Numerical computations of the unsteady flow in turbochargers

by Hellström, Fredrik, PhD

Abstract (Summary)
Turbocharging the internal combustion (IC) engine is a common technique to increase the power density. If turbocharging is used with the downsizing technique, the fuel consumption and pollution of green house gases can be decreased. In the turbocharger, the energy of the engine exhaust gas is extracted by expanding it through the turbine which drives the compressor by a shaft. If a turbocharged IC engine is compared with a natural aspirated engine, the turbocharged engine will be smaller, lighter and will also have a better efficiency, due to less pump losses, lower inertia of the system and less friction losses. To be able to further increase the efficiency of the IC engine, the understanding of the highly unsteady flow in turbochargers must be improved, which then can be used to increase the efficiency of the turbine and the compressor. The main objective with this thesis has been to enhance the understanding of the unsteady flow in turbocharger and to assess the sensitivity of inflow conditions on the turbocharger performance.The performance and the flow field in a radial turbocharger turbine working under both non-pulsatile and pulsatile flow conditions has been assessed by using Large Eddy Simulation (LES). To assess the effects of different operation conditions on the turbine performance, different cases have been considered with different perturbations and unsteadiness of the inflow conditions. Also different rotational speeds of the turbine wheel were considered. The results show that the turbine cannot be treated as being quasi-stationary; for example,the shaft power varies for different frequencies of the pulses for the same amplitude of mass flow. The results also show that perturbations and unsteadiness that are created in the geometry upstream of the turbine have substantial effects on the performance of the turbocharger. All this can be summarized as that perturbations and unsteadiness in the inflow conditions to the turbine affect the performance.The unsteady flow field in ported shroud compressor has also been assessed by using LES for two different operational points. For an operational point near surge, the flow field in the entire compressor stage is unsteady, where the driving mechanism is an unsteadiness created in the volute. For an operational point far away from surge, the flow field in the compressor is relatively much more steady as compared with the former case. Although the stable operational point exhibits back-flow from the ported shroud channels, which implies that the flow into the compressor wheel is disturbed due to the structures that are created in the shear layer between the bulk flow and the back-flow from the ported shroud channels.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Engineering mechanics; Fluid mechanics; Turbochargers; turbine; compressor; unsteady pulsatile flow; perturbations; Large Eddy Simulation


Date of Publication:01/01/2010

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