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International Journal of Engine Research
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DOI: 10.1243/14680870260189253
2002 3: 127 International Journal of Engine Research
N Karamanis and R. F. Martinez-Botas
Mixed-flow turbines for automotive turbochargers: Steady and unsteady performance

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Mi xed-flow turbi nes for automoti ve
turbochargers: steady and unsteady
performance
NKaramanis and R F Martinez-Botas
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial
College of Science, Technology and Medicine,
London, UK
Received 16 May 2002
Abstract: Turbochargers are finding increasing appli- increasingly more stringent emission standards. This
cation to automotive diesel engines as cost effective means paper is part of an extensive experimental pro-
for improving their power output and efficiency, and gramme focused on turbine design technology for
reducing exhaust emissions; these requirements have led vehicle applications aiming to (a) explore available
to the need for highly loaded turbocharger turbines. A means to modify the turbine operating characteristics
mixed-flow turbine is capable of achieving its peak isen- in order to improve the engine/turbocharger match-
tropic efficiency at reduced velocity ratios compared to a ing and (b) improve the transfer of energy from the
typical radial inflow turbine; it is therefore possible to pulsating exhaust gases to the turbine. In order to
improve the turbocharger/engine matching. These turbines achieve these aims, the project is centred on mixed-
differ from the commonly used radial turbines in that the flow turbine rotors as opposed to radial rotors com-
flow approaches the rotor in the non-radial direction; in monly used in automotive turbochargers. This choice
the extreme a mixed-flow turbine would become an axial overcomes one of the principal limitations of the
machine. The steady and unsteady performances of a radial inflow turbine, where stress and material con-
mixed-flow turbocharger turbine with a constant blade siderations dictate that the blade angle must be zero
inlet angle have been investigated. The steady flow results to maintain radial blade sections and to keep the
indicated that the mixed-flow turbine obtains a peak centrifugal load in the blades purely tensile. A
efficiency (total-to-static) of 75 per cent at a velocity ratio mixed-flow geometry permits the use of a non-zero
of 0.61, compared with that of a typical radial-inflow tur- blade angle without departure from the above
bine which peaks at a velocity ratio of 0.7. The performance requirement and introduces an extra degree of free-
and flow characteristics were found to deviate significantly dom into the rotor design, which has particular
from the equivalent steady state values commonly used in implications for the range of operation of the turbine,
turbocharger turbine design. the incidence losses associated with the fluid
entering the rotor and the development of the flow
Key words: aerodynamics, turbomachinery, mixed-flow within the rotor passage.
turbines, turbocharger Figure 1a shows a schematic diagram of a mixed-
flow turbine together with a photograph of the rotor
(Fig. 1b). The idea of a mixed-flow turbine is not
1. Introduction entirely new and such developments have been
described elsewhere [14]. However, limited con-
sideration has been given to the potential for mod- Turbochargers are widely applied to diesel engines
in order to improve their power output and ifying the turbine characteristics to improve engine
matching. efficiency, and reduce exhaust emissions. Existing
turbocharging systems for automotive diesel engines The turbine requirement in highly loaded turbo-
charged diesel engines is that its peak efficiency must must be reconsidered in order to meet the require-
ments of better fuel economy and the need to satisfy reach maximum at low velocity ratios (i.e. low U/C
is
,
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N Karamanis and R F Martinez-Botas
Fig. 1 Mixed-flow turbine geometry.
where C
is
is the velocity that would be attained if the ditions to the rotor (Fig. 1a). Thus, the flow enters
the rotor at an angle in between the axial and working fluid were expanded in an ideal nozzle over
radial directions and exits in the axial direction. A the same pressure ratio as that of the turbine). The
direct comparison between a mixed-flow and its reason for this is twofold:
radial-inflow counterpart leads to the following
considerations:
1. The turbine rotor is influenced by the size,
geometry and clearance of its casing. High airfuel
1. Fuel consumption. The potential of the mixed-
ratios together with the use of an intercooler
flow rotor to improve engine fuel consumption,
between the compressor and the engine result in
in comparison to an equivalent radial-inflow
a lower exhaust temperature and, hence, lower
rotor, was addressed in reference [2].
