Characterization of a radial turbocharger turbine in pulsating flow by means of CFD and its application to engine modeling

Autores UPV


This paper presents a numerical study analyzing the effect of pulsating flow in a variable geometry radial inflow turbine. The turbine behavior is analyzed under isentropic pulses, which are similar to those created by a rotating disk in a turbocharger test rig. Three different pulse frequencies (50, 90 and 130 Hz) and two pulse amplitudes (100 and 180 kPa) were considered. Turbine flow was studied throughout the pressure pulsation cycles in a wide range of off-design operating conditions, from low pressure ratio flow detachment to high pressure ratio choked flow. An overall analysis of the phasing of instantaneous mass flow and pressure ratio was first performed and the results show the non-quasi-steady behavior of the turbine as a whole as described in the literature. However, the analysis of the flow in the different turbine components independently gives a different picture. As the turbine volute has greater length and volume than the other components, it is the main source of non-quasi-steadiness of the turbine. The stator nozzles cause fewer accumulation effects than the volute, but present a small degree of hysteretic behavior due to flow separation and reattachment cycle around the vanes. Finally, the flow in the moving rotor behaves as quasi-steady, as far as flow capacity is concerned, although the momentum transfer between exhaust gas and blades (and thus work production and thermal efficiency) is affected by a hysteretic cycle against pressure ratio, but not if blade speed ratio is considered instead. A simple model to simulate the turbine stator and rotor is proposed, based on the results obtained from the CFD computations.