A Numerical Study of the Flow Fields in a Highly Off-Design Variable Geometry Turbine

Jason Walkingshaw, Stephen Spence, J. Ehrhard, David Thornhill

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Citations (Scopus)


Conventionally, radial turbines have almost exclusively used radially fibred blades. While issues of mechanical integrity are paramount, there may be opportunities for improving turbine efficiency through a 3D blade design without exceeding mechanical limits. Off-design performance and understanding of the secondary flow structures now plays a vital role in the design decisions made for automotive turbocharger turbines. Of particular interest is extracting more energy at high pressure ratios and lower rotational speeds. Operating in this region means the rotor will experience high values of positive incidence at the inlet. A CFD analysis has been carried out on a scaled automotive turbine utilizing a swing vane stator system. To date no open literature exists on the flow structures present in a standard VGT system. Investigations were carried out on a 90 mm diameter rotor with the stator vane at the maximum, minimum and 25% mass flow rate positions. In addition stator vane endwall clearance existed at the hub side. From investigation of the internal flow fields of the baseline rotor, a number of areas that could be optimized in the future with three dimensional blading were identified. The blade loading and tip leakage flow near inlet play a significant role in the flow development further downstream at all stator vane positions. It was found that tip leakage flow and flow separation at off-design conditions could be reduced by employing back swept blading and redistributing the blade loading. This could potentially reduce the extent of the secondary flow structures found in the present study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2010: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
PublisherThe American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-7918-4402-1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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