Research Papers

Unsteady Responses of the Impeller of a Centrifugal Compressor Exposed to Pulsating Backpressure

[+] Author and Article Information
Mengying Shu

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: mengy_shu@sjtu.edu.cn

Mingyang Yang

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: myy15@sjtu.edu.cn

Ricardo F. Martinez-Botas

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Imperial College London,
London SW7 2AZ, UK
e-mail: r.botas@imperial.ac.uk

Kangyao Deng

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: kydeng@sjtu.edu.cn

Lei Shi

School of Mechanical Engineering,
Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai 200240, China
e-mail: shi_lei@sjtu.edu.cn

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 1, 2018; final manuscript received September 16, 2018; published online November 1, 2018. Editor: Jerzy T. Sawicki.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 141(4), 041005 (Nov 01, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: GTP-18-1594; doi: 10.1115/1.4041658 History: Received September 01, 2018; Revised September 16, 2018

The flow in intake manifold of a heavily downsized internal combustion engine has increased levels of unsteadiness due to the reduction of cylinder number and manifold arrangement. The turbocharger compressor is thus exposed to significant pulsating backpressure. This paper studies the response of a centrifugal compressor to this unsteadiness using an experimentally validated numerical method. A computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model with the volute and impeller is established and validated by experimental measurements. Following this, an unsteady three-dimensional (3D) simulation is conducted on a single passage imposed by the pulsating backpressure conditions, which are obtained by one-dimensional (1D) unsteady simulation. The performance of the rotor passage deviates from the steady performance and a hysteresis loop, which encapsulates the steady condition, is formed. Moreover, the unsteadiness of the impeller performance is enhanced as the mass flow rate reduces. The pulsating performance and flow structures near stall are more favorable than those seen at constant backpressure. The flow behavior at points with the same instantaneous mass flow rate is substantially different at different time locations on the pulse. The flow in the impeller is determined by not only the instantaneous boundary condition but also by the evolution history of flow field. This study provides insights in the influence of pulsating backpressure on compressor performance in actual engine situations, from which better turbo-engine matching might be benefited.

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Fig. 1

Investigated centrifugal compressor and test rig: (a) impeller, (b) volute, and (c) layout of the test rig

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Fig. 2

Computational meshes: (a) volute and (b) impeller

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Fig. 3

Predicted and experiment performance of compressor (including impeller, diffuser, and volute): (a) total–total pressure ratio and (b) total–total efficiency

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Fig. 4

Pulsating backpressure at the impeller outlet

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Fig. 5

Pulsating boundary condition of two cases

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Fig. 6

Impeller performance at two loads at pulse frequency as 110 Hz: (a) pressure ratio and (b) efficiency

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Fig. 7

Operational conditions for flow analysis: (a) four investigated points in a period, (b) four investigated points on pressure ratio loop, and (c) four investigated points on efficiency loop

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Fig. 8

Mach number coefficient between pulsating and quasi-steady conditions at 95% blade height: (a) pulsating condition and (b) steady condition

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Fig. 9

Streamlines near tip region at C for pulsating and steady conditions: (a) pulsating condition and (b) constant condition

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Fig. 10

Entropy generation and secondary flow at C for pulsating and constant pressure conditions: (a) pulsating condition and (b) constant condition

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Fig. 11

Entropy generation and secondary flow evolution at B and D: (a) B and (b) D

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Fig. 12

Velocity triangle at the inlet of the rotor

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Fig. 13

Evolution of tip leakage vortex in impeller: (a) point B and (b) point D



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