energy and a higher density. The turbine must
2. Engine/turbocharger matching. The mixed-flow
extract sufficient power from this low-energy
turbine rotor can operate at its maximum
engine exhaust to drive the compressor in order
efficiency in a wide range of air flow and pressure
to achieve high boost pressures. This is only poss-
ratios. The steady flow and unsteady flow per-
ible with a smaller turbine running at a suffic-
formance tests of a mixed flow turbine in the
iently high rotational speed. The turbine speed is
present paper will demonstrate the operating
limited by stresses and so a large expansion ratio
flexibility of the proposed design.
is required, which in turn results in low velocity
3. Design. The mixed-flow configuration overcomes
ratios (U/C
is
).
the zero-blade limitation. The blades are radial in
2. The size and volume of the exhaust manifold of
any section cut normal to the rotational axis; i.e.
an automotive engine is limited due to the need
the projection of the mean blade surface on a refer-
for a high powerweight ratio and compact instal-
ence cylinder is a unique curve.
lation, which implies that the exhaust pulsations
4. Size. The proposed design reduces significantly
are largely undamped at the turbine inlet. The
the flow path curvature and distance. This means
behaviour of radial-inflow turbines under pulsat-
that the incoming gas flows smoothly within a
ing flow conditions has revealed that the maxi-
shorter blade passage with less flow separation.
mum energy in the exhaust is available at high
Thus the detrimental effect of aerodynamic block-
exhaust manifold pressures [5, 6]. Therefore, as
age is improved substantially [4]. In consequence,
the pressure ratio across the turbine increases the
the turbine overall aerodynamic efficiency can be
isentropic velocity increases, leading to the need
improved.
to achieve maximum turbine efficiency at low
5. Velocity ratio. The mixed-flow design meets the
U/C
is
.
requirement of achieving a peak efficiency at a
velocity ratio lower than a radial turbine. This can
The mixed-flow rotor goes some way to meeting
be seen by considering the following equation:
the afore-mentioned requirements 1 and 2. It differs
from its radial counterpart in the forward sweep of
U
2
C
is
=
1
2
S
1
tan b
B
tan a
2
the leading edge, resulting in non-radial inlet con-
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Mixed-flow turbines for automotive turbochargers
As the mixed-flow rotor has a positive blade A literature survey of unsteady flow performance
angle, the peak efficiency would occur at a value studies showed that most investigators have concen-
lower than 0.7. trated on radial-inflow turbines and employed a
6. Swallowing capacity. The use of mixed-flow quasi-steady approach or the method of character-
designdue to its compact blade passage curva- istics [1420]. The major problem of the early investi-
turereduces substantially the centrifugal press- gations is the lack of fast response instrumentation;
ure head developed across the rotor passage thus only the inlet static pressure was measured as
against the direction of flow. In other words, it a function of time under pulsating flow conditions.
allows larger amounts of inflow gas through It was not until 1986 that Dale and Watson [5] pre-
the passage. Thus the swallowing capacity is sented a full set of instantaneous data for a radial
improved. turbine, including inlet static pressure, mass flow,
rotational speed and torque.
In order to investigate the unsteady performance
of turbocharger turbines, it is necessary to measure
all the important turbine performance parameters as
2. Experimental System
a function of time (inlet pressure, mass flowrate,
speed and torque), and in addition a mechanism is
The turbocharger facility, as used, is presented in
required to simulate the engine pulsations for tests
Fig. 2. It consists of the research turbine, an air
that are carried out away from engines. For a radial-
supply system, a power absorber in the form of a
inflow turbine the first tests under pulsating con-
centrifugal compressor and a data acquisition
ditions were performed by Dale and Watson [5] in a
system. This system can also be used for a twin-entry
twin-entry nozzleless turbine and the results were
turbocharger as it has two feeding pipes with indi-
compared to the steady flow performance. The tur-
vidual valves that set the flowrates. Upstream of the
bine power and mass flowrate were both found
turbine inlet there is a pulse generator consisting of
to deviate substantially from the steady flow char-
two counter-rotating chopper plates with specially
acteristics, demonstrating the limitations of the
made cut-outs to produce the pulse profile. This type
quasi-steady assumption. A similar test rig was
of pulse generator, in contrast to a cylindrical rotor
subsequently developed by Winterbone et al. [7, 8],
type [7], has the advantage that the cut-outs can be
who observed important differences between the
shaped in different forms to provide the required
steady and pulsating performance.
pulse profiles.
