The impact of the multiple reference frame interface on modelling the interaction between IGVs and the impeller in turbocharger compressors

Xiangjun Li, Stephen Spence

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper numerical investigations are presented of how the axial position of the multiple reference frame (MRF) stator-rotor interface between the inlet guide vanes (IGVs) and the impeller would influence the predicted flow field for a turbocharger centrifugal compressor when simulated by the steady RANS method. In the first step, a total of three different axial positions of the MRF IGV-impeller interface were considered and compared with the results of an unsteady simulation to evaluate their accuracy. The results showed that the choice of the MRF interface location significantly influenced the predicted overall performance. At the lower rotational speed, the peak efficiency varied by 1.3% and the corresponding total pressure ratio varied by 0.022. At the high rotational speed, the different axial locations of the MRF interface varied the predicted choke point by 0.012 normalized mass flow rate. The mass flow rate of the near surge (NS) point was over estimated at both the high and low rotational speed by at least 0.038 normalized mass flow rate.
Consideration of the flow field suggested that the MRF interface between the IGV and the impeller should be placed towards the upstream side of the available region to avoid being unphysically influenced by its interaction with the non-uniform pressure in the downstream subsonic flow field and to enable a more accurate prediction of the extent of the inducer shock in transonic operating situations. Based on this understanding, a further improvement was made for the setting of the MRF interface by employing a polyline interface. This achieved a more accurate numerical result for the NS operating point at low rotational speeds. The position of the MRF interface for modelling IGVs in a turbocharger compressor should be suitably chosen according to the objectives of the numerical study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ASME Turbo Expo: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7918-5079-4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2017

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