger efficiency through the engine’s pumping cycle work. The more efficient the turbomachinery, the lower the work done by the engine during the pumping cycle, resulting in better engine BSFC. The overall turbocharger efficiency is the product of the compressor, turbine and rotor system efficiencies:

Overall Efficiency = Compressor Efficiency X Turbine Efficiency X Rotor

Compressor efficiency therefore has a direct impact on engine BSFC and is one of the areas recently targeted by Cummins Turbo Technologies for improvements.

 Efficiency improvement with inverse design compressor


The extensive study using TURBOdesign1 and 3D CFD confirms that in many turbocharger compressor applications higher performance is only possible by using 3D blade profiles. TURBOdesign1 provides the best means of rapidly designing 3D centrifugal compressor blades with superior performance.

The results confirm that the inverse designed impeller results in improved stage efficiency of up to 3 points and improvements in pressure ratio of up to 4.5% while maintaining or slightly improving the compressor’s stable operating range.



 ADT has a long track record of collaboration with  turbochargers OEMs, successfully addressing complex aerodynamic problems to improve efficiency, reduce mechanical stresses and obtain a more uniform flow field for better stage performances – as well as exploring new turbocharging applications and emerging technologies, and will be exhibiting at the 13th International Conference on Turbochargers and Turbocharging on 16th-17th May 2018 at the Twickenham Stadium in London. This year ADT will be demonstrating the latest release of TURBOdesign Suite 6.6.0. The software update integrates new enhancements that further streamline the design and optimization process of turbocharger compressor and turbine for multiple operating points.

ADT's specialists will be on hand at the event to demonstrate how by using TURBOdesign Suite inverse design methods enables engineers to produce high-quality designs, optimise the performance of components and reduce development time. 

Please contact us to arrange a personalized demonstration of our unique 3D design and analysis codes during the exhibition, or come visit us on the ground floor of the south stand, in the Rose Suite on stand 8.


Further information about the event

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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