Arcoumanis et al. [9] presented circumferentially
A schematic diagram of the mixed-flow turbine
averaged exit laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV)
rotor geometry, as tested, can be seen in Fig. 1a.
measurements. This approach does not reveal the
Table 1 gives the test conditions while Table 2 shows
detailed nature of the exit flow. Hence it is difficult
the geometric characteristics of the rotor, which has
to point out specific areas of design improvement.
a nominally constant incidence angle. This rotor was
The flow conditions at the rotor exit are strongly
referred to as rotor A by Karamanis et al. [21]. The
influenced by the blade passing. The designers aim
volute feeding the rotor has a single entry and is
is to ensure that the flow leaves the rotor with the
non-symmetric and nozzleless.
lowest possible level of mixing loss and swirl. The
The steady state performance was evaluated by
diffuser performance could otherwise be com-
means of the energy balance method, where the tur-
promised. It is therefore particularly difficult to
bine actual output power is estimated by measuring
obtain measurements in this region of the flow.
the power absorbed by the loading device (centrifu-
Furthermore, the flow conditions encountered by
gal compressor) and the heat discharged to the bear-
turbocharger turbines are of a highly pulsating
ing lubricating oil. The upstream total pressure was
nature. It is thus necessary to determine how flow
evaluated from knowledge of all the static conditions
velocities vary with time.
and the mass flowrate,
The mixed-flow type of rotor design has been
investigated both experimentally and theoretically
P
01
=P
s1
for a number of years. Most of these studies have
focused on the design, manufacture and perform-

G
1
2
+
C
1
4
+
RT
01
(c 1)
2c A
m
T
P
s1
A
1
B
2
D
1/2
H
c
/(
c
1)
ance evaluation under steady and pulsating flow
conditions [1, 4, 1013]. Information on the velocity
distribution in this type of rotor is rare. The unsteady performance can be carried out by
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N Karamanis and R F Martinez-Botas
Fig. 2 Unsteady turbocharger test facility.
(b) turbine inlet and exit instantaneous pressure,
Design Test
(c) instantaneous mass flowrate, (d) instantaneous
Parameter conditions conditions
speed, (e) time-averaged turboshaft speed, (f ) polar
Inlet total temperature (K) 923 344 moment of inertia of rotating components and
Mass flowrate (kg/s) 0.414 0.678
(g) pulse frequency.
Rotational speed (r/min) 98000 59828
Pressure ratio 2.91 2.91
Velocity ratio 0.616 0.616
3. Results and Discussion
Table 1 Test conditions at 100 per cent speed.
3.1 Steady flow performance
The steady state performance of the mixed-flow rotor
Rotor tip mean diameter (mm) 83.58
was investigated at five different rotational speeds,
Rotor inlet blade height (mm) 18
Number of blades 12
covering a range from 50 to 90 per cent equivalent
Exducer tip diameter (mm) 78.6
design speeds. The total-to-static efficiency and the
Exducer hub diameter (mm) 27
Blade angle at exducer root mean (deg) 52
swallowing capacity are shown in Fig. 3.
