Lumped capacitance and 3D CFD conjugate heat transfer modelling of an automotive turbocharger

R. Burke, C. Copeland, T. Duda, M. A. Reyes Belmonte

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

6 Citations (SciVal)


One dimensional wave-action engine models have become an essential tool within engine development including stages of component selection, understanding system interactions and control strategy development. Simple turbocharger models are seen as a weak link in the accuracy of these simulation tools and advanced models have been proposed to account for phenomena including heat transfer. In order to run within a full engine code, these models are necessarily simple in structure yet are required to describe a highly complex 3D problem. This paper aims to assess the validity of one of the key assumptions in simple heat transfer models, namely, that the heat transfer between the compressor casing and intake air occurs only after the compression process. Initially a sensitivity study was conducted on a simple lumped capacity thermal model or a turbocharger. A new partition parameter was introduced alpha, which divides the internal wetted area of the compressor housing into pre and post compression. The sensitivity of heat fluxes to alpha was quantified with respect to the sensitivity to turbine inlet temperature (TIT). At low speeds, the TIT was the dominant effect on compressor efficiency whereas at high speed alpha had a similar influence to TIT. However, modelling of the conduction within the compressor housing using an additional thermal resistance caused changes in heat flows of less than 10%. Three dimensional CFD analysis was undertaken using a number of cases approximating different values of alpha. It was seen that when considering a case similar to alpha=0, significant temperature could build up in the impeller area of the compressor housing, indicating the importance of the pre-compression heat path. The 3D simulation was used to estimate a realistic value for alpha which was suggested to be between 0.15 and 0.3. Using a value of this magnitude in the lumped capacitance model showed that at low speed there would be less than 1% point effect on apparent efficiency which would be negligible compared to the 8% point seen as a result of TIT. In contrast, at high speeds, the impact of alpha was similar to that of TIT, both leading to approximately 1% point apparent efficiency error.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo
Subtitle of host publicationTurbine Technical Conference and Exposition, 2015. Volume 8 - Microturbines, Turbochargers and Small Turbomachines; Steam Turbines
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780791856796
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventASME Turbo Expo, 2015 - Palais de Congres, Montreal, Canada
Duration: 15 Jun 201519 Jun 2015


ConferenceASME Turbo Expo, 2015


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