Investigation of turbochargers

Turbochargers have to be adapted to their specific application and tuned in a way that the increase in pressure is compatible to the combustion engine used. Development cycles are now extremely short and adjustments need to be done quickly. To meet this challenge a broad knowledgebase is crucial. Databases need to be expanded, general knowledge has to be increased and new technologies have to be designed and implemented in order to stay competitive. We support our customers in two areas in particular – numerical simulation and experimental validation of new components.

Experiment

We measure turbocharger compressor characteristics, identify influencing pa-rameters and implement new technologies using the turbocharger test bench at the Technical University of Darmstadt. The hot gas test bench at the Institute of Gas Turbines & Aerospace Propulsion allows the independent investigation of compressor and turbine characteristics. Flow similitude is ensured.

Flow simulation

The numerical simulation of a turbocharger flow field is extremely complex and takes modern methods to their limits. The interaction between volute casing and impeller as well as the transonic flow in the rotor, associated with strong secondary flow effects often leads to inaccurate predictions. Numerical simulation must be able to provide a reliable statement from a reasonable amount of effort.

To ensure this we conduct mesh and parameter studies, determine optimal setups and automate the simulation process. We evaluate results and validate these based on experimental data to encapsulate ideal results for industrial applications. The cost-benefit ratio plays a decisive role, bearing the short turbocharger development cycles in mind.