The total-to-static efficiency increases with
Table 2 Mixed-flow rotor geometry.
rotational speed up to the 80 per cent condition, after
which it remains nearly constant. The total-to-static
evaluating the following equation:
peak efficiency value (0.75 at 80 per cent speed)
occurs at a velocity ratio (U/C
is
) of 0.61; this is in
(g
t-s
)
unsteady
=
(W

T
)
inst
m
inst
C
2
is
/2
(1)
contrast to the well-known result, for radial-inflow
turbines, where the peak efficiency occurs at a 0.7
where C
is
is the isentropic expansion velocity at any
velocity ratio [5]. This feature of shifting turbine peak
instant of time during the pulse cycle. It is defined
efficiency towards lower velocity ratios increases the
according to the following equation (variable prop-
turbine overall efficiency in the low-velocity ratio
erties have been taken into account as seen by the
region, which confirms that the mixed-flow turbine
integral of C
p
over the temperature range):
can utilize the engine exhaust gas energy more effec-
tively than the radial-inflow turbine in the high-
C
is
=
S
2
AP
1
3
C
p
,T
dT +
1
2
U
2
1
B
(2)
pressure ratio region. This will improve the turbine
unsteady performance, because most of the avail-
able exhaust gas energy occurs in the region of the and
pulse peak where the pressure ratio is high during
(W

T
)
inst
=t
inst
v
inst
(3)
the pulse cycle. As a result, the actual power output
of the mixed-flow turbine is larger than that of Hence the following quantities must be measured:
(a) time-averaged turbine inlet temperature, an equivalent radial-inflow turbine, which leads
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Mixed-flow turbines for automotive turbochargers
Fig. 3 Performance parameters for the mixed-flow rotor under steady flow conditions.
to an increased boost pressure produced by the tively flat. Hence, during a typical engine pulse, the
turbine efficiency does not change significantly when compressor.
It is worth noting that the design of the inlet blade the turbine operating point moves from high to low
velocity ratios or vice versa. Assuming quasi-steady angle of the mixed-flow turbine rotor was based on
the assumptions of a free vortex flow in the volute operation, this indicates that the unsteady flow per-
formance of the mixed-flow turbine is improved due and a uniform distribution of the meridional velocity
along the blade leading edge. Neither of these to the increased turbine efficiencies at off-peak
efficiency conditions. assumptions is expected to be met in reality.
It is apparent that the operating behaviour of
increasing efficiencies at lower rotational speeds and 3.2 Unsteady flow performance
In order to improve the understanding of the behav- slightly decreasing efficiencies at higher rotational
speeds results in compact efficiency curves. This iour of mixed-flow turbines unsteady flow perform-
ance tests were performed. The unsteady flow feature implies that a reduced sensitivity to the
rotational speed has been achieved. As a result, this performance tests were carried out at the peak
efficiency point of 50 and 70 per cent equivalent is expected to improve the transient performance of
the turbine since a change in the rotational speed design speed that corresponds to 29 400 and
41300 r/min respectively. In addition, two air pulse will produce a small change in efficiency levels. It is
also evident that the efficiency curve with respect to frequencies of 40 and 60 Hz were used to simulate
the pressure pulse of the engine exhaust gas. The the velocity ratio for a given rotational speed is rela-
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N Karamanis and R F Martinez-Botas
pulse frequencies are produced by the pulse gener- ible and have been used by a number of researchers.
One is to assume that the turbine inlet total tempera- ator and are equivalent to the engine speeds of 1600
and 2400 r/min respectively, based on a four-stroke, ture remains constant during the pulse cycle. As a
result, the time-averaged static temperature, as meas- six-cylinder diesel engine with a single-entry turbine.
As mentioned in Section 2, evaluation of the ured by a thermocouple, was used to calculate the
turbine unsteady flow performance. This approach unsteady flow performance, the instantaneous tur-
bine inlet static pressure, mass flowrate and was followed by Kosuge et al. [18], Dale and Watson
[5], Dale et al. [22], Winterbone et al. [7], Baines et al. rotational speed were measured during the pulse
cycle; these are shown in Fig. 4. The mass flow par- [23] and Arcoumanis et al. [11]. The other approach
is that if an accurate time-averaged static tempera- ameter is plotted against the pressure ratio in Fig. 4d
for one particular test condition. ture is known, then an approximate value for the
instantaneous static temperature can be calculated It is worth noting that the instantaneous turbine
inlet temperature was not recorded during the by assuming an isentropic relationship between
temperature and pressure, that is: unsteady flow performance tests due to the difficult-
ies of installing a cold wire in such a harsh environ-
T
inst
T
=
A
P
inst
P B
(
c
1)/
c
(4) ment. A shielded E-type thermocouple was used to
give the time-averaged static temperature instead.
