Refrigeration Cycle Design Software – AxCYCLE Overview

Allied with the AxSTREAM® platform AxCYCLE allows designers to perform a very significant part of refrigeration cycle design, analysis and optimization.

AxCYCLE allows users to quickly and easily design, analyze and optimize various thermodynamic cycles (thermodynamic simulation and heat balance calculations), including refrigeration (heat pump) cycles in a user-friendly and flexible environment, from a restricted amount of known data, all the way to techno-economic calculations and optimizations with the AxCYCLE Economics tool.

The tasks user can solve with AxCYCLE® include:

  • Design new refrigeration cycles from scratch
  • Analyze existing heat pump systems and their performance at design and off-design conditions
  • Redesign, optimize, rerate and upgrade existing refrigeration systems/components
  • Troubleshoot and correct efficiency/reliability issues in existing hardware
  • Investigate upgrades/overhauls and deteriorations.


AxCYCLE can be used to design, analyze and optimize cycles for heat pumps.

Some of the different components of refrigeration cycles that can be used in AxCYCLE include compressors, condensers, expansion valves, liquid separators, electro-motors, extractions/injections components, boilers and heat exchangers, seals, bearings, gear boxes, and so on.

The COP (Coefficient Of Performance) can also be calculated for both non-economizing and economizing cycles.

Cycle Creation Process

In AxCYCLE thermodynamic systems are created by first selecting the desired components in corresponding libraries. Then these can be assembled (connected) in any desired way to create an infinite number of different cycles. Boundary conditions can then be selected among the available parameters to allow for enhanced flexibility of calculation task (compute vs input electrical power consumption, for example). Once these steps are performed computations can be run for any design or off-design conditions as well as for optimization tasks.

Scope of Analysis

Throughout its multiple tools AxCYCLE allows running single operating point calculations as well as off-design computations and optimizations.

For parametric studies the MAP and QUEST tools can be used. The former allows users to study the influence of operational parameters on cycle performance and calculate cycle performance curves while accounting for off-design characteristics of the different cycle components. The latter uses a quasi-random sequence generator to pick a certain number of values within a given range for any number of parameters. Its results are presented on a design space.

For optimization tasks the PLAN tool is typically used. It uses a Design of Experiment (DoE) approach to reduce calculation times and reach better performance results compared to traditional optimization methods.

Finally, discrete cycle load points can be calculated with the CASE tool to determine, for example, what the compressor flow rate should be to match the temperature different demand throughout different periods in time.