Professor Eckhard Groll was recognised as the 2018 winner of the J & E Hall Gold Medal at the Institute of Refrigeration Dinner in London.
In more than 23 years at Purdue University, Indiana, USA, he has led teams whose work has benefited heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration industries across the globe, with unique contributions in the field of positive displacement compressor analysis.
Together with colleagues and graduate students, he has developed detailed and comprehensive simulation models of hermetic PD compressors, including scroll, rolling piston, reciprocating, linear, rotating spool, bowtie and S-RAM using different working fluids including HFCs, HFOs and natural refrigerants.
The models have been used extensively by his research sponsors to improve existing compressors or develop new ones. They consider all aspects of the compressor – such as the geometry, thermodynamic governing equations, internal leakage analysis, suction and discharge valve loss analysis based on valve dynamics. Internal heat transfer rates based on available correlations, frictional analysis based on mechanical dynamics and motor loss analysis based on specified motor dynamics also feature.
One of the first comprehensive models Professor Groll and his team developed focused on predicting the performance of horizontal hermetic scroll compressors. The research enabled Panasonic to successfully develop a new version of their scroll compressor, the e-scroll, in the early 2000s.
He is currently working on achieving isothermal compression processes in linear and twin screw compressors by 3D printing internal cooling loops inside the critical compression parts to achieve hot-spot cooling.
Professor Groll said: "I know many of the accomplished people who have won this award over the past decade or so and I feel I am being elevated into an elite group. I love this job. I am also educating students and this has always been at the forefront of everything I do.
"Over 23 years I have undertaken fascinating work involving technologies that have advanced the HVAC and refrigeration industries. I am most proud of the graduate students that I was able to educate through this research and being able to help place them gain successful positions and careers over time. For me they become like adopted children that are all out there and doing well. That is by far the most gratifying aspect of my job".