Hence, in order to obtain all instantaneous physical where P and T are the time-averaged pressure and
temperature levels. quantities at the turbine inlet, an assumption must
be made regarding the variation of the instantaneous This approach was used by Mollenhauer [24],
Benson [17], Capobianco et al. [19] and Chen et al. turbine inlet temperature. Two approaches are poss-
Fig. 4 Sample of the unsteady flow measurements (with pulsating generator on).
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Mixed-flow turbines for automotive turbochargers
[12]. Mollenhauer [24] pointed out that the instan- suggested by Dale and Watson [5], which assumes
that the travelling time corresponds to the propa- taneous exhaust gas energy obtained from the calcu-
lated instantaneous static temperature [equation (4)] gation time of a pressure wave from the measuring
plane to the turbine rotor passage. The present has small deviations from the true one obtained from
the measured instantaneous static temperature for authors measured the static pressure development
from the inlet measuring plane to the rotor inlet; this which the mean error was only 1.3 per cent in his
tests. In the present paper the isentropic approach allowed the evaluation of the actual travel time of a
pressure pulse. The instantaneous pressure is meas- has been used.
Another important point that should be noted in ured at various locations: 250 mm upstream of the
volute inlet (where the measuring plane is located, the unsteady flow performance calculation is that all
the physical quantities used in equation (1) must be indicated `inlet in Fig. 2), 50 upstream of the
tongue and 40, 130 and 220 downstream of the measured simultaneously at the same location in
order to obtain a representative performance map. tongue plane (see Fig. 5 for the location of these
plains). Figure 6 shows the static unsteady pressure However, in the present test facility the inlet static
pressure and mass flowrate, which are used to calcu- taken at the above-mentioned planes; post-
processing of this figure shows that the only appro- late the instantaneous turbine isentropic power, are
measured at the turbine inlet, while the instan- priate time to shift the signal is given by the sonic
travel time. This is in accordance with Arcoumanis taneous rotational speed, from which the instan-
taneous torque and turbine actual power are et al. [11]. This discussion of the travel time is of the
utmost importance in order not to present unrealistic deduced, is measured at the impeller shaft. Under
steady flow conditions this is of no consequence, but unsteady efficiencies, but it should be reiterated
that the current approach measured the travel when the unsteady flow performance is measured,
it is important to recognize that at any instant in time propagation time experimentally.
In an attempt to reduce the time-lag effects a meas- the torque generated by the rotor is a function of the
state of the fluid within the rotor passages rather uring station very close to the actual turbine inlet
was chosen (located 50 before the tongue; see Fig. 5). than that of the fluid measured at the turbine inlet,
which corresponds to an earlier time. It is, therefore, All the results and processed data correspond to this
station. Previously presented results corresponded necessary to shift the torque signal forward in time
in order to achieve the appropriate equivalent flow to a measuring plane 250 mm upstream from the
turbine inlet flange [5, 11, 23, 26]. conditions.
In order to fulfil the correction of the time-lag men- Figure 7 shows the instantaneous swallowing
capacity of the turbine for various operating con- tioned above, two approaches have been adopted by
researchers. One is based on the time calculated ditions. Three different exit conditions are shown:
P
ex
is the instantaneous exit static pressure measured using the bulk flow travel time, which was first pro-
posed by Winterbone et al. [8] followed by Hajilouy- 9.5 mm behind the trailing edge followed by an
atmospheric expansion, P
atm
assumes that the turbine Benisi and Baines [25] and Baines et al. [23]. The other
approach is to take the sonic speed travel time as exit pressure is constant and equal to atmospheric
Fig. 5 Velocity measurement locations.
