A detailed comparison on the influence of flow unsteadiness between the vaned and vaneless mixed-flow turbocharger turbine

[+] Author and Article Information
M. H. Padzillah

UTM Centre for Low Carbon Transport in Cooperation with Imperial College London Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor Bharu, Malaysia

S. Rajoo

UTM Centre for Low Carbon Transport in Cooperation with Imperial College London Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor Bharu, Malaysia

R. F. Martinez-Botas

Department of Mechanical Engineering Imperial College London Exhibition Road SW7 2AZ

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038076 History: Received February 15, 2017; Revised August 01, 2017


The application of guide vanes in a turbocharger turbine has increased the complexity of flow interactions regardless of whether the vanes are fixed or variable geometry. Although it is enticing to assume that the performance of the vaned turbine is better than the one without (vaneless), there are currently no tangible evidences to support this claim, particularly during the actual pulsating flow operations. Therefore, this research looks into comparing the differences between the two turbine arrangements in terms of their performance at flow field level. For this purpose, a three-dimensional ‘full-stage’ unsteady turbine Computational Fluid Dynamics models for both volutes are constructed and validated against the experimental data. These models are subject to identical instantaneous inlet pressure profile of 60Hz which is equivalent to an actual 3-cylinder 4-stroke engine rotating at 2400rpm. A similar 95.14 mm diameter mixed-flow turbine rotor rotating at 48000rpm is used for both models to enable direct comparison. The complete validation exercises for both steady and unsteady flow conditions are also presented. Results have indicated that neither vaned nor vaneless turbine is capable of maintaining constant efficiency throughout the pulse cycle. Despite that, the vaneless turbine indicated better performance during peak power instances. This work also showed that the pulsating pressure at the turbine inlet effected the vaned and vaneless turbine differently at the flow field level. Furthermore, results also indicated that both the turbines matched its optimum incidence angle for only a fraction of pulse cycle, which is unfavourable.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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