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N Karamanis and R F Martinez-Botas
Fig. 6 Instantaneous static pressure at different locations around the volute and exit. Inlet refers to the location shown in Fig. 2, the
different angles are referenced to the volute tongue (Fig. 5) and the exit is either an atmospheric expansion (exit) or ducted
expansion (duct exit, as in real engine conditions).
and P
exd
is the instantaneous exit static pressure As a result, the isentropic efficiency becomes greater
than unity during this short period. A similar behav- measured 9.5 mm behind the trailing edge followed
by a ducted expansion (similar to an exhaust diffuser iour has been observed by Winterbone et al. [7, 8]
and Baines et al. [23] in their studies of the radial- in a real engine). As can be seen in this figure, the
instantaneous mass flow parameter circles around inflow turbines. Had the bulk travel time been
used to shift the signal, the isentropic efficiency the steady parameter. The reason for this behaviour
is that the turbine/volute acts as a finite volume, so would have been greater than one for most of the
pulsating period. as the pulse generator is opened it takes a certain
amount of time to fill up the volume; when the plate The traces of the instantaneous total-to-static
efficiency are shown in Fig. 9 as a function of veloc- is closing it does not have enough time to empty.
Figure 8 shows the performance parameters for one ity ratio for all pulsating flow conditions; they are
compared with the corresponding steady flow testing condition (70 per cent and 40 Hz) as a sample
of the data. Three quantities are plotted: isentropic efficiency curves. The actual exit static pressure
was measured with a fast transducer. This value power, actual power and isentropic efficiency, all as
a function of pulse generator angle (this angle can coupled with the actual total pressure feeding the
turbine gives rise to the actual fluctuating pressure be viewed as equivalent to time). It is worth noting
that the values of the unsteady efficiency in some ratio across the turbine. It is evident that the
unsteady efficiency curves deviate from the steady regions are in excess of unity. The isentropic power
follows the trace of inlet static pressure since it is flow values. The range of the velocity ratio and the
total-to-static efficiency is reduced as the pulse fre- calculated from the instantaneous inlet pressure and
mass flowrate; the turbine actual power follows the quency is increased. Hence, the area enclosed by
the loop is reduced with the increasing pulse fre- trace of the fluctuating torque. These signals have
been shifted according to the sonic travel time, as quency. The use of the instantaneous pressure
leads to a reduction of the regions of efficiency explained previously. Before the pulse generator
goes into its open position, the inlet pressure and greater than unity as compared to a constant
atmospheric pressure expansion. mass flowrate reach their lowest values and result
in a minimum isentropic power. At the same time, In order to arrive at a single value of efficiency
independent of the time shift, the results have been the actual power in this initial stage of the pulse is
higher than the isentropic power due to the effect cycle-averaged over a complete pulse cycle. The
definition of this average efficiency is given by the of the rotational inertia of the turbinecompressor
assembly, which causes the rotor to act as a flywheel. following equation:
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Mixed-flow turbines for automotive turbochargers
Fig. 7 Instantaneous mass flowrate for two speeds and two pulse frequencies compared to the corresponding steady value (shown by
diamond symbols). Three exit conditions are shown, P
ex
is the instantaneous exit static pressure measured 9.5 mm behind the
trailing edge followed by an atmospheric expansion, P
atm
assumes that the turbine exit pressure is constant and equal to
atmospheric and P
exd
is the instantaneous exit static pressure measured 9.5 mm behind the trailing edge followed by a ducted
expansion.
mixed-flow turbine. The rotor finds its application
g
t-s,av
=
w
0
W

inst
dt
w
0
W

isent
dt
(5)
on an automotive high-speed large commercial
diesel turbocharger.
This equation considers the energy transfer in a
The total-to-static efficiency curves showed that a
complete pulse, but without indicating the regions
mixed-flow turbine can achieve the peak efficiency
of the pulse where the conversion of available
point at a lower velocity ratio (i.e. a higher pressure
work into actual work has been effective or ineffec-
ratio) when compared to a conventional radial-
tive. The integrated results are given in Table 3. It
inflow turbine. At 90 per cent speed the efficiency
is clear that the cycle-averaged efficiency has a
peaked at a velocity ratio of 0.64. This shift of turbine
similar value to the steady efficiency, except for
peak efficiency point towards lower velocity ratios
the 50 per cent 40 Hz test case. The flow is expected
confirmed that the mixed-flow turbine was able to
to be highly disturbed by the pulses at the low
extract the engine exhaust gas energy more effec-
speed low frequency.
tively at high-pressure ratio regions where the engine
energy is concentrated. Also, the efficiency curves of
the mixed-flow rotor were flatter than that of a typi-
4. Conclusions
cal inflow turbine, illustrating the potential of the
mixed-flow rotor towards improved performance at This paper has brought together steady and pulsat-
ing performance measurements in a turbocharger off-design conditions.
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N Karamanis and R F Martinez-Botas
Fig. 8 Instantaneous actual work, isentropic work and efficiency for a typical test case (70%, 40 Hz). Note that the efficiency is not
in percentage form but in actual values so that 1 unit corresponds to 100 per cent.
responding steady flow curves, exhibiting a signifi-
Condition Steady Unsteady
cant hysteresis loop. This indicated that the turbine
performance and flow characteristics under pulsat-
50% and 40 Hz 0.69 0.55
ing flow conditions deviated from the steady flow 50% and 60 Hz 0.69 0.73
70% and 40 Hz 0.74 0.74
results. As the air pulse frequency increased, the area
70% and 60 Hz 0.74 0.77
enclosed by the loop was reduced, indicating that
the flow conditions within the turbine tend to
Table 3 Unsteady cycle average efficiency.
become closer to the steady values.
The unsteady performance of the mixed-flow tur-
bine has been assessed under pulsating flow con-
Notation
ditions at the peak 50 and 70 per cent design speeds
at pulse frequencies of 40 and 60 Hz. Accurate A cross-sectional area
measurement of the instantaneous flow parameters C
is
isentropic expansion velocity
(mass flowrate, static pressure, rotational speed) was C
p
specific heat capacity at constant pressure
m mass flowrate important to obtain realistic efficiencies. The instan-
MFP mass flow parameter=m
T
T
01
/P
01
taneous inlet temperature was used in preference to
P pressure assuming a constant value. The effect of varying
PR pressure ratio=P
01
/P
e
exhaust conditions was also considered. Previous
t time
authors on radial turbines have not considered the
T temperature
fluctuation of the exhaust pressure. It has been
U blade tip speed; air velocity
shown that this has a very significant effect and
W

power
ignoring it leads to estimation of unrealistic expan-
sion ratios. The use of the instantaneous exit pressure
a absolute flow angle
leads to a reduction of instantaneous efficiency
b
B
blade rotor inlet angle
values greater than unity.
c ratio of specific heat capacities
The pulsation from the engine has been measured
g efficiency
throughout the inlet pipe and around the volute and
t torque
its speed of propagation has been shown to be close
w time corresponding to rotation
to the speed of sound rather than the bulk flow veloc-
v rotational speed
ity as stated by some researchers. Thus, any correc-
tions in time shift have been based on the sonic Subscripts
speed. As a general remark, the unsteady swallowing 0 total or stagnation value
1 turbine volute inlet capacity and efficiency curves moved around the cor-
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Mixed-flow turbines for automotive turbochargers
Fig. 9 Instantaneous total-to-static efficiency for two speeds and two pulse frequencies. For an explanation of the different lines see
the caption of Fig. 7. The efficiency units are not in percentage form but in actual values so that 1 unit corresponds to 100
per cent.
2 turbine rotor inlet thanks are given to Professor Arcoumanis for his
suggestions throughout the research programme. av cycle-averaged
e turbine exit
isent isentropic
inst instantaneous
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s static
T turbine
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t-s total-to-static
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Superscript
Kasuya, T. High performance Komatsu KTR150 turbo-
:
